How Profitable Law Firm Resource Management Helps You Win the Client & Talent Retention Wars

Iridium, now part of BigHand, have always been focused on helping law firms with real-time financial and profitability data, so when it came to the most recent market research on work allocation within law firms, it wasn’t surprising that staffing with profit in mind was a hot topic

Prioritizing matter profitability when making legal work allocation and matter resourcing decisions does more than help your firm pocket more revenue and manage rising costs. With the right tools to strategically resource legal matters, your firm also gains the visibility and precision to:

  • Meet client demands for proactive, cost-effective matter resourcing. 
  • Consistently make equitable work assignments by eliminating preferential treatment and unconscious bias.
  • Provide meaningful career development opportunities to aid in recruiting and retaining top talent.

Benefits like these are why law firms (48% NA, 49% UK) now plan to prioritize profitability when resourcing legal matters. Here’s what you need to know to optimize matter resource decisions for maximum benefit:

Effective Legal Resourcing is more than managing a budget

Resourcing matters effectively requires more than juggling numbers to stay within a budget. Clients expect you to proactively manage their legal costs by using the time and resources spent on their matters effectively. 

Many law firms (71% NA, 63% UK) report facing client pressure to ensure work is done using the most cost-effective resource. Under the financial imperative to do more with less, legal clients (84% NA, 80% UK) not only demand more financial transparency but will even challenge bills and/or push back on payments if expectations have not been met. Their days of paying expensive associates to perform low-level tasks are over. 

Firms are also competing for top talent. As salaries soar ever higher, top lawyers seek to work at firms that support their long-term career goals. Providing career development and training opportunities is part of sustaining a thriving hybrid work environment that attracts and retains top talent.

More law firms are discovering that the same data-driven resource management decisions that protect profits also lead to insights that help them address these client and talent retention challenges.

Practice Legal Resource Management starts with metrics

Our resourcing experts had the following advice which all law firms can do today:

To start, capture and analyze matter resourcing metrics from past matters such as hours worked, time to resolution, spend to budget, and spend by matter type. Metrics on past matters enable you to 1) more accurately predict future resourcing needs for similar matters and 2) use facts to show prospective clients how your firm provided prior clients with value.  If this manual process is too much, there is legal specific technology available to support this.

Once you have this data, assess the utilization of top attorneys, mid-level associates, and other legal professionals. How much did senior partners work on a matter? How much were associates involved? What tasks did each perform? 

Factors such as department caseloads, matter staffing ratios, and associated costs let you better understand firm performance across matter types. It’s all part of metrics-led decision-making that gives you the clarity to: 

  • determine the most cost-effective resource allocations for specific matter types 
  • develop work allocation models and resourcing strategies that protect profits, and
  • use that knowledge to win more work from clients.

The more you know, the more effectively you can build a resourcing model that assigns work to lawyers based on their expertise, experience, cost and availability rather than location, convenience, or unconscious biases. This will lead to the right work being done by the right resource at the right cost – positively benefitting profits.

Get real-time visibility to enhance your focus on profitability while optimizing matter resourcing, and empower your partners to resource matters more objectively with BigHand’s Resource Management software.

To read our full research findings, access our report Safeguarding Profitability with Effective Resource Utilization here

About BigHand Resource Management

BigHand Resource Management is a legal work allocation tool that allows law firms to identify resources, forecast utilisation, manage workloads and add structure to career development for lawyers. The solution delivers real-time visibility of team availability, improved profitability on matters and supports DEI goals and equitable allocation of work.

BigHand Resource Management