JordanFurlong + solos   13

Look Out, Big Law: Global Companies May Favor Smaller Firms in the Future | Corporate Counsel
“The high level of interest in [smaller] providers is driven by the desire of companies to engage service providers with a specialized skill set, to get access to the right talent, while being cost effective,” Stefan Zorn, vice president of customer success at Globality, told Corporate Counsel in an email.

The survey asked respondents about the top challenges they experienced with their current law firms. Chief among them was cost, which 48 percent cited as a problem. The next most-cited issues were lack of responsiveness at 36 percent and lack of familiarity with the client’s business at 35 percent.

Zorn said that in order to stay ahead of the game, big firms should try to focus on curbing fee inflation, while also making sure they remain quite attentive to individual client’s needs.

“Companies often highlight that they like the personalized experience and top-level attention from senior lawyers that smaller providers can bring to them, which is something that larger law firms need to determine how to emulate,” said Zorn.

And it appears that corporate executives are finding some of the qualities they like in smaller firms and providers. The top reason that respondents said they would shift work from a larger firm to a small- or medium-sized firm is for a stronger value proposition.

The report also asked executives about their anticipated legal needs and the areas with which they will need the most assistance from outside counsel. The majority—some 51 percent — said they would need the most help with regulatory compliance in the next five years. The report pointed out that this is an area where choosing small- and medium-sized firms around the globe over big firms could be advantageous for multinational companies that want local regulatory expertise.

“When we work in remote locations where big firms don’t have teams in place, it is better to go directly to a small local firm for support. … With larger firms, you wouldn’t get the same level of attention,” Maria Varsellona, chief legal officer of Nokia, is quoted as saying in the report.

clients  solos  competition 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
Legal Incubators Help New Solo Practitioners - Attorney at Work - Attorney at Work
In recent years, a number of “incubator” programs have sprung up to provide recent law school graduates with the training and infrastructure to launch solo practices while also encouraging them to offer reasonable rates to modest-means clients to address the access to justice crisis.

The first incubator was established at the City University of New York School of Law in 2007. Ten years later, there are more than 60 incubators in 30 states, according to the American Bar Association’s online directory, as well as programs in Canada, the Dominican Republic, India and Pakistan.

Four Ways Legal Incubators Bridge the Gap for New Solos
Incubators, which may be created by law schools, state bars, local bar associations, nonprofit organizations, or a combination of these, are becoming so popular that it seems a new one appears every month. These programs address the obstacles that commonly affect new solo practitioners, including the following:
solos  incubator  associations 
july 2017 by JordanFurlong
Clio’s First Trends Report Paints Alarming Picture of Solo and Small Law Practice - Attorney at Work - Attorney at Work
The Bad
Over the past five-plus years, billing rates have risen 10.5 percent; but, that’s not even enough to keep up with inflation, as the consumer price index has risen 10.6 percent over that same time period.

The report indicates that most Clio users still bill hourly, whereas value billing can be essentially uncapped (in terms of time restraints), as the report explores in detail.

In terms of utilization rate, solo practice is the least desirable firm structure. Efficiencies begin to increase in Clio firms of two to four lawyers, before plateauing, and then taking off again at the 10th lawyer+. While solo lawyers’ utilization rate is 22 percent, law firms with 12 lawyers reach 50 percent.

The Ugly
“The average small-to-midsize firm only collects 1.5 hours of paid work time for each workday.” You read that right — that’s the mic drop. Put another way, the Legal Trends Report indicates that, for the average solo or small firm lawyer to get paid for eight hours, she has to put in more than a full workweek. If that same lawyer works 48 weeks of the year (minus vacation), she gets paid for eight hours of work for the equivalent of 45 days.
solos  metrics 
december 2016 by JordanFurlong
QualitySolicitors aims to double national coverage - Legal Futures
QualitySolicitors is set to launch a new expansion drive in a bid to double the number of offices in the network to 200 as it looks to capitalise on its national coverage.

It recently secured one national B2B contract with a well-known name – the details of which will be revealed soon – and is also working on improving the other benefits firms receive.

Ben Greco, who took over as chief executive in April, told Legal Futures this week that QS has been staying under the radar as he established a “pragmatic, sustainable business model”.
franchise  solos 
november 2016 by JordanFurlong
Most Lawyers Work Less Than They Say, Collect Less Than They're Owed - Strategist
Lawyers aren't as productive as they often claim, according to the report. In LexisNexis's 2012 "Law Firm Billable Hours Survey Report," for example, attorneys said they worked an average of 8.9 hours a day and billed for 6.9 percent of that. But when Clio looked at the aggregate, anonymized data from Clio's own customers, covering 40,000 users and $60 million in billing, the picture changes. Drastically.

The typical lawyer is logging only 2.2 billable hours per day, according to Clio's report. That's 28 percent of an eight-hour day and about a quarter of what lawyers had self-reported in LexisNexis's "Billable Hours Survey."

Out of those 2.2 hours, attorneys bill for only 1.8 hours on average, 19% less than what they worked. And when it comes time for clients to pay up, lawyers collect on 1.5 hours from that 1.8, or 86 percent of hours billed.

That seems to indicate that lawyers can up their revenue by not just getting more work (as if it was that simple!), but also by leaving less billable time on the table and improving their collections practices.
solos  pricing  realization 
november 2016 by JordanFurlong
New Legal Trends Report provides data insights for small- to medium-sized law firms – Slaw
For the first time ever, small to medium-sized law firms have access to information that can help them make decisions like some of the world’s best businesses. Traditionally, solo-, small-, and medium-size law firm data has relied heavily on self-reported or anecdotal data, which is often heavily skewed due to both small sample sizes and the inherent unreliability of self-reported data. When contrasted with actual usage data, an entirely different picture of the legal landscape emerges, including surprising insights such as:
On average, attorneys are only expending 28 percent — roughly two hours — of each eight hour workday on billable activities.
Law firm utilization rates increase as additional attorneys are added, but plateau at five to nine attorneys.
When adjusted for cost of living, Nevada, Connecticut and Illinois emerge as the most profitable states for attorneys based on real hourly rates; conversely, Nebraska, Tennessee and Wisconsin are the lowest hourly rate states in real terms.
metrics  data  solos 
october 2016 by JordanFurlong
What LegalZoom is Telling Us (Solos and Small Firm Attorneys)
John Suh made it clear that this pre-paid legal opportunity, and the legal work and income related to it, will NOT be made available to solos and small firms. He said solos could not stand up to the vetting and review process. He said we would not be able to serve the pre-paid legal clients well because we could not be counted on to be there, and to follow up, and to work efficiently.
competition  franchise  solos 
february 2016 by JordanFurlong
If Lawyer Trust Accounts Don’t Keep Clients’ Money Safe, Isn’t It Time to Get Rid Of Them? - My Shingle
Plain and simple, the North Carolina opinion puts clients’ money at risk.  It’s now well-known that lawyer trust accounts are a common target of sophisticated hackers  with rapidly increased ability to penetrate even the most secure systems. Yet even though clients are asked to place their money in trust accounts – far riskier locations than clients’ own bank account — if the money is stolen, clients can’t get it back.
solos  ethics 
february 2016 by JordanFurlong
"There's nothing to stop us competing with you", trade union ABS warns high street firms
He pointed out that Unionline does not have the overheads of private practice law firms, does not need to market and does not need to pay equity partners “thumping big bonuses”.

He described as a “political issue” the question of whether Unionline should only represent union members. Mr Rupa predicted that offering services to all consumers may be a “couple of years” away. “If we could use that revenue to improve services for members, why wouldn’t we?”

Mr Rupa, who is not a lawyer, said there were now 50 staff at Unionline’s offices in Sheffield, specialising in personal injury and employment law but branching out into other areas.

He said the ABS still referred work to its panel of law firms, albeit there are fewer than there were when it started operating. “We can’t deal with the volume of work our client base generates, but the key thing is the service to the individual,” Mr Rupa said.

It was unlikely that in time all work would be taken in-house. Panel law firms would still be needed to provide a truly “national coverage”.

Mr Rupa added that other trades unions were looking closely at its model and at whether, instead of setting up their own ABS, to work with Unionline. “A number of trades unions are looking for Unionline to be their panel firm and this is probably the easiest fit. Smaller unions, with 50,000 to 60,000 members, don’t have the same buying power.”
clementi  competition  solos 
october 2015 by JordanFurlong
Keeping it simple: QS-owner Simplify Group buys Simplify the Law
he Simplify Group – the legal services group that owns QualitySolicitors – has added online business Evident Legal to its portfolio.

Evident began life in 2011 as a law firm franchise called Simplify the Law, before reinventing itself a year later as an online document business for both consumers and businesses that also had a lawyer directory if users needed further help. It took funding in 2013 from ARC InterCapital.

The website has evolved since, with former solicitors and law graduate now offering advice to users on the documents they are drafting. Though there is no longer a directory, there is an automated referral system to law firm
solos  access  franchise 
march 2015 by JordanFurlong
National v local brands - stalwart QS firm "reclaims independence"
The debate over national versus local legal brands is set to begin again after Norfolk firm Clapham & Collinge announced it was “reclaiming its independence” by leaving the QualitySolicitors network after four years.
franchise  solos 
february 2015 by JordanFurlong
Ignition Law: A Revolution in London's Legal Community
David and Alex say their firm is designed to employ entrepreneurs, mothers and junior lawyers. The traditional structure of a law firm doesn’t work for all women with children, who may not be able to commit to 80-hour weeks. Unless you’re willing to work 12-hour days, five days a week, no traditional firm will hire you. They say they employ “brilliant minds” that have been cast out of the system because of seemingly conflicting priorities. One of their goals is to help build confidence in new mothers who want to return to law, as well as give junior lawyers the chance to cut their teeth without having to start climbing the ranks right out of law school. They say Ignition doesn’t subscribe to the strict work-week regimen and is supportive of their employees having other endeavours, a level of flexibility that is a fantasy for traditional lawyers.
flex  solos  innovation 
february 2015 by JordanFurlong

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