Running a successful law firm requires equal parts law savvy and business savvy, and it’s that latter requirement that often goes overlooked. There’s a tendency to believe (or hope, possibly) that a firm can stake its success on the quality of its work, but as many in the industry know it is altogether more complicated than that. Making a law firm more cost-effective is of key importance, and you have to do it correctly or else you might sacrifice on quality.
Consider first the cost of your staff. You want to be able to take on large projects, to scale up and expand, but in order to do that you run up against the high cost of in-house legal work. Fortunately, there’s a way to take on large projects without spending a fortune, and it’s something large firms have been doing for a while: outsourcing. But be careful here; you don’t just want to entrust a client’s project to any legal outsourcing company.
Here in Canada, if you’re looking for a large database of legal talent, there’s the LexLocom.ca site, where you can find all sorts of legal support, in a number of different fields at a cost-effective price. It saves you from having to augment your workforce for a new project, only to have those new employees on the payroll when the work is slower. With outsourcing, you take on legal help for the exact duration you need them.
Another reason that outsourcing is recommended – and another way to create a more cost-effective firm – is that you can find legal talent able to leverage technology to get the work done. Using technology cuts down on the overhead costs associated with administrative tasks, and with access to a large database of legal help, you can prioritize those who can use technology well.
Another way to reduce costs at your law firm is to reconsider certain choices. Yes, real estate is important to any firm, but you have to ask yourself whether that expensive downtown office – and, admittedly, the accompanying visibility – is worth it. Do some homework; look around at potential other locations that can save you money. That’s money that you can, in turn, put towards more outsourcing, allowing you to take on more clients and projects.
Or, you can do away with physical real estate all together, opting instead to run a virtual law firm. The money you can save foregoing a brick-and-mortar office is considerable, and as long as you invest properly in an online presence and find reliable, quality external legal help. You’re not so much cutting down on overhead costs here as you are throwing them out the window, and with eLawyering becoming more accepted and commonplace, this is not a bad way to go at all.
Provided that you continue to market your firm well, these cost-effective measures will net you a noticeable upswing in profits and work efficiency. Making use of external legal talent and technology, and reconsidering overhead costs, will ensure that your firm grows smartly and successfully.