Thomson Reuters recently published a study outlining the challenges facing small firm lawyers. According to Attorney at Work, the study reflected that:
- Lawyers feel challenges in acquiring new clients
- They spend too much time on administrative tasks
- There is a lack of internal office efficiency
- They have trouble with cost control and expenses
- Clients demand more work at a lower cost
The study even showed that 40% of a lawyer’s day in a small firm is spent on administrative tasks instead of practicing law. In addition to this, they have to worry about competition from DIY websites like LegalZoom or Avvo. As of 2017, 17% of respondents feel that pressure from competition as opposed to 11% in 2016. The trend looks like it will only continue its upward tick as time progresses.
The other amazing result of this study is how little respondents are doing to change their situation. They simply don’t have the mental bandwidth or resources to handle the problems listed above.
What Does This Mean for My Firm?
How can a small law firm in today’s business culture compete not only with DIY websites, but also other law firms, both large and small?
Hire some help.
Even a temporary contractor would be able to provide assistance. They could take point on drumming up new clients, or they could handle the administrative tasks that suck up so much time. As a result, attorneys would have more control over their internal office efficiency at the lowest cost.
Find ways to shift along with the culture.
As for clients expecting more work for less money, that is a result of the business culture shift. With so many DIY websites offering package deals for estate plans or flat fees to file an LLC, spending an hourly fee on a fancy lawyer seems decadent. Small law firms must do their best to shift along with the current culture. Clients are expecting more work for less money because that is what other companies offer, and that popularity isn’t going away anytime soon.
Small firms can attempt to offer flat fees as well, pivoting their business plan to compete with the self-help websites and LegalZooms of the world. Show that hiring an attorney to complete a project will ensure that no additional legal help is needed to fix problems (for instance, if someone files an LLC incorrectly online or had holes in their estate plan because it was a template based on the most generic human being imaginable).
The point is that hiring some short-term help for your office will help significantly in the long run. Contact Orange Legal today if your law firm needs professional assistance.