There is a very good article on practice group management by Patrick McKenna of the The Edge Group that was reported on Adam Smith, Esq.. Bruce reports how the train has left the station when it comes to practice groups, and apparently there is no turning back.
McKenna addresses the many advantages of practice group management and points out that the biggest benefits that come from well structured and run practice groups are more and better clients. He used an example of a real estate practice group, but did not emphasize that it is an industry (rather than a subject we took in law school). However, he did indicate that practice groups should be structured across traditional practice areas to meet the needs of a client and industry segment. This brings me to the point of why I too favor practice groups, but have seen too many large firms continue to form their groups based on legal disciplines. Your practice groups should be multi-disciplinary in nature. For example, in the health care area, a group should consist of lawyers with expertise in administrative law, employment, environmental, business entities, contracts, real estate, tax, estate planning, litigation, and so forth. In other words, structure your practice groups to meet the needs of a client segment whatever your firm’s size.

Continue Reading Practice Group Management For Small Firms

Most firms overlook the potential that exists within their staff to help with the firm’s marketing efforts. Your non-legal staff can assist in marketing your firm by:
*Reviewing rolodex to identify contacts for lawyer to reach out to
*Reminding lawyer to communicate with clients and referral sources
*Drafting Press Releases
*Drafting letters to clients and referral sources
*Returning phone calls for lawyer
*Tracking how work comes to firm – to identify areas to focus on
*Scanning newspapers, etc. – for info of interest to or about clients, and other contacts
*Trying to help client rather than just take message

Your staff can be a real asset to the firm’s marketing effort if you encourage and empower them.

A percentage of gross revenues is not what a marketing budget should be based on. The percentage approach – whether 1%, 2%, 4% or even more – was popular with a number of consultants and some in-house marketers for years. Comparisons to the accounting or architectural industries should not be used as the guide, as in “accounting firms spend X% of revenues on marketing, etc.” This approach is wrong on a couple of fronts.
It isn’t very original, and is the lazy person’s approach to budgeting for marketing. It doesn’t require any planning, which in turn means it is likely to be wasted and/or misdirected. I have been a proponent of zero-based budgeting, that requires thoughtful planning to arrive at what the firm, practice group or individual wants to undertake in order to reach the desired goals. Unfortunately, too many firms do not use such an approach.

Continue Reading Law Firm Marketing Budgets? You Want How Much?