Law Practice Management-- How To Determine Your Charges



Identifying charges is a challenging law practice management task for many attorneys when believing through their law company marketing plans. In determining fees for particular services, lawyers frequently fall short of what they should charge. Too lots of lawyers are afraid of even charging the competitive rate for their services when making their law company marketing plans.

Prior to you sit down and start believing through your law practice management pricing strategy you need some distinctions around prices frequently utilized in law company marketing preparation. Do understand a law practice management law firm marketing plan is not effective if you only bring in individuals who desire to pay the lowest fee for a service. Instead, you want to focus your law practice management and law firm marketing plans on attracting clients who will end up being long term possessions to the firm.

There are generally four ways of figuring out just how much you need to be charging for your services. Lets move right into those now.

The Marketplace Approach In Law Practice Management Pricing

This is one excellent way of identifying pricing. Get your assistant to support you in this law practice management job and spend some time discovering what the series of pricing is in the neighborhood. Have her do a "mystery consumer" study by calling around as if he/she were a potential client and learn what your rivals say on the phone to her around pricing. She may need to call from her house phone to prevent caller ID. As another choice you could have him/her call other assistants or paralegals at your competitors and provide to exchange your fees for their fees or you might do that with other legal representatives yourself in your market. If you really wish to get into it and have maximum data you can compose possibly a couple of dozen rivals in your market and state you are doing a charge study and if they would send you their fee list you will develop a composite list that does not recognize those reacting and send them a copy of the results. To keep it easy for them consist of a stamped, self-addressed envelope with a list of the most common services used in your practice area. Now you will see what individuals are charging for services comparable to those you use. You ought to be able to develop a variety of costs. Utilize this variety to set rates for your own services. My suggestion in law company marketing planning is to charge at the 75% level of the list. So you should be at or in the top 25% of the fees.

Keep in mind that in basic it is not a excellent law practice management technique to complete on rate. Most potential customers will see rates that is too low as a signal that there is something missing either from the service, the service provider, or the company.

The Expense Method in Law Practice Management Pricing

This law practice management rates method is extremely straightforward really. One merely identifies what the costs are to provide services or products and adds on a sensible revenue, somewhere in between fifteen percent at the least and possibly thirty three percent at the most. The most typical error in law practice management using this technique is to overlook to consist of some type of your expenditure. Solo and little company attorneys tend to not include their own salary!

OK, let me state it again. In law practice management typically you count yourself out of the expenses and you should include yourself in the expenses. Why? Often you are doing a minimum of a few of the technical work. Yes? Frequently you are doing at least some of the management work. Yes? As the owner of the company you are due a sensible revenue. Yes? If you are all 3 of these in one, you must consider one salary as due you for your time and competence as the technician and supervisor in addition to a profit of fifteen to thirty percent due you as the owner. So make certain to include a reasonable expense for your technical and supervisory work in the costs part of this formula.

Fixed Rate Method in Law Practice Management Pricing

This is the method used by many auto mechanics (it is called "the flat rate book") and other company. This method is where you figure out a fixed rate for various tasks and charge that rate no matter what. If the mechanic invests less time than allocated for the task, he makes more. He makes less if he spends more time than allotted. In the end, it all evens out (well, generally to the mechanics' favor if you ask me). Another example utilizing this technique is how managed healthcare has actually utilized this system with health centers and medical professionals . If they desire, legal representatives can utilize this system.

The "Rule of Three" in Law Practice Management Rates

This " guideline of thumb" called the " guideline of 3" utilized in law practice management is not what your Certified Public Accountant might inform you and it does not fail you either. Ask your Certified Public Accountant what they believe about it and they will like it. To start we are going to be thinking in thirds. For the very first third we will take the overall quantity of salaries/bonuses (not benefits simply incomes-- benefits enter into the second third coming next) for the profits generators and/or timekeepers (this includes you if you are creating revenue) and call that our first third. So include up the salaries of the legal representatives, paralegals, and legal secretaries who create earnings or are timekeepers and call this your first 3rd (lets just say that number was $100,000 to keep it easy). Whatever that number is take that number again and it is your second third which we will call your "overhead" (thus that second third is $100,000 and don't forget you if you are doing some managing partner type tasks since that part of your time goes here in overhead). Take that very same number and we will call that your last 3rd, which we will call gross profits (another $100,000). What you require to do is take the overall quantity (in this example $300,000) and now find out just how much you must charge per billable hour, per fixed rate or the number of contingency charge cases won to be sure you hit the target we should strike offered our very first 3rd number times 3 (in this example $300,000).

This approach shows you how much per hour you need to charge. If you are the owner of the practice you should have a fair revenue as well don't you concur? If this technique is a bit too confusing do feel complimentary to contact me and I will assist you sort it out in a few minutes on the phone.

It is a good idea to analyze all of these pricing techniques in useful reference identifying your law practice management prices method before setting a rate and moving ahead with a law office marketing plan to ensure you are thoroughly checking out all choices. Keep in mind the propensity for many legal representatives is to price too low. Do not do that! In another article I will tell you how to speak to prospective customers so you never ever have a issue getting the cost you should have.

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