Solos and small firms, thrive in the new legal marketplace

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Solos and small firms, thrive in the new legal marketplace

  1. 1. SOLOS AND SMALL FIRMSTHRIVE IN THE NEW LEGAL MARKETPLACE
  2. 2. • Meet and exceed clientYOUR expectationsGOALS • Work faster and cheaper • Deliver services the way clients want to access them, at a cost they know and can afford • Maintain superior competence
  3. 3. • Delivering more legal services at less costYOUR • Moving original work toCHALLENGES standardized and systematized work • Expand types of legal services to rival new market competitors (legal services industry) • Staying current with IT development
  4. 4. 1. Web 2.0 Technology • Virtual Law Office • Document Automation and Unbundling legal servicesYOUR • Productivity ToolsTOOLS 2. Project Management System • Contains costs • Streamlines your work processes • Creates efficiency 3. Alternative Fee Arrangements • Price your services fairly and accurately
  5. 5. BENEFITS OF VIRTUAL LAW OFFICE TECHNOLOGY• No in-house software installation needed• Streamlines and automates the workflow, creates efficiency & allows the attorney to focus on practicing law• Lowers overhead, cost-effective, no upgrades or IT assistance,• Creates less office waste, eco-friendly• Enables access to data anywhere attorney can securely access the internet• Prevents Malpractice through automated checks and processes• Expanded client base, competitive advantage• Better quality of life through work/life balance and flexibility• Be prepared for your future clients: the “Digital Natives”
  6. 6. VIRTUAL LAW OFFICE DEFINITION AND FUNCTIONALITY Definition Functionality• A virtual law office is a • Office, case & client professional law practice management used as located online through a productivity tool secure portal that is • Clients have access to their accessible to both the client “case file” 24/7 in a secure and attorney anywhere the online space parties can access the • Document archiving, contact internet. management, calendaring,• Other terminology: conflict & jurisdictional VLO, virtual lawyering, virtual checks, billing & invoicing, law firm, web-based or web- online payment enabled law practice, online • Collaboration spaces such as law practice, delivering legal deal rooms or workspaces services online
  7. 7. • Automating document assembly for clients online • Uses intuitive legal formsDOCUMENT in combination withAUTOMATION questionnaires • Purchased directly by client after attorney review • Can also be purchased in conjunction with additional legal advice
  8. 8. • Break out tasks associated with a legal matter and provide theUNBUNDLING client with only specific LEGAL portions of the work SERVICES SERVICES • Clearly define for online client the nature and scope of unbundled legal services – what will and will NOT be covered • Provide comparisons and education for the client to make an informed judgment
  9. 9. WEB 2.0 PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS• Virtual Law Practice/Case Management products• Collaboration: workspaces and deal rooms• Messaging and document sharing• Document Management• Free online legal research• Online and mobile communication and research tools• Mindmapping• Time management
  10. 10. • Install a project management systemSTREAMLINE • Automate repetitiveFOR processesEFFICIENCY • Source tasks to maximize efficiency • Use technology wherever possible • Outsource when appropriate
  11. 11. LEGAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT• Rational, cost-effective approach for planning, controlling and executing a legal matter• Break project into steps• Assign, calendar and monitor to avoid work reproduction, oversights or mistakes• Creates accountability & transparency for client• Track the process to create a blueprint for future similar projects• Outdistance disorderly, inefficient competitors• Changes incentives away from billable hours and toward profitable projects and satisfied clients
  12. 12. STEPS TO CREATE AN LPM SYSTEM• Devise an easy system of communication among you, the team and the client• Specify the scope and objectives of the project with your clients – determine their desired outcomes or acceptable alternatives• List the specific actions that will be required or that may arise• Create a timeline and schedule to track due dates and strategic actions.• Determine how long it will take to complete each part of the project• Decide who will be a part of the team, and assign them specific tasks within the project• Plan meetings, follow-up or other methods to monitor each player’s progress
  13. 13. PRICING YOUR SERVICES Benefits to Client Benefits to Lawyer• Client knows costs of • Greater incentive to legal matter learn more quickly • No pressure to bill hours• Focus on providing • Increased client contact value • Learn how to deal with• Understanding of client’s problems more client’s business quickly• Focus on efficient • Internalize the need to act efficiently and map solutions out a matter’s process
  14. 14. • More clientATTORNEY/ interactionCLIENTRELATIONSHIP • Client involvement in strategic thinking • Increased feeling of partnership • Greater trust
  15. 15. • Up-front and in-depth client consultation • Internal analysis ofPRICING past experiencesPROCESS • Internal profitability analysis • Fee proposal to client • Further discussion about client goals • Fee Agreement executed
  16. 16. FACTS CONSIDERED IN PRICING PROCESS • Jurisdiction • Size of matter • Client’s goals • Projected length of case • Reputation of opposing counsel • Likelihood of settlement
  17. 17. • Refined scope ofFIXED FEESFOR workLITIGATION • Lean project management • Using change orders • Comfort with risk
  18. 18. MEETING YOUR GOALS• Meet and exceed • Deliver services online client expectations • Use document assembly• Work faster and technology cheaper • Unbundle your services• Deliver services the • Use project way clients want to management principals access them, at a cost • Use productivity tools they know and can • Create transparency afford • Offer alternative pricing• Maintain superior competence

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