Employ easy-to-use and reliable tools to make billing easier, eliminate errors, and keep the office staff on the same page.
Accounting literacy is an indispensable skill for the legal profession, says Peter Frampton of Color Accounting International -- yet most lawyers have few opportunities to develop it.
More and more people prefer to search online for law firms instead of using an actual hard copy phone book. This makes legal directories an excellent and targeted source of obtaining qualified leads. A legal directory drives traffic to your website, increases your page ranking, as well as indexes your web pages. It is critical that you understand the marketing needs of your company and post your profile information in specialized legal directories.
Read more at HG.org...
Salary research in the local legal market is crucial to both employers and employees and we are often asked for the latest results – so why then is everybody so uncooperative when it comes to providing 11 clicks of the mouse in the anonymous legal secretary salary survey?
Looking at the numbers, Isaul Verdin sees the impact of employing online software tools in his law firm. His firm, VerdinLaw, has seen 100% revenue growth three years running, with profit margins upwards of 40%. Such numbers raise eyebrows, especially among firms more than 10 times his size. His firm, after all, is composed of only three lawyers.
Read more at Law Technology Today...
In our recent Law Firm Marketing Workshops in the major centres around the country I picked up rather mixed feelings about law firms using of Facebook as a marketing medium.
South African businesses must take action now to benchmark and maximise their Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) scores under the Department of Trade & Industry's new BEE Codes before the transitional period ends on 30 April 2015.
The start to the Legal Secretary Salary Survey 2014 has been rather slow. What we are trying to establish is a guideline that both firms and secretaries have, that can help them understand what the expected salaries should be in this segment. Everybody is always extremely grateful of the information once we publish the compiled report – but what people fail to realise, is that this report cannot be sucked from thin air, it requires 2 minutes of your time to participate.
The criteria for the legal secretary/paralegal salary survey has been amended to reflect as much of the feedback as possible. Obviously we want this survey to be accurate when it is launched, so your feedback again is vital.
When a client fails to keep an appointment, you stand to lose a substantial amount in consultation fees. Add in the time it takes to follow-up with the client and reschedule, and the real cost of a no-show becomes more apparent. Clients who fail to keep initial appointments rarely, if ever, book a subsequent appointment for which the lawyer can actually bill.
Read more at Oregon Law Practice Management...
Advancements in technology have modernised the traditional and familiar ways of doing business. Parties no longer have to be in one room or in the same country to conclude transactions. This also relates to the execution and signature of documents, particularly where the signatories are in different locations or countries.
Traveling previously required attorneys to carry a laptop, a handheld tape recorder, a cellphone and other tools to help them stay productive and efficient. Now, the only tool mobile lawyers need to complete work and stay connected to the office is a smartphone with the right apps. Yet sometimes this trend toward self-sufficiency can have a downside.
Read more at the Chicago Lawyer Magazine...
Paddocks Private Consulting Service is now available again, offering two types of consulting: Fixed cost private email consulting and traditional private consulting. Adjunct Professor Graham Paddock leads the consulting division and is assisted by Jennifer Paddock and Anton Kelly.
The Protection of Personal Information Bill (POPI) is expected to be passed before the end of the year, and many South African businesses are scrambling to get their houses in order and ensure that their operations are compliant with the provisions of this bill – particularly with regards to their call center operations.
Some years ago, a pilot project was launched in selected Magistrate’s Courts, including Durban, to test the possibility of processing all litigation paperwork electronically.
OnlineMOI has signed up over 600 firms for its Memorandum of Incorporation document generation software since launching four months ago. With the deadline of 1 May 2013 fast approaching, legal and accounting firms are working as fast as possible to complete the backlog.
Sending invoices electronically (e-invoicing) is on the rise, mainly as a result of this form of invoicing being easy, efficient, and cost effective. E-invoicing is, however, not free from regulation and applicable legislation and regulations must be considered and complied with in order for e-invoices to be lawfully binding.
The term "mobile" tends to confuse a lot of business owners. Questions pop up like "Do I really need it?", "Is my site mobile ready?" and, "What do consumers expect from mobile?" Deciding to go mobile is, for many, no longer an option.
Tech4Law visited Andrew Johnston from ProDial in Port Elizabeth to find out from him what made the new ProDial Professional Call Billing Network so unique and also beneficial to attorneys and legal advice seekers.
It's back with some old and many new questions, the almost annual GhostDigest survey in which we find out how legal firms have adapted to the "new normal" vis-a-vis their relationship with estate agents, financial institutions and clients.
Currently we have 280 responses to the survey, which is a long way off the 690 responses we got in the secretary/paralegal survey we did last month. Our current stats tell us that 25% of practicing conveyancers earn less than R10 000 per month - rather an alarming fact.
Are you attracting the type of clients you want? - I'm surprised at how many lawyers and non-lawyers answer "no" because it's really not that hard to do. It seems that not a week goes by when I'm not asked how I've been successful in attracting the clients I love to work with - entrepreneurs.
Until recently, medium and large firms were the primary adopters of sophisticated practice management software, such as Time Matters produced by LexisNexis, and other "high" technology. This was due to the high cost of adopting cutting-edge technology, such as the need to have an in-house IT department.
During this economic downturn, here are 10 questions law firm managers should ask IT directors, in order to best exploit existing technology. (Editor: This article is no longer available on the hosted website.)
Cost recovery has always been a controversial area of law firm billing. Law firms incur substantial administrative costs in servicing their clients, and yet clients are generally resistant, even hostile to the idea of these costs being billed back to them. Given the current economic crisis, law firms are having to justify their fees and costs more than ever before, so they need tools and data to help them demonstrate that their rates are fair and competitive.
Sweet & Maxwell asked 25 top-100 law firms what measures they have implemented to cut costs while avoiding staff redundancies. According to the results, only one firm has gone ahead with pay cuts, but 36% said they are considering them. A quarter (24%) of firms have put salary freezes in place, with 60% considering this as an option.
So the recession is really starting to bite now, and we're starting to see law firms closing down and partners getting out of the profession. It's OK though: Most bank economists agree that we'll see an upturn in 2010 - so perhaps you can still outride the storm. But what if they are wrong? And even if we do see an "upturn", will that be enough to save your practice? And for those firms who haven't been saving for the proverbial "rainy day", how do you hang in there?
Tough economic times lie ahead for law firms. A recession means re-evaluating the budget and tightening the proverbial belt. It means thinking strategically about how best to spend-and save-money.