Law Firm Strategy Insights
“Without Bridgesphere, I couldn’t run my firm. They are an indispensable part of our finance and operations.”
– Bridgesphere Client
Walking along Ocean Beach, I couldn’t help but gaze at the jaw dropping distance between where surf hit the sand and the waterline marking high tide from the night before.
A mere nine hours earlier, waves were crashing at a distance that would take a full 90 seconds to walk. To think that the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun are entirely responsible for these changes is astounding.read more
The other day, I was sitting in traffic trying to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. I needed to get to the North Bay to meet an important networking colleague and referral partner. It was a meeting that easily could have been a “catch up session” over the phone. But seeing as it was springtime, we aimed to meet at a favorite spot that has a fantastic reputation for sunny sidewalk seating, great Italian food, and rich espresso.read more
Where were you eight years ago? It would have been April, 2008.
The market was off a bit over 10%. Nothing to worry about. Just a correction.
Legal revenues were robust. Growing at a healthy 5% clip.
Then the world changed. In an instant.
Where were you? Sometimes it helps to look in the mirror . . .read more
It’s hardly news.
The economy is starting to fade. Recession-esque statistics are already impacting states from the Midwest to the Plains. Another undercurrent, often unnoticed in the sea of economic data, is legal revenues. They started to tail-off again in the fourth quarter.
Is your firm ready?read more
Why is focusing on business process so important? Regardless of whether your firm is impacted by external factors (the economy) or internal factors (events that impact your key people and functions), business process improvement offers you the opportunity to boost the performance of your organization.read more
Bridgesphere not only outlined a road map for improving our client’s business processes; our financial analytics identified $250k in profit improvement along the way.read more
In our recent meetings, we have been talking with companies about goal setting and strategic planning for 2016. Some organizations are struggling. Their financial performance is healthy, the economy is still looking strong, but goal setting and planning have taken a back seat.read more
A Bay Area law firm with revenues of approximately $1Million, had successfully built a boutique practice over the course of several years. Recently, the Firm hit a roadblock. Management knew that an investment in people and processes would somehow unlock additional growth, but it was unclear what to do — or how to do it.read more
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it” – Upton Sinclair
“To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” – Sun Tzuread more
Law Firm Analytics are a smart and proven way to turn the data your firm already collects into profits. While every law firm is unique, our research and clients have proven that every law firm has about 10% of its revenues “trapped” inside of their time and billing data
We typically point to ten business issues that cause revenue and profits to remain “unrealized”, or trapped inside of a firm’s data. In this article, we will highlight two:read more
Sometimes, succession planning for law firms is akin to the purple elephant in the room. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Dealing with the nuances of succession planning can give rise to a host of political, economic, and even emotional issues which can be difficult to address. Don’t let such challenges and uncertainties prevent you from taking 2 simple steps to improve your income and law firm valuation.read more
Law firm mergers are served with a heavy dose of risk. History suggests that only one-in-three law firm mergers will improve profits per partner. We see three prevailing industry trends that further-complicate law firm mergers. While law firm combinations can be headline inducing, the aftermath may be similar to the vast majority of corporate transactions: disenfranchised stakeholders.read more
There has been a lot of recent commentary regarding the “impending doom” of Biglaw. Many industry observers point to a summer sprinkled with strategic layoffs (Weil Gotshal), changing partnership strategies (Patton Boggs), and speculated mergers such as Orrick + Pillsbury, or Patton Boggs + Locke Lord as the signs of significant change.
Recently, the Wall Street Journal highlighted how small and medium sized law firms are enjoying a growing share of corporate work that used to be the dominated by big law firms. Why? Smaller firms have been able to charge less, provide better service, while using talent that has years of Biglaw experience under its belt.read more
There has been a lot of recent commentary regarding the “impending doom” of the Biglaw business model. Many industry observers point to the recent comments and layoffs at Weil Gotshal. Others highlight a changing partner strategy at Patton Boggs as the early signs of change. Some industry observers render law firms as a seemly “doomed industry” that is either going to drastically consolidate or face a period of severe economic duress.read more
The virtual law firm: Much like “big data” and “the cloud” the virtual law firm is an ambiguous concept. From our perspective, we define the virtual law firm as a business model comprised of a unique collection of senior attorneys who share resources in an effort to reduce overhead and expand their portfolio of services.
The concept is intriguing. In any competitive industry, smaller businesses develop disruptive business models in an effort to capture market share from their larger competitors and create stakeholder value.read more
We are often asked to highlight some of the key strategies we recommend for law firms that endeavor to improve cash flow and profits per partner. This article provides a high-level approach to strategic planning – and how our law firm consulting solutions simplify this process.
A key to successful strategic planning is to recognize that each firm is a unique business. Every law firm is comprised of a unique group of lawyers that form a distinct culture. Successful law firm consulting solutions improve cash flow and profits per partner by focusing on five key areas of the business:read more
Law firms participate in a maturing market. Growth is becoming more difficult to achieve. Corporate clients keep more legal matters in house. The emergence of “virtual” law firms is now a reality. The migration of talent from law firms that fail to provide a high quality culture and incentive-based compensation is a reality facing many firms. We are experiencing the early innings of change. A high quality strategic plan can be your law firm’s road map to success in a changing marketplace.read more
Flat fees are just one of a multitude of alternative fee arrangements being offered by law firms in an effort to fuel growth, enhance differentiation, and provide clients with a degree of economic certainty. Unfortunately, some firms fail to consider whether flat fees improve law firm economics.read more
Layoffs not only impact those who lose their jobs, but they also have long-term implications on the culture and financial health of the firm. Law firm management teams can learn a lot from the decisions made by their competitors. When considering the moves at Weil Gotshal, we seek to provide insights into the following questions:read more
Profits per partner is a good metric for ranking law firms. Think about it. If you needed a quick method to assess the financial health of 100 law firms, using PPP partially removes size from your analysis and will bring you closer to identifying firms that are doing well, and those that are not.read more
Does your firm have “good culture”? If managing partners consistently provide associates the work-life balance they anticipated when joining the firm, and financial/professional upside to those who achieve their objectives, then good culture will be embodied by a low rate of turnover.read more
Does your law firm have a toxic culture? A recent survey from CareerBliss ranked the unhappiest jobs in America. According to the survey, associate attorneys earned the highest average salary, but their wallets failed to generate satisfaction. Associate attorneys have the unhappiest jobs in America. It doesn’t have to be this way.read more
Why should your law firm use analytics? Because the data your firm generates everyday could be improving partner profits. Every time slip, accounting entry, and financial record is a potentially valuable piece of data.read more
What did my associates accomplish last week? Knowing what your law firm accomplished, and more importantly, what you need to achieve next is a critical component of effective law firm management.
Did you accomplish your goals last week? Did your associates achieve the right utilization rates? Are you on-track to hit your financial goals for the month?read more
Has firefighting become your law firm’s strategy? Solving business issues after they have become full-blown problems not only costs money, it rarely cures the underlying problem.read more