Bad Food Combinations & Whetting Your Appetite With Law Firm Data

Advantageous Uses Of Info You Already Collect

Some combinations go together but can’t act like substitutes: like orange juice instead of milk in your cereal, or egg yolk instead of syrup on your pancakes.

When you do force matters to go together, they’re often hard to handle. Take, for example, the hybrid Zebroid, which looks like a horse with zebraesque stripes, but is a particularly difficult animal.

Humans, too, experience advantages and disadvantages to hybridization. At first, certain combinations of seemingly unrelated skills can create the ideal career option.

Take, for instance, the lawyer-CPA.

“I think an accounting background gives somebody the opportunity to take a more global approach to the representation of a business,” says Stephen Kantor, who is both a CPA and a partner at the law firm Samuels Yoelin Kantor Seymour & Spinrad LLP.

He explains, “I stick to the law, although a lot of what I do involves accounting.” From the perspective of an attorney, Kantor is confident that a CPA designation provides additional insight into the industry of law.

And, with new tax legislation up for debate in Congress, it’s time lawyers brush up on their tax code.

Others, however, work better as compliments than hybrids or substitutes, for example, the allusive data scientist-lawyer. Like a mythical unicorn, never has nature seen a naturally occurring IT Expert comma Esquire.

Yet, in today’s high-tech society, failing to use data appropriately is one of the worst mistakes a law firm can make.

Law firms don’t just collect clients or cases, they collect data. Data that can be the key to unlocking how your business works—and more importantly, succeeds. Whether it is “hours worked, hours billed, top clients, revenue and profit attributable to different representations, [law firms] often fail to use this data to help improve their business operations,” writes David Lat for the Above The Law blog.

Law firms can no longer rest on laurels and ignore the business side of their firm.

“Law firms are project managers now,” Craig Budner of K&L Gates said to Lat.

“Data has been underutilized in terms of predictive pricing. We can use data to figure out how to price our services.”

The problem usually lies in familiarity with how data can be properly collected and analyzed. Either you get an expert in tech or an expert in the law, never both.

Enter, the data scientist.

Data scientists are proficient in all things numbers and patterns. Not only can they tell you the average time to trial for you cases, they can also tell you which judges grant your firm the most motions, or when the best time of year is to woo new clients.

With the right tools and craftsman behind them, law firms can create alternative fee arrangements based on historical data about the real value of a case to a firm and accurate projections of how much time it would take to litigate it.

In addition, data can tell your firm tell what time of day your employees are most efficient and help your firm identify which employee incentives work best to boost profitability and productivity.

Pricing, fee arrangements, employee satisfaction, and policy efficacy, and many more, can be measured—and the data is at your fingertips! It’s time you find the right person to unlock it. The wrong combination can, unfortunately, waste even more time and money.

Consider The Center For Competitive Management (C4CM) for the job. Using their comprehensive audio conference, “Law Firm Data: Using Legal Project Management to Increase Profitability and Attract Clients,” your firm can more effectively:

  • Manage transactions,
  • Improve communication,
  • Manage costs, and
  • Meet client’s growing expectations

In just 75 minutes, expert faculty will delve into the essential ingredients of a well-implemented LPM program, including:

  • Best practices for aligning the interests of the firm with those of the client through LPM
  • How LPM works for cases billed hourly or as alternative fee arrangements
  • Best practices for goal setting, and resource allocation
  • Why LPM works, even in a legal landscape ripe with surprises
  • Real life examples of LPM success
  • The challenges of incorporating LPM and how to overcome them
  • Coding best practices and how to implement them

Don’t do everything in-house. Before you pour coffee into your cereal bowl, consider a more appropriate pairing: business consultant expertise on data management alongside your legal services.


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