Most Small Firm Challenges Don't Involve the Law

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on October 19, 2018 1:04 PM

In the course of a year, small firm lawyers are working for free after mid-July.

That's because they spend about 40 percent of their time doing non-billable work. It is one of the tough realities of small-firm practice.

According to a new report, the biggest challenges have nothing to do with the law. It's just business.

Just Business

According to the Thomson Reuters study, 300 solo and small firm lawyers identified five "moderate-to-significant" challenges:

  • Acquiring new business
  • Spending time on administrative tasks
  • Cost control and expense growth
  • Lack of internal efficiency
  • Clients demanding more for less

"All of these challenges have to do with running a business, not practicing law," said legal marketing expert Amy Larson. "Who knew that you'd have to get an MBA with your JD to run a small law firm?"

Writing for Above the Law, Larson says the "vast majority" of firms aren't doing anything to deal with their business challenges. She's also director of small firm marketing at Thomson Reuters, which released the the study.

Technology Helps

Larson says new technologies make it easier to handle law business now than in the past. Law practice management software, for example, helps attorneys:

  • Control costs and expenses with one-click financial reports
  • Acquire new business through simple, fast, and secure communications
  • Accomplish more by automating document creation, time-tracking, calendaring, and research

If you didn't know, Thomson Reuters is a global source of information with substantial resources dedicated to the legal profession. It is also the parent of FindLaw.

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