Grow Your Law Practice Efficiently and Profitably in 2016

Submitted by dfm on Sun, 01/03/2016 - 16:09

Whether you practice Employment Law, Personal Injury, Social Security Disability, or Workers' Compensation, the start of a new year is a great time to reflect on the state of your law practice and to formulate a strategy for the upcoming year. Putting your goals on paper can be an effective way to stick to a plan and to hold yourself accountable. Studies have shown that those who write down their goals can be up to 50% more successful in accomplishing them than those with unwritten goals.1 Further, with over 1.3 million licensed lawyers2 in the United States and over $890 million3 spent in legal advertising for 2015 alone, it is crucial to define yourself within such a competitive landscape.

While working in Client Services at eGenerationMarketing, I have taken part in many end-of-year legal lead performance reviews with attorneys and disability advocates. Using some of these discussions as a foundation, I wanted to offer some tips and suggestions, as well as to comment on some trends observed from those law firms and disability practices that have performed well with Internet case lead generation and have significantly grown their practices over the past few years. It is worth keeping these in mind as you create a strategy and goals for 2016.

  1. Make Data-Driven Advertising Decisions
  2. This is perhaps the most important of all the suggestions listed in this post. Too often, attorneys and advocates do not have vital advertising performance stats at their fingertips. Regarding legal lead generation (e.g., television, radio, internet, etc.), you should be able to access reports that include, at a minimum, contact, desired, and signed rates for all lead sources.4

    Without this information at your disposal, it will be difficult to isolate those sources delivering the lowest cost-per-acquisition and to prune sources that are underperforming. By identifying the highest performing sources, you can increase your advertising spend in a more methodical manner.

    When making your advertising creatives, keep key demographic data in mind, such as the fact that 38% of people find an attorney via the web, 25% of people use YouTube to research legal topics, or that 96% of people obtain legal advice online.5

  3. Expand Smartly
  4. Clients frequently contact us about about adding additional case lead volume from new geographic areas. When adding territories for any lead source or medium, ask your legal lead generation provider whether they have any markets that are undersold, or any promotions for purchasing additional case leads. This can help lower both your advertising spend and cost-per-acquistion, provided that the source in question is already performing well.

    Depending on what practice area your firm focuses, you may also want to consider other data sources before increasing your spend. With disability law, for example, it would be prudent to analyze ODAR approval rates before purchasing leads in a new market.

  5. Improve Efficiency
  6. In addition to reviewing your lead performance stats, steps can be taken to render your existing practice more efficient to increase profitability. Some attorneys with whom I speak still track their client lists and case statuses with Excel sheets.

    While Excel may accomplish the task, it is easy to make errors and can become quite messy. Thus, it will be nearly impossible to scale your practice efficiently without effective client management software. Ideally, you would use software that allows you to monitor both your lead and client statuses within one system, so all your files can be in one location and accessible from anywhere. Certain legal case management options will also allow you to view the effectiveness of your intake staff, generate documents, and much more.

These are just a few thoughts to consider as we start the new year. To learn more about lead generation options and case management software, please feel free to contact us at 617.800.0089. We’d love to speak with you.

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2016!

1 Dominican University Study, Dr. Gail Matthews.
2American Bar Association, Lawyer Demographics Table, 2015.
3Forbes, "Lawyers Bump Advertising Spend to $890 Million In Quest For Clients, 2015.
4For definitions of these terms, see eGenerationMarketing, "Tips to Increase Your Packet Return Rate," 2015.
5The National Law Review, "Legal Marketing Stats Lawyers Need to Know," 2015.