October 2012 | Billing & Collections
By Arthur G. Greene
Traditional collection policies may be necessary, but aren't always the most effective way to solve collection problems. A comprehensive approach—starting with client intake procedures and covering billing, communications, and dispute resolution—helps eliminate collection problems before they start.
By Edward Poll
Lack of a written collection policy—or failure to effectively communicate and enforce such a policy if you have one—is the main reason behind low realization rates and other collection problems. A well-crafted collection policy sets expectations for the client and the lawyer from the outset, lays the foundation for communication throughout the engagement, and mitigates the risk of fee disputes down the road. Here are tips for creating an effective collection policy.
By Sofia S. Lingos
Just like creating a fine dining experience, establishing a rewarding (and profitable) client relationship requires managing expectations from the start. From setting the table to accepting payment of the bill, integration of carefully considered systems at every stage of the client relationship is key to client satisfaction – and paying your bills.
By Richard Goldstein
All too often in client relationships, lawyers are so focused on “respecting” the client’s views that they avoid confronting the client’s fears, hesitations and rationalizations, which may lead to billing disputes down the road. From the very beginning, it is better to create a relationship that will have clients understand and value your billings, and pay promptly. The key is to focus on the client’s aspirations, helping them overcome their excuses and fears.
By John T. Podbielski, Jr.
Most law firms have already drastically cut expenses in the face of the recession, and further cuts are not only unpalatable, but unlikely to solve firm financial problems. The best solution is to maximize revenue through best practices in billing, credit and collections. Those best practices include hiring professionals who know how to succeed in collections far better than most lawyers.
By Dave Hicks
Law firms spend considerable time and money on marketing their services (yet to be rendered), but are less likely to spend sufficient time and money on collecting for their services (already rendered). The author points out this irony, arguing that ROI is more measurable in the latter context (accounts receivable management) and at least as important as the former context (marketing of legal services).
By Jim Confalone
Presentations are an inevitable part of almost every lawyer's business development efforts. Unfortunately, all too often presentations are dull and lifeless—something viewed with dread by presenter and audience alike.
By Randall A. Juip and Mark C. Metzger
This paper was originally presented at ABA TECHSHOW 2012 and is reprinted by permission.
Interviewed by Cynthia Thomas
Julie Garfield is a solo practitioner who handles all aspects of civil dispute resolution before State and Federal courts, arbitrators and administrative agencies for clients with matters relating to real estate, business, contracts, construction defects, judicial foreclosure, professional malpractice defense and employment.
MEET THE WOMEN RAINMAKERS!
Interviewed by Debra Forman
Debra Forman sits down with Sharon Vogel of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.