Law firms optimize resources for profitability and competitive advantage

Joy E. Spicer
VP of Risk and Compliance, iManage
Joy has over 20 years of strategic business and technology experience.
11 January 2022
Ransomware: The growing threat to law firms [graphic]

Law firms are adjusting the way they operate their businesses in response to top profitability risks, as identified by the 2020 Law Firm Leaders Report:

  • Underperforming lawyers (78%)
  • Late payments by clients (81%)
  • Downward pressure on fees from clients (90%)
  • Employee productivity (73%)
  • Competition between law firms over fees (85%)

To preserve profitability and remain competitive, firms are embracing a transformed business model focused on optimization of resources and reduced expenses. The goal is to deliver the same or better-quality service to clients while maintaining or increasing profitability.

The benefit of optimizing resources inside and outside the firm within a structured, repeatable, and auditable process is that it leads to consistent improvement that effectively reduces insurance expenses and losses – protecting the firm’s profitability and boosting client confidence.

Transformation through incremental change

While the techniques typically used in law firms to bring about efficiency gains and mitigate risk do add value, the optimization process described in Efficiency Gains And Enhanced Loss Prevention: 7 Key Steps is designed to accommodate the more dramatic shifts needed to maintain your edge in the present business environment and beyond.

Careful planning and forethought are required to achieve real business transformation. Implementing long-term strategies in incremental steps allows the various parts of an enterprise to successfully adopt and assimilate changes into their day-to-day workflow. Making gradual but steady progress toward complete transformation also minimizes disruption within the enterprise.

Mark the beginning of your organization’s transformational journey with seven steps to process optimization:

Step 1: Identify an appropriate process for optimization

Step 2: Understand how the chosen process interacts with various people, functions, and business systems today

Step 3: Reflect on the process with an enterprise awareness to ensure all opportunities for improvement have been understood and prioritized

Step 4: Identify clear enterprise objectives the optimized business process must provide

Step 5: Build the cross-functional process improvement team

Step 6: Re-engineer an optimized to-be process that is targeted at meeting objectives identified in step #4

Step 7: Ensure adoption through effective organizational change management

In our white paper, you’ll read about how to go about executing the above steps in far greater detail. We explain why new business intake is a common starting point for firms that are optimizing their business processes – as well as how to incorporate the needs, expertise, or perspective of additional teams and business systems.

Process mapping [image]

A repeatable process

Law firms can follow a well-defined, repeatable process to successfully adopt and integrate new strategies and related tactics into daily business operations over time, at a consistent pace. Begin by identifying and prioritizing the areas of your business operations that can most benefit from optimization, then get started planning the incremental steps you’ll take to achieve your desired outcomes. The resulting transformation is going to be well worth the effort.

Learn more about embracing a transformed business model focused on optimization of resources and reduced expenses by downloading our white paper Efficiency Gains And Enhanced Loss Prevention: 7 Key Steps.

7 Key Steps to Efficiency Gains and Enhanced Loss Prevention

Law firms are continually challenged to transform their businesses, gain profitability through new service models, increase efficiency, and decrease risk - while delivering the same or better service to clients. This white paper shares seven practical steps law firms can take to remain competitive and protect profitability in an rapidly evolving business environment.