11 Tips for Analyzing Your Law Firm's Data

11 Tips for Analyzing Your Law Firm's Data

Sarah Bottorff Written by Sarah Bottorff
11 minute read

Although it's relatively new in the legal world, businesses have been embracing the power of data to make better-informed business decisions for quite a while.

Analyzing your law firm's individual data can not only save you time from identifying areas of your process that are wasting your energy, but it can also save you money by identifying where you're wasting resources. When you can pinpoint the areas of your practice that are working and what areas need improvement, you can make better-informed decisions that will ultimately hope you reach your goals as a law firm.

At first, the idea of embracing data at your law firm can be daunting since you didn't exactly go to school to be a data analyst. After all, you were trained to practice law, not study complicated graphs and data analysis. The great news is that technology has made it easier than ever to digest your firm's data in a way that works best for your law firm. You don't have to be a scientist to understand data and metrics, thanks to easy-to-read visual analytics.

Data analytics can help you track important metrics like how many lead-to-client conversions you've had in one month or which marketing strategies are generating the best results. By having an overall idea of where you stand in the areas that matter most, you can make changes wherever necessary and target your unique goals by implementing features like audience segmentation software.

5 Benefits of Analyzing Your Law Firm's Data

why

1Better Insight For The Future

Planning for the future is nothing but guesswork unless you have solid data to go off of. Law firm reporting software can help you make improvements where they matter most. When you analyze patterns, you can better prepare for the future. For example, if you know that certain times of the year have proven to be less profitable for your firm, you can better prepare for them in the future by anticipating them before they arrive. Data makes it possible to arm yourself with better anticipation of eventualities.

2Clear Assessment of Where You Stand
as a Law Firm

If things aren't working as well as you might like them to in your law firm, it's not always easy to say why. However, delving into data and analytics can help you identify where the problem areas are and compare yourself to other firms similar to yours to make data-driven decisions. You can determine how close you are to reaching your goals and where you need to make changes to get where you want to be.

3Less Time Wasted

Many law firms realize that before they start analyzing their data, they are losing time on things that were a waste of resources. However, when you start looking at the total picture, it's not long before you realize the things you should eliminate from your process and what you need to devote more time to. Simply put, running regular data reports pinpoints problem areas rather than speculating on them.

4More Revenue

The key to increasing your profits is to be as efficient as possible. Tracking key performance indicators will reveal what parts of your firm are making you the most money and what parts are draining your time and resources. In the end, information is power, and power is money. Arm yourself with the most amount of insight possible and watch your revenue soar.

5Better Client Experience

Many law firms assume that they're doing a satisfactory job for their clients. However, data and analytics software like Lawmatics offers often reveals the opposite. Measuring data can help you determine if your clients are receiving the best possible experience in reality. Metrics like how much repeat business you have and whether clients are referring you to other clients is an excellent indication of whether you're delivering a solid client journey or not.

In order to make the most out of analyzing your law firm's data, here are some of the best tips and practices.

11 Tips for Analyzing Your Law Firm's Data

data tips

1Set Goals

Don't make the mistake of trying to grow as a business without being as specific as possible about what it is that you hope to achieve.

Without having goals set in mind, analyzing data is useless. You'll need to know what your specific targets are to measure how close you are to achieving them. Having a precise goal set in mind will help you continue moving towards your goals and track how close you are to reaching them thanks to goal tracking for law firms.

If you're unsure about what kind of goals you'd like to create for your law firm, you should start by determining where the problem areas are. Identify parts of your business that aren't working and that you'd like to improve on, and never forget the importance of being S.M.A.R.T.

S

Specific

Your law firm's goals should be as specific as possible; otherwise, you won't be able to stay focused. Clear goal setting helps you stay motivated and in tune with why your goals are important, what's involved in achieving them, and what you'll need to do to accomplish what you're setting out to do.  The more specific you can be and the more details you can add to what you hope to accomplish, the more realistic it will be to achieve your law firm's goals.

 
M

Measurable

Goals must be measurable in order to make sure that you're making progress. When setting goals, make sure that it's something you can actually track. Measurable goals include details like how much of something you'd like to achieve and how you will know when it's been done.

 
A

Achievable

At the end of the day, you can set all varieties of goals for yourself, but they won't be worth much good if they're not realistic. Make sure that anything you set out to do is indeed attainable. Any goal that you set should require stretching your limits to a certain extent, but it should not be impossible, or you'll lose motivation. Set goals based on where you currently stand to ensure that it's worth your while.

 
R

Relevant

Your goals should be relevant to your overall vision and long-term goals as a firm. Everything that you set out to do should align with how worthwhile it is in the long run. Don't waste your time setting out to do things that won't ultimately take your law firm closer to where you want to be in the big picture.

 
T

Timely

Lastly, every time you set a goal, it should have a timeline attached to it. When you put deadlines on your goals, you can determine whether you're working as quickly and efficiently as you need to. If your deadline is approaching and you're nowhere near the targets you've set for yourself, it may be time to reassess what you're setting out to do.

2Think Through How You're Spending Your Time

Time is your greatest asset when it comes to being an efficient law firm, and one of the most valuable things that data can provide for your law firm is telling you where and how you're spending the hours of your week.

It's critical that you track where each portion of your time is going, from the intake process to sending out marketing emails. Set your data and analytics software so that you know exactly how much time you've spent on each task throughout the week. You may be shocked to find that you're spending far too much time on administrative tasks that can easily be automated through the help of law firm client intake software and a law firm CRM.

3Measure Regularly

Data can be one of the most valuable tools for growing your legal practice. However, in order to get the most out of the information, you'll need to make sure that you measure it regularly. Make sure that you run a law firm data analytics report at least once a month so that you can track your results. Tracking your data is an essential part of staying accountable for your progress. After all, how can you be sure that what you're doing is working unless you measure the results on a regular basis?

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4Consider Adjusting Your Fee System

One of the most significant advantages that data-driven firms have over those that don't embrace data is that they're up to date with the latest pricing. More and more firms are moving towards a flat fee system rather than billing by the hour. Nowadays, flat fee billing is a client-friendly and straightforward pricing system. Clients no longer have to wonder whether they're going to receive a massive bill at the end of their legal services. Yet, many lawyers hesitate towards moving towards charging flat fees because they feel that what they get paid may fall short of the total amount of work that they put in.

Use data to explore the idea of a flat fee system in your legal practice to stand up against the competition. Data will help you look closer at your cases and how much time you put into each—having an idea of the average amount of work that a case requires can help you develop a fair price that doesn't scare leads away. In order to make sure that you're not selling yourself short, make sure that you carefully go over your data reports to determine how much you should be compensated for a particular type of case.

5Update Your Goals Regularly

In order to make sure that you're continuing to move forward as a law firm, you'll need to update your goals regularly. As you make advancements towards your long-term targets, you'll naturally need to change your goals as you achieve them. Therefore, make sure that you change the metrics that you measure as you go along.

There's no point in wasting your time following data that is no longer relevant to your current goals. It's a good idea to revisit where you stand at least once a month so that you know where you need to make any changes in the metrics you're pulling up on your reports.

It's also important to pay attention to client behavior and change the appropriate metrics to "crack the code" of why they may be responding the way that they are. Data can provide an enormous wealth of information to help you better predict and understand your leads and clients' behavior. Pay attention to what behaviors to look out for in order to achieve your goals.

6Look For Connections

Analyzing data at your law firm can be exciting because it's an opportunity to put on your detective hat. Sometimes analytics may not necessarily spell things out for you explicitly, so it's up to you to put the connections together and realize how the puzzle fits together. By observing connections between any potential issues in your firm and client behaviors, you'll be able to detect what factors are attributing to these situations. For example, if you're experiencing a considerable amount of client no-shows, it may be time to start questioning your follow-up process.

Automated legal client intake software offers SMS for law firms to ensure that everyone stays on the same page by sending a message to the right person at the right time. Alternatively, you may find that you've been losing clients recently. It may be time to start following the productivity of your staff and see how well they're performing their tasks. By increasing your awareness of the total picture and piecing together the connections, you can make changes where they matter most in your law firm.

7Make Productivity a Priority

Productivity in your law firm is the key to success. Your lawyers must be spending their time on the tasks that matter most and get the most results for your clients. Law firm performance management is critical for gaining a better understanding of the workings of your staff and how to make things more efficient. How much time are your lawyers spending actually practicing law and time face to face with your firm's clients? How much revenue is being generated by each lawyer, and where is there room for improvement? Reviewing everyone's performance, including your own, is a critical part of increasing productivity.

Law firm data analytics can help you understand that there are many different factors that come into play when measuring staff productivity. Most importantly, metrics can help you recognize that many of the things your staff members are spending their time on could be delegated to workflow automation for law firms. A CRM for lawyers and attorney intake software can automate tedious administrative tasks for your law firm so that your staff can focus on what matters most— turning their attention towards clients.

8Simplify Whenever Possible

A common misconception about data is that it's confusing. People who aren't familiar with data and analytics software may be fearful that it will be a piece of massive information coming at them that they don't know what to do with. However, the truth is that data and analytics is there to simplify data for you. Anyone in your office can easily digest visual insights without having to be a data specialist, thanks to data and analytics software.

Make it easy for everyone in your law firm to understand the reports that you're running by filtering through information that isn't that relevant and simplifying with the most important metrics that your staff needs to be paying attention to. Make it as easy as possible for everyone on your team to understand, and you'll get the most out of analyzing your data.

9Act Immediately

Data can be very revealing in showing you how your firm can make improvements. Often you may not even realize your weak points until you see them laid out in a graph. The important thing is that once you see these bottlenecks in your practice, you must act immediately. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is sitting on useful information that could help your firm become more efficient. Although change may often require updating the way you do things regularly, it's the only way to make improvements that will ultimately help you reach your long-term goals.

10Re-build Your Client Intake Process

One of the most critical parts of your firm is the client intake process. Unfortunately, this is where many law firms get it wrong. Analyzing your law firm's data can help you make improvements where necessary and start treating your client intake process as a business. A poorly executed client intake process doesn't just lower your chances of lead to client conversion— it can wreak havoc on your law firm. It's vital that you are organized, consistent, and, most importantly, that you use technology to your advantage.

Qualities of an Effective Client Intake Process

 It's Efficient

Gone are the days when law firms take down leads' information on a legal pad or post-it notes and pile it somewhere on their desk where it may or may not get followed up. There is an incredible amount of room for error when you're relying on an old-fashioned system. A solid client intake process is efficient and reliable because it depends on the power of client intake software.

 It is Client-Focused

More and more law firms are taking on a client-centered approach to their intake process. Striving to meet your clients' needs is a must if you hope to deliver a positive client journey that results in repeat business and client referrals. Your client intake process should strive to provide the best possible client experience by focusing on tracking a client's journey. Client intake software tracks leads and clients every step of the way to ensure no one gets forgotten.

 It's Automated

Regardless of the size of your firm, all lawyers are busy. Between keeping up with administrative work, attending meetings, and finding and retaining clients, it can get difficult to focus on what you were actually trained to do— practice law. The only way that you can expect to keep up with all of the tasks that come your way on a daily basis is to delegate the administrative work to software.

Automation for law firms can take the hassle out of repetitive daily tasks like following up with leads and sending out marketing emails. Not only does it take work off of your plate by relying on tools like automated email workflows for law firms, but it ensures that nothing slips through the cracks.

11Prioritize the Client Experience

Your law firm's data can be one of your greatest tools for mastering and enhancing your clients' experience. By observing where the bottlenecks are in your processes and how you can improve the client journey, you can delight, retain and attract clients better than ever.

The most reliable way to provide an excellent client experience is to break down each stage of the client journey and make it as efficient as possible.

The 3 Stages of the Client Journey

1

Intake

The minute that a lead contacts your firm, whether through a legal client intake form or by phone, the client journey begins. Analyzing your law firm's data can provide valuable insight into how well you're doing at making a good first impression.

For example, are you following up immediately? Are you relying on a manual intake process to take their information? The first stage of the intake process is critical for starting things on the right foot. That's why features like email automation for law firms through a CRM for attorneys and attorney intake software is vital.

2

Active Matter

Once a lead becomes a paying client, they start the second stage of the journey, known as active matter. It's an opportunity to show how you can live up to your promises that got them to sign a contract with you in the first place.

Your firm's data can help you focus on how well you're delivering at this stage of the client journey. Take this opportunity to delight them by giving them direct access to you through features like automated appointment scheduling, electronic signature for legal documents and client e-signature tools that takes the hassle out of the client journey.

3

Former Client

Although many law firms see this as one of the least important stages of the client journey, smart law firms know that in reality, it's one of the most important.

Look closely at your data and pay attention to how many former clients are still engaged. Don't close the door on the opportunity for repeat business and referrals and get to know important engagement tools like drip email marketing.

Analyze Your Law Firm's Data With Lawmatics

Growing your law firm starts with knowing where your firm stands and where it can grow. Analytics and data provide valuable insight to help you take your firm to the next level and skyrocket your revenue.

Are you ready to learn more about how the best CRM for law firms can help you get the most out of your practice? Sign up for a free product demo today!

Sarah Bottorff
Sarah Bottorff

Sarah is the Head of Growth at Lawmatics, the #1 attorney-client relationship management platform that provides law firms with client intake, CRM, and marketing automation. She has over 18 years of marketing and sales experience and has a proven track record of building brands and driving growth at companies like MyCase, Smokeball, CJ Affiliate, Johnson & Johnson, and FastSpring.