Affinity Consulting Blog


There you sit. It’s 7:30 p.m. You haven’t eaten, and by now you have missed your son’s hockey game. You are still not done with the brief that has to be filed tomorrow. You work about 12 hours a day (including Saturday) because you have a 2100 hour per year billable requirement. The firm bills your time at $250 per hour, but you certainly don’t get paid $250 per hour that you work. You wonder why you don’t just go out on your own. Keep that $250 for yourself. You could do this on your own.

It is summer. Vacations happen, whether we are ready for them or not. Solo and small firm attorneys often have no choice but to be available to clients and staff while on vacation. Some work might even have to get done. But how?

Law firms are continuing to look for ways to move their Case Management and Document Management systems into the Cloud. Having access to cases and documents from anywhere in the world is a very attractive concept for most attorneys and firm administrators. By default, cloud software systems overcome some of the biggest technical hurdles for lawyers and law firms that need this kind of “anywhere-anytime” access. Firm locations, servers, and complicated networks really are a non-issue for cloud systems because the data does not live in your firm’s office. The data is hosted in secure data centers behind bank-grade security and is available to you from anywhere.

Get the business knowledge you need, when you need it

Law school prepares you to be a lawyer. We all remember courses like torts, civil procedure, and legal writing. But what many legal educations still lack is information on how to run a business – a law firm – that profitably and efficiently delivers your counsel to clients.

There are a few options when it comes to augmenting your business knowledge, and most are cost-intensive, time-intensive or both! You can earn an MBA or other advanced business degree; you can add business reading to your already packed day; or you can spend the time to recruit and hire (and pay!) “C-level” executives like a CEO, CFO, COO to bring their expertise to your practice.

The problem is that sometimes you need C-level business expertise but you don’t really need it full-time, or your money is better spent investing in other areas of your firm to help accelerate growth – marketing or technology for example. And that’s where YourExecutive comes in.

At Affinity, we know that if you are a leader of a firm, your focus in on the practice of law and serving clients. We have consultants on our team who have decades of experience helping businesses – including law firms – run in ways that are in line with industry standards, efficient and financially sound.

YourExecutive is a service that you can use on a recurring basis – for example, maybe you need CFO level knowledge that is “on call” or used once a month or once a quarter to help you consolidate, analyze and report on financials.

It’s also a service you can use to address a specific need. Perhaps you are developing a succession plan, merging with another firm, or adding a new office. We can provide CEO or COO support through that process without you having to worry about recruiting a new employee and / or addressing if there is a role for them long term (not to mention paying for their overhead).

And YourExecutive doesn’t just provide real-time support, part of what we strive to do is build up your comfort level and knowledge in all areas of your firm as much as you desire. We provide re-useable tools that can augment your existing operations and aid in your firm’s growth until there’s a time when you are ready to look at hiring a full time team member to take on those tasks.

Some of the areas with which we can help:

1. Strategic Management

a. Assist Partners and firm management in defining the firm’s Vision & Mission Statement

b. Develop strategic metrics for tracking progress

c. Review / analyze existing processes and make recommendations that align processes with goals

d. Create strategic communications plans for your organization

2. Operations Management

a. Improve firm processes (standard operating procedures) to increase bottom line

b. Develop a plan for regular review of firm policies and procedures

c. Development of metrics tracking systems/processes

d. Develop / refine organizational structure and employee development and review

3. Financial Management

a. Ensure proper fiscal record-keeping and reporting

b. Review monthly financial statements, internal controls policies and ensure effective audit trails are in place

c. Prepare Cash Flow Projections and Financial Management Reports

d. Assist in the development of a “Financial Dashboard” to regularly report on key financial metrics

4. IT Management

a. Conduct a technology audit of firm’s IT resources and recommend improvements

b. Work with business leaders to identify core processes and develop technology plan for support of these processes (i.e. paperless)

c. Work with financial team to develop/evaluate IT budget and address cost and efficiency savings

d. Manage major software projects – including but not limited to: version upgrades/system implementations/hardware migrations

5. Profitability Management

a. Develop processes procedures to ensure attorneys capture all billable time

b. Study of time spent on billable tasks versus non-billable tasks & collection analysis

c. Report detailing current state of billing and collections processes

d. Provide a step-by-step plan for collections and profitability improvement

e. Implement metric reports on fees; costs; utilization rates; billable hours; collections & performance

Join us for a free Webinar at noon EDT on Thursday, May 28, to learn more about how YourExecutive can add value to your firm.

Due to last-minute date changes after our April newsletter deadline, some of the Bootcamp dates listed in the newsletter were incorrect. However, the dates in the registration page links are correct.

The correct dates for the Bootcamps scheduled so far are:

PC Law

Columbus May 4 -5

Atlanta August 11 – 12

Worldox

Boston June 2 – 3

Denver September 15 – 16

The practice of law is not for the faint of heart. Your clients are your priority but on a daily basis you are confronted with a barrage of decisions – are bills ready to go? Do you know how you’re doing financially? Why is there so much paper everywhere? Is it time to replace my computer – it’s so slow?

Here are two important facts about Microsoft Word:

Fact 1: 100% of the formatting problems you’ve experienced when drafting new documents can be completely avoided before they occur.

Fact 2: When editing a document someone else drafted, any formatting glitches can be resolved in just a few clicks, no matter how bad of a mess it is.

Unfortunately, the foregoing facts are true only if you have mastered Word.

Here at Affinity, we like to think we are “Improving the lives of our Clients, One Efficiency at a Time”. But what is most interesting is that you, Our Clients, are improving our lives too.

Each and every day, we are lucky enough to talk to some of the most respected attorneys in the country and the exceptionally capable and dedicated firm administrators and office managers that run those offices.

Thank you for choosing Affinity and for challenging us day in and day out to find better ways to do the things you need to do to be successful. We really love what we do and we love that it helps you succeed.

To show our gratitude to you, Our Clients, in a fun and memorable way, we have named February Client Appreciation Month.

Expert Word users know that the keyboard is faster than the mouse. While you can use the Ribbon to accomplish almost anything in Word, doing so involves taking your hand off the keyboard to move the mouse, wasting valuable time.

This month we show you how to change the case of text in your Word document without taking your hands off the keyboard.

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