According to ZipRecruiter, the national average salary for a solo practitioner is $78,533, while the average salary in Florida is $66,345, ranking Florida 49th of the 50 states.
Where do you Rank?
If your salary falls below the national average, it may be because you are spending too much time tackling administrative tasks and not enough time performing legal services. Studies show that solo practitioners spend a mere 2-hours a day performing legal services. Of those hours, they bill 1.6 and ultimately get paid for 1.4.
But these figures can have far more reaching consequences beyond salary.
As competition for clients continues to rise, so do client expectations. They demand “white-glove” treatment. They expect more value, more quickly. Fall short of these expectations and they will gladly take their legal needs elsewhere, sinking the client retention rate. And, on average, 13% of dissatisfied clients will share their dissatisfaction with 15 or more people, plummeting the client acquisition rate. To make matters worse, a mere 4% will voice their dissatisfaction with their lawyer, depriving them the golden opportunity “to make it right”. Conversely, however, studies show that satisfied clients will tell only 2 to 3 people. This means the lawyer is 86% more likely to get negative reviews.
Capture the 14%
To ensure the long-term success of a legal practice, it is imperative to capture the 14%. The tips that follow provide simple solutions for enhancing the client experience in an effort to capture the 14%.
Consider an Intern
Law students are always eager to get the “real-life” experience of a law firm internship and are often willing to take this opportunity without compensation or minimal compensation (be sure to review the seven-point Primary Beneficiary Test and your state’s law before hiring an unpaid intern).
Hire a Consultant
An operations consultant can help streamline a law firm’s operations, enabling the lawyer to spend more time performing legal services. Their are consulting companies that provide solo practitioners, affordable consulting options.
There are plenty technology options for running a legal practice. When using such technology, be sure to leverage its application. These technology companies typically provide free tutorials for its users.
Disciplined Calendaring System
Block out time for performing legal services, returning phone calls, tackling administrative tasks, and marketing. But the calendar is only as useful as the user. It requires discipline to stick by it!
Checklists are a great way to streamline workflow. They can be a flowchart for improving firm efficiency, helping the lawyer to move files along quickly, while helping to cut down on mistakes.
Outsource Administrative Tasks
Consider hiring professionals to help lighten the administrative workload, freeing up more billable hours. The value of those gained time should more than pay for those professionals.
Impact on Revenue
Integrating one or more of these suggestions into a law practice can increase the number of billable hours, significantly increasing revenue. Some of these suggestions are free to integrate. For those that require capital, adding just one additional billable hour a day can increase revenue by 30 to 60% annually and providing the capital for integrating the other suggestions.