Efficient Business Models for Law Firms

I was at the Washington State Bar Association’s Young Lawyer Committee Meeting on Saturday where Amber Rush, of Navigate Law Group, provided an intriguing presentation on how she serves her family law clients at below-market rates (less than $150/hr) and still generates a good income. How does she do this? Her firm has lowered its overhead significantly compared to many others by using economizing technologies. Her firm has gone paperless, so does not need large spaces or rooms for filing cabinets. The firm employs few support staff and paralegals are contracted with on an as-needed basis. The firm also uses a virtual assistant to answer the phone (some products are better than others, but it is difficult to find something comparable to an actual receptionist) and the firm’s phone numbers and virtual phone system forward to the attorneys’ cell phones, reducing infrastructure costs.

The revenue model of the firm is also unique in that partners and associate attorneys must merely cover their portion of administrative costs (which are low due to the factors described above) and then have the freedom to set their own standard of living and work within those margins without undue pressure or requirements from their peers within the firm.

These efficiencies are passed on to clients in real dollars and the firms’ attorneys are able to charge less for services than their peers and still earn enough to support their families and lifestyles.

The Navigate Law Group model is one of a number of new models that can improve access to affordable legal services and Amber’s presentation was part of a broader discussion on ways technology can be integrated to economize traditional law firm tasks. I’ll be sharing this information with the Thurston County Young Lawyer’s Section this Tuesday. ‪#‎lawfirmbusinessmodels‬ ‪#‎younglawyers‬ ‪#‎WSBA‬ ‪#‎navigatelawgroup‬