The simplest way to answer the question, what is a lean law firm, is to define lean in terms of overhead: Lean = overhead in relation to revenue.
Lean = 20% or less of overhead in relation to revenue.
You may shrug or you may wince, but we’ve seen it done at the unlikeliest of law firms.
Becoming a lean law firm is not just about technology, it’s about behavior change and mindset. The most successful way to change your behavior is one small step at a time and not all at once.
Let’s say you’re the senior attorney in a small law firm. You can see the writing on the wall: Rates are being squeezed, legal budgets slashed and more often, your clients are Googling their first legal questions instead of asking you. If you can’t cut costs, you may lose partners and clients. Maybe your clients want flat fees? How do you know your costs? Attorneys need to think beyond cash flow and better understand profitability. Although it sounds drastic, you may need to become lean to save your career. Remember how fast the music industry changed? That can happen to law.
Lead By Example
Becoming lean means you will have to do more tasks (e.g., answering phones, sending out invoices) yourself and rely less on others. You may think it’s not worth your time, but if you factored in the fully-loaded cost of an assistant doing it… you might reconsider.Doing it yourself entails some real changes in behavior that will initially feel uncomfortable. I have been through this myself. The key is to dive in and commit.
The best analogy I can give is pumping your own gas. Remember when there used to be people to pump your gas for you? Well, unless you live in Oregon or New Jersey, you’ve been pumping it yourself for decades. Sure, at first it felt strange, but now you don’t think twice about it.
Lawyers are Heroes
The reason we are so passionate about reducing law firm overhead is that we believe lawyers are heroes. We’re serious. Lawyers wrestle with the rule of law – one of the pillars of free society. But the expense of running a law firm prevents lawyers from being accessible to regular folks. LeanLaw champions lawyers by reducing overhead for small firms and solo practitioners – the heart of the legal profession – so that lawyers can bring justice for all at a more affordable price.
Our battle cry, “Lawyers are Heroes!” means that lawyers can spend more time on meaningful work, less time and cost on administration and incorporate more efficient and elegant workflows into their practices. Now, lawyers can turn their focus to their superpowers. The client wins. The lawyers win. Society wins.
New Perception: Lawyer = Hero