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3 Ways to Grow a Plaintiff Law Firm (and there are only 3)

May 31, 2017
3 Ways to Grow a Plaintiff Law Firm (and there are only 3) - blog post image

In most businesses, there are really 4 ways to grow the operation:

  1. Increase the number of customers;
  2. Increase the transaction frequency;
  3. Increase the average value of each revenue generating interaction, and;
  4. Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of each business process.

For plaintiff firms, scratch Number 2. Though some clients are repeat clients, your firm cannot count on repeat cases from the same plaintiff.

Number 1: Increase the number of clients/cases the firm handles. The importance of getting more clients for your firm in a cost effective manner is paramount. All efforts should be made to assure that the firm is retaining a very high percentage (92 %+) of the clients that reach out to you through your current marketing efforts. Prior to expending more marketing money to reach additional “new” client leads, all efforts should be made to market back to your current list of clients who have come through your firm. This may sound curiously like attempting to increase the frequency of a profitable interaction with the same client; however, the marketing touch here should be targeted to asking them for a referral of new clients who may need the same type service as the client that has passed through your firm. We believe that a past client should be touched, in some way, 7 times per year….and, always with a specific ask for referrals. This practice of touching will keep your brand in front of your best referral sources, as well as reminding them of the great experience they had while working with your firm. (I am assuming it was great…see number 4 below. Do you have an effective client experience process?)

Number 3: Increase the average case fee. Do you know your average case fee per case type within your firm for the last 12 months (or any selected period)? If not, you should. This base knowledge will allow you to measure improvement as you apply the proper systems to potentially increase these average fees. These systems would include:

  • Ranking incoming cases initially and at 90 days into the case in order to assure the bigger cases are handled by your best attorneys;
  • Systems that allow for potential application of value drivers to cases (MRIs, injections, surgeries);
  • Knowing your firm’s Pareto point fee value (the lowest case fee dollar amount where 80% of your revenue is produced);
  • Pushing these cases with potential values above the Pareto point to your top attorneys, and;
  • Creating a committee of your top attorneys to review your top 20% cases.

Number 4: Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of each process within the firm. Have you considered how a case makes its way through your firm? From the time the lead is received (by phone, web, or walk-in) until the time of resolution and then an ongoing marketing cycle, each process should be examined applying industry best practices and assuring an accountability system is in place.

So there you have it….there are only 3 ways to grow a plaintiff firm. Simple…but not easy.

Ignore them at your peril.

Wendy and David Share
“We met with Vista for a strategic planning session as our firm is at the crossroads and we wanted some outside perspective to help us with our planning. Vista provided a very focused environment so that we could develop our “Painted Picture” or 5-year plan. As we were very involved in the process, the conclusions we arrived at were not surprising to us, but having a road map to help us take the next step has been very beneficial to us. We have been working on the required steps and are making progress, and we do always come back to the Painted Picture and the principles we discussed in realizing our objectives. It is very much an ongoing process, and we know Vista is there for us, if and when we need their further input and objective perspective. Vista’s knowledge of the inner working of Plaintiff Personal Injury law firms allowed them to offer their insight and perspective to our unique circumstances. The fact that we are in Canada proved to be no barrier to understanding what our firm is all about.”
- Wendy and David Share
Jerry Parker
"Vista has been a consultant to our firm for almost 2 years. One of the best business decisions I made was to retain Vista. They know plaintiff personal injury firms A-Z. And that's how they analyze your firm, its efficiencies (or lack thereof or worse), office design/flow, reception procedures, telephone procedures, equipment of all types, etc. If you think your office is running at the top of its game and you don't need them, you're probably wrong. I can't imagine Vista not being able to improve even the best run firms. The payback from what they do is likely to be realized within the 1st 3-6 months."
- Jerry Parker
Jim Reed
"I have to confess, I was initially skeptical that Vista could significantly improve my firm. Heck, we are a small firm (4 lawyers) in a small city and have been in business for 60+ years. Frankly, we were already doing well and had managed to carve out a successful business handling personal injury and malpractice cases. But I met (and liked) Tim McKey and we were having a good year, so I thought, let’s give them a try to see if they can offer any meaningful improvement. I am happily surprised to say that hiring Vista is one of the best business decisions I ever made. Vista analyzed and made recommendations in a few key areas and helped us implement changes in those areas. In less that one year, we are already reaping substantial dividends from those simple changes. As lawyers, we think we are pretty smart and know our business pretty well, but I can tell you that inviting an outside set of experienced eyes to take a close look at the way your firm operates WILL reveal many things you never saw and many areas for improvement. If you want to REALLY learn about your firm and how to improve it, I HIGHLY recommend a consultation with Vista."
- Jim Reed / Owner