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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
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
Paul B. Harding
"As our firm grew, it became difficult to track the progress of cases through the various units, along with the customer service provided to our clients. VISTA developed dashboards for all this and more! When viewing our dashboard, I now have all the important data at my fingertips: client contact, file review, the number of demands filed, files placed in suit, and so much more! Our unit managers also use these tools to ensure that attorneys and staff are staying on-track. As Managing Partner, I am pulled in many directions at once and am often out of the office — the dashboard allows me to zero in on issues as they develop, regardless of my location or the time of day. Great solution for us!"
- Paul B. Harding / Managing Partner