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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.

Richard Harris
"After founding and managing one of Nevada’s largest personal injury law firms for over 30 years, and teaching law practice management, I didn’t think there was much a consultant could do for me. I initially asked Vista, “Why would I pay you to tell me what’s wrong with my firm – when I already know it?” Their response was, “We’ll help you fix it.” That had actually never occurred to me, which showed how much I needed them. Beginning with the onsite visit and comprehensive Needs Assessment, the Vista team not only helped fix what I already knew needed attention, I’m pleased to admit they revealed and helped us resolve several problem areas I previously didn’t know about. Not only that, through consistent coaching conferences and initiation of dynamic reporting of key performance indicators, Vista trained and transitioned a new management team to take our firm to the next level. I’m completely satisfied with Vista and recommend their services to any firm, large or small."
- Richard Harris
Kenny Harrell
“The Joye Law Firm would whole-heartedly recommend Vista Consulting’s services. It’s been nearly two years since Vista did the initial needs assessment at our firm, followed by several weeks of ‘boots on the ground’ work. With the benefit of hindsight, I can easily say that improvements we’ve made as the result of their services have easily more than paid for the costs of the same (and that was probably true a few months in.) This is true based on improvements in our case management efficiency and especially in regard to better intake procedures. Our average new cases per month have increased 50%, and this is due in large part on our doing a better job of following up on potential new clients.”
- Kenny Harrell / Managing Partner
John Michael Bailey
"From operations to accounting, from marketing to income production, the team at Vista has done it all and seen it all. They bring all of the experience and commitment to excellence to bear and work with you to achieve the results that you have dreamed of, but been unable to reach. I know it works, I am living it."
- John Michael Bailey