In today’s ever-evolving world, technology has become a key differentiator for attorneys, resulting in increased productivity and profitability in a highly competitive market.
According to a recent report, the relationship between law firms’ adoption of technology and increased efficiency is undeniable. There are proven productivity strategies that can streamline legal services and deliver measurable improvements in efficiency and profitability.
Companies that take advantage of these tools can significantly improve business processes and enhance the delivery of legal services.
in MyCase + LawPay 2023 Standard Report Part 1Anonymous data was collected from users of law firms’ software, with a focus on determining how work is done in law firms. The data has been analyzed to identify productivity gains and key performance indicators (KPIs) that may be useful as benchmarks for attorneys seeking to run their firms more effectively.
One notable finding of the report is that lawyers who used passive time trackers got significantly more time off than lawyers who didn’t. If you are not familiar with this concept, this timekeeping tool runs in the background, passively tracking all the activities that take place on a computer or in a program.
The data collected and analyzed showed that attorneys who used the negative time tracker paid an additional 64-hour bill. If you assume a billing rate of $350 per hour, that comes to a total billable overtime of $202,882,750 in 2022 for the lawyers analyzed. This means that, on average, attorneys who used this feature billed an additional $22,425 in the last year.
The report also included data on completion rates for individual lawyers. Utilization rates measure the amount of time lawyers spend on paid work or client-related activities compared to the total amount of hours available. This performance indicator provides insight into how effectively attorneys are using their time and resources to generate revenue for the firm or organization.
One of the calculated KPIs was for individual law firm clients who had at least 5,000 time entries in 2022. The results showed that, on average, these clients billed 1,539 hours in 2022.
The utilization rate for these clients is 76%, and these attorneys pay their bills, on average, 6.1 hours per workday. This is a great data point that you can use to determine how your company is performing and if there are inefficiencies in your workflow that reduce productivity.
Another key performance indicator covered in the report is the work-in-progress (WIP) rate, which compares the ratio of the total number of active matters to the total number of legal matters closed over a given time period. Bankruptcy matters had the highest level of work-in-progress (10.9) in 2022, followed by immigration (10.3), personal injury (10.1), trusts and real estate (8.2), and criminal law (8.1).
Overall, 11 practice areas were analyzed, and you’ll find WIP rates for each of them in the report.
The report also included data on the hours billed per case by practice area in 2022, along with data on the number of online court appointment reminders sent in 2022 for a variety of different practice areas. In other words, it includes different types of productivity data that can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your company’s efficiency.
From this information, you can make informed decisions about choosing new tools for your business to streamline workflow, increase overall efficiency, and dramatically improve profitability.
Nicole Black is an attorney, author, and journalist in Rochester, New York, and chair of the Small and Medium Enterprises and Foreign Education division at the University of Michigan my case legal practice management program, AfiniPay a company. She can be contacted at (email protected).