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Math in the Law Firm for Fun and Profit

Warning! I’m going to talk about math. Brace yourself!

Thankfully, I’m not very good at math, so I’ll keep this simple. Simple is about all I can handle. I almost didn’t graduate from high school because of a math class. I never took a single math class in college. There was, of course, no math on the LSAT when I took it. I’m really not very good at math.

Number Crunching Can Make a Difference in Your Practice

Let’s crunch some numbers because they say what gets measured, gets done. I think they’re right.

Someone in your office is handling your intake calls. This person is listening to the stories and setting appointments. This person is informing prospective clients of the fee for the consult (I hope there’s a fee) and giving driving directions, etc.

Someone else in your office (you?) is handling the consultation itself. That person is meeting with clients and moving them forward in the purchasing process. The consultation involves figuring out the problem and offering a solution.

  • How many calls are coming in? You should have the intake person count them and keep a record.
  • How many consults are scheduled? You should have the bookkeeper keep up with that number by counting the payments.
  • Do the math now. [Consultations] divided by [Calls] equals [Call Conversion Rate].
  • Do some more math. [Retainers] divided by [Consultations] equals [Consultation Conversion Rate].

How to Use the Data to Improve

If you have more than one person taking calls, then compare them and funnel the calls to the person with the higher call conversion rate. If you have just one person, then keep the data and use it as a baseline to test the new person when you replace the old one. You need the data if you’re going to improve.

Again, if you have more than one person conducting consultations, then compare them on their consultation conversion rate. Send the consultations to the person with the higher rate. If you’re doing the consultations yourself, then use the data to help yourself improve. Do experiments, test yourself, and see how you can move the number up. Just paying attention to your number will encourage you to make something happen.

You can take the math to the next level and factor in the revenue. You can figure out the value of each consultation. You can compare based on the total value of the cases. The possibilities for using math to your advantage are endless.

Today, however, let’s keep it simple. Let’s start collecting and comparing this basic conversion data. You’ve got to start somewhere, and this is the highest value place to begin. This math is simple enough for me. I’m sure it’ll be no trouble at all for you.

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Lee Rosen

Lee Rosen has practiced family law for more than twenty years. With four offices, Rosen Law Firm serves Raleigh, Charlotte, Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Rosen served as the Law Practice Management Editor of the ABA Family Advocate for more than a decade and received the ABA James Keane Award for excellence in eLawyering. He served as Chair of the Law Practice Management Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, is a frequent speaker and is often sought out by the media as a source of family law insight and commentary.