2010Click here for a full listing of articles.
Moderated by Kendyl T. Hanks | September 2010
Industry veterans discuss the strategies driving partner compensation while highlighting the need for associates and partners alike to understand what is expected of them to increase earning potential and status in their firms.
By Ed Poll | September 2010
The time leading up to and beyond the closing of a practice can be called the lawyer�s �second season.� Preparing for your �second season� requires a clear personal retirement plan, that is separate and distinct from a practice estate plan.
By Jessika M. Ferm | July 2010
Various factors seriously threaten the traditional hourly billing system�but some easy-to-implement strategies will help you realign.
By J. Benjamin Stevens | July 2010
There are multiple reasons why handling cases on a fixed-fee basis is better for both our clients and ourselves.
By Michael Sherman | July 2010
Making the argument for why fixed fees are better than hourly billing, along with practical tips for how to make the switch.
By Jim Calloway and Mark A. Robertson | July 2010
More and more, clients are directing how the value of the legal services they use is determined and many of them are looking at alternatives to hourly billing.
By Kevin E. Houchin | July 2010
Getting beyond the hourly billing trap requires admitting there�s a better way�and then acting to implement it.
By Ed Poll | July 2010
Why and how to employ an alternative billing philosophy in which lawyer and client share risk based on the case�s outcome.
By Ed Poll | May 2010
Unless there is candid partner communication and buy-in for the firm�s business plan, the firm�s continued existence could be in doubt.
By Ed Poll | April 2010
Involving everyone in the office so they feel a sense of inclusiveness will produce more harmony and productivity and therefore increase the firm�s profitability.
By Ganesh Natarajan and Danny Ertel | March 2010
A look at the potential pitfalls in approaches when considering whether to reject or embrace LPO options.
By Ed Poll | February 2010
Outsourcing can contribute to work and cost efficiencies, if used correctly as a transparent resource. Here is an overview of the economics and ethics of this HR innovation.
By Ed Poll | January 2010
Ideas and resources to help lawyers enhance their business sense, with the goal of improving their management, marketing and finance skills and beyond.
2009Click here for a full listing of articles.
By Ed Poll | December 2009
Lawyers� billings are client communication tools. The perfect bill is one that clearly and directly conveys to clients how you have provided a benefit to them.
By Ed Poll | November 2009
When all other collection efforts fail, suing a client for nonpayment of your fees may be an unpalatable but necessary step. You must, though, tread carefully and look closely at all the corresponding dangers.
By Ed Poll | October 2009
Satisfied clients are clients who will bring you more work. The best way to satisfy clients with alternative billing is to make it an interactive process.
By Ed Poll | September 2009
A delinquent client account spells more than less cash flow for your practice. It can also be a sign that the relationship is in trouble.
By JoAnn L. Hathaway | August 2009
In the wake of the economic downturn, some lawyers are finding that selling their practice is a viable option for replacing lost nest eggs.
By Dan Pinnington | July 2009
Before you open the doors to your practice, creating a solid business plan and budget are critical steps to helping ensure your firm will be successful.
By Ed Poll | July 2009
Every business needs to adopt and follow a business model to be successful � law firms are no different.
By Ed Poll | June 2009
Money is essential to keep a law firm running, and Ed Poll explains some tips for creating capital even during tough economic conditions.
By Erik Mazzone | May 2009
It's a question many of us ask, but few of us can answer. Erik Mazzone offers practical advice for attorneys ready to set out on their own.
By Edward Poll | April 2009
In a recession, all service industries are under pressure to lower fees. Here are recommendations to help you retain both clients and income.
By Edward Poll | April 2009
Removing partners from equity status may seem like a good way to improve finances, but there are many things to take into consideration before taking such a step.
By Edward Poll | March 2009
A recent New York Times article, among others, has called the billable hour into question. What follows is a discussion of how lawyers can value and bill their work accurately and appropriately to provide value to their clients and a reasonable fee structure to ensure profitability.
2008Click here for a full listing of articles.
By Edward Poll | December 2008
Ed Poll offers wise counsel about how to insure that your firm will operate successfully in a tight credit market and ways to remain solvent in a troubled economic climate.
The New RULES of Law Firm Profitability: Follow the Data within Your Financial Management System towards Greater Success
By James S. Schnieders | August 2008
Robert J. Arndt developed a system called the RULES to help firms evaluate profitability. They allow you to analyze multiple data points rather than look at one piece of the puzzle, which can be misleading. In this article, James S. Schnieders explains how the RULES can help your firm.
By Edward Poll | May 2008
Credit card payments are convenient for you and your client. Learn the rules to developing a system for accepting credit so your firm can benefit.
By William F. Brennan | April 2008
Write-downs and ineffective collections practices hurt many law firms’ bottom lines. Understanding these processes and how they work will help your firm increase its net profit.
2007Click here for a full listing of articles.
Managing People, Process & Strategy for Increased Profitability: How Human Resource Departments Can Leverage Technology to Become a Strategic Profit Center
By Shafiq Lokhandwala | April 2007
Studies have shown that companies using software to efficiently manage their human capital components are seeing a greater profit and competitive stance. By automating routine HR tasks, you can focus on developing your workforce and building your strategic direction. What is the key component of your firm�s ongoing success? Your HR department.
Best of ABA TECHSHOW
By Margaret Spencer Dixon and Debbie Foster | March 2007
Accurate time tracking is important not just for billable time, but for all working time. It seems like a daunting task, but once you set realistic goals and make the process a habit, it could provide significant benefits for you, your firm and your clients. Use a pen and paper, a Blackberry or supporting software, but whatever your method, start by reading these useful tips for tracking your time.
2006Click here for a full listing of articles.
By Edward Poll | December 2006
Many law firm compensation models are designed for individual gains rather than long-term growth and sustainability. Yet if a firm wants to promote the kind of cooperative effort that increases billings and profitability, it must change to a more cooperative compensation model.
By M. Thomas (Tom) Collins | November 2006
If you want to measure your team�s effectiveness and efficiency you need to understand and apply the basics of financial metrics. Read more for a short summary on the process.
By Friedrich Blase | September 2006
Are your long-term investment projects focusing on building the firm's future earning potential? Will your firm be able to attract the best and the brightest by demonstrating how safe their investment of sweat equity will be in the future?
By Edward Poll | September 2006
The collection process is one that is proactive. Learn more about the practical steps you should take to ensure clients keep their promises to pay their bills.
By Harry Styron | August 2006
Imagine creating bills clients rush to pay. In this article you will learn how to showcase your work, accomplishments and professionalism through carefully crafted time entries. With a better understanding of what is being billed, your clients may just reward this behavior with faster payment and increased loyalty.
By Edward Poll | July 2006
Most soloists know they can't go it alone. A successful practice requires teamwork. Yet many don't list their banker as part of their team. This could be a costly mistake.
By M. Thomas (Tom) Collins | July 2006
Simply piling up billable hours does not create more income. In fact, it reduces it for a few simple reasons.
By Christy Burke | June 2006
With the emergence of a flat fee society and a Wal-Mart approach to profits firms need to learn how to leverage technology and workflow to beat the billing squeeze.
By Wendy L. Werner | May 2006
Understanding the business side of practicing law will do more than help you manage a practice� it will also improve the results of your marketing efforts.
By Dan Pinnington and David Bilinsky | April 2006
Internal controls for financial transactions reduce the opportunities for mistakes or misconduct. Use this checklist to ensure your office is doing all that it can and should to avoid potential problems.
By Jack Casey | March 2006
Can you create an environment where partners have access to capital yet there is true liability protection?
By Edward Poll | February 2006
Disaster is inevitable, but law firms can recover through effective planning.
By Ward Bower | January 2006
Billing for legal services is an art, whereas pricing it more a science. Is it time for your firm to evaluate its pricing policies to better respond to the needs of the your clients and marketplace conditions?
2005Click here for a full listing of articles.
By Robin Bynoe | December 2005
A lot of nonsense is talked about the "culture" of a firm. Most of it misses the point. Get it right and it is the glue that binds people together. Get culture wrong and the consequences are disastrous.
By Anne Parys | November 2005
When looking for that competitive edge, many firms turn to the latest technology. Yet technology is not the panacea for your firm's marketing woes. Author Anne Parys offers important considerations when contemplating the purchase of new technology.
By Ed Poll | October 2005
Early in 2005 the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission made headlines by filing a class action suit against Sidley Austin Brown & Wood - the first of its kind against a law firm. The suit alleged that the firm had maintained an illegal "age-based retirement policy" since at least 1978 and had arbitrarily forced out 32 partners in 1999.
By John Buley
Compensation and incentives are only effective if the recipient understands and values the cause and effect. Structuring a fair and effective plan, however, isn't easy. Read more to find out what your firm should consider when restructuring its compensation strategy.
By Arthur G. Greene | March 2005
Before you can make the correct business decisions when it comes to revenue for your firm, first you must understand the value of your current cost structure. This excerpt from Aurthur Greene's latest book, The Lawyer's Guide to Increasing Revenue, will help steer you in the right direction.
By Nancy A. Pacher | January 2005
Losing money in your firm's real estate is avoidable if you know the right steps to take during the leasing process. Nancy Packer, President and COO of U.S. Equities Realty guides you in the right direction.
2004Click here for a full listing of articles.
By Ed Poll | November 2004
Ed Poll finishes his series on alternative billing by interviewing attorney Rick Simses.
By Ed Poll | October 2004
Ed Poll interviews Jeff Carr on the profitability and practicality of alternative billing practices.
By Stephen P. Gallagher and Leonard E. Sienko, Jr. | October 2004
If consumers can find what they need to know on the Internet, will they still need lawyers? The answer, of course, is yes, but in what capacity? Read more about how firms are changing to meet the evolving needs of their clients.
By Ed Poll | October 2004
Do you have a profitable law practice? Do you know how to measure success? Ed Poll’s “measurement sticks” will guide you as you examine your own firm current management practices.
By Dennis Kennedy | October 2004
Dennis Kennedy provides a second round of valuable resources on Alternative Billing.
By Ward Bower | October 2004
Unfunded Obligations (UO) are a necessary enticement and a liability for many law firms. In some cases, UOs have caused firms to dissolve rather than carry this burden. What should your firm do if it is faced with UOs? Ward Bower has some ideas.
By Dennis Kennedy & Tom Mighell | September 2004
Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell team up to provide you with valuable resources on Alternative Billing.
By James A. Calloway and Mark A. Robertson | September 2004
Are you a "Main Street Lawyer" with a fee structure based on large firm billing practices? Do you work with unsophisticated clients—clients who are inexperienced in dealing with lawyers? Your clients may appreciate the simplicity and clarity of an alternative fee arrangement.
By Ed Poll | September 2004
Ed Poll discusses alternative fee arrangements, or, as one attorney describes them, alternative pricing structure, with seasoned attorney Hugh Gottschalk.
By Ed Poll | September 2004
Attorney Ralph Palumbo examines how to align the goals and incentives of the lawyer with those of the client through alternative billing structures.
By Jeff Carr | September 2004
This Three-Act Play offers an informative yet humorous glimpse at how one organization examines the pros and cons of creating an alternative billing structure.
By Patrick J. Lamb | September 2004
The business side of managing a firm is not taught in law schools. So it's not surprising that for many firms, budgeting is more an afterthought than a significant part of planning. How can you change this? Patrick Lamb has some ideas.
By Wendy Werner | September 2004
Basing income solely on a minute-by-minute accounting of your day is tantamount to being an hourly employee, albeit one with a significant hourly rate. This article examines how rethinking your current billing practices and offering clients an alternative arrangement could bring more life to your practice, and more life to your life.
By Luciann Leraul | August 2004
It is the topic no one wants to talk about, but what would your firm do if it lost one of their major clients?
By James Cotterman | July 2004
2004 All organizations, including law firms, must deal with the issue of retirement. James Cotterman of Altman Weil provides a primer on the topic and related issues.
By Stephen Gallagher | July 2004
Retirement is a journey, not a destination. Stephen Gallagher explains how to develop an Exit or Retirement Plan for senior attorneys, key partners, and shareholders.
By Ed Poll | June 2004
It takes an average of three to five years for a new lawyer to break-even on their firm's investment in them. See how you contribute to the net profits of your firm by knowing your own personal financial formula.
By Bill Cobb | June 2004
Looking to increase profits at your firm for the next year? Don't rely on faulty assumptions such as past performance when projecting future budgets. The key is realization, not increasing the volume of hours billed.
By Pat Yevics | May 2004
Of the many ways to make a law office efficient, managing your finances is one of the most important. Here is some advice on how to achieve financial efficiency.
By Darryl Cross | April 2004
With the economy picking up, it is time to think about how you are going to take advantage of it. Being prepared will prove to be your best offense this year, ultimately gaining more revenue for your firm.
By Ward Bower | March 2004
Ward Bower examines today's solo and small firm competitive environment and gives some tips on how to be successful.
By James D. Cotterman | January 2004
There are several elements that have been consistently present in successful turnarounds. Learn what it takes to make it.
By Steven Lauer | January 2004
Competition among law firms is intensifying with the reality that companies are reducing the number of services of fewer law firms. Steven Lauer discusses how you can respond to this successfully.
2003Click here for a full listing of articles.
By Dorthy Sanders Wells | December 2003
More and more American workers rely upon employer-provided retirement, health, disability and life insurance plans to provide protection for themselves and their families and to enhance their total compensation packages. What do you need to know to be savvy? Here's some key facts that all women need to know about employee benefit plans.
By Thomas L. Sager and Steven A. Lauer | December 2003
Most corporate law departments are charged with managing the legal exposure of the company. As part of that task, legal departments assure that the cost of the legal service is proportional to the overall corporate objective for which the legal service is deployed.
by James D. Cotterman | November 2003
"How much capital do we need to have to be properly capitalized?" is a question I am often asked. In this time of economic uncertainty, it is an even more appropriate question.
By John G. Iezzi | October 2003
New partners and old partners alike often have questions about how capital accounts work in a law firm setting. John summarizes some of the key issues for those struggling with how to establish or administer these accounts for their partners or shareholders.
by Ed Poll | September 2003
Like any other business, a successful law practice requires cash to operate. Sometimes, however, cash is in short supply. That's where bank loans come in.
By Joan R. Bullock, Esq. | August 2003
How do you tell if your firm is financially doing great? There are some obvious indicators, but do you know which ones can also be indicators that you are in financial trouble? Joan explains what to look for.
By David Bilinsky and Reid Trautz | July 2003
Are you sure your current fee agreements are covering all the points you need? Check out his comprehensive list to double check.
By Dave Bilinsky and Reid Trautz | June 2003
Are your current fee agreements detailing all your services and billing practices? These tips will help you reevaluate your current agreements and build better ones.
By Ellen Freedman, CLM | February 2003
I've never encountered a law firm which did not operate on a cash basis. That means that your revenues are not earned from a tax perspective until they arrive in the door. It doesn't matter if you sent an invoice one day or one year ago. You have no taxable income to declare until you receive payment.
By Gisela B. Bradley | February 2003
Merriam Webster's interpretation of 'savvy' is 'practical know-how'. To have practical know-how in financial management is a crucial component of responsible leadership. In today's competitive environment being a responsible leader in a law firm takes even more than practical know-how in financial management.
ABA TECHSHOW> CLE Conference and EXPO, April 11-13, 2011
Ethics and the Virtual Law Office in Pennsylvania> "Third Thursday" CLE Teleconference, January 20, 2011
New Partner and In-House Counsel Conference> Presented by ABA Young Lawyers Division, and Co-Sponsored by LPM, February 25 - 26, 2011