You’ve heard of BigLaw? Well the future of small practices might be TinyLaw: cases that traditionally have been too small to be worth engaging an attorney. Legal technology such as CosmoLex law firm management software can make a TinyLaw practice viable.
The Problem With TinyLaw
The issue in the past has been that a small case can still require a lot of an attorney’s time, resulting in a $100 bill over a $10 matter. An attorney might be sympathetic to underdog causes but everyone has to make a living. The bigger, juicier cases get the attention and the small causes get lost.
Recently the rise of online and desktop legal applications has helped many consumers handle simple issues themselves and at a lower cost than an attorney could afford to charge. Some attorneys have viewed the growth of consumer legal software as a threat to the profession but haven’t seen any way to compete. The answer just might be to fight technology with technology.
Making Money From The Small Jobs
Profit is not about how much money you charge; it’s about how much money you keep after you pay your expenses. You can improve profits by increasing income — i.e. taking the big jobs — but you can also improve profits by cutting costs. CosmoLex streamlines your practice so you can practice law in a more focused manner and run a viable business even if you take the tiny cases.
Something as simple as using legal billing software to mass email your invoices rather than laboriously printing and mailing them saves you money on paper, toner, stamps and labor. When it costs more to mail a bill than the amount on the invoice, it’s hard to stay profitable. However when your billing is virtually free, you can realize a comfortable profit even from low-fee cases. As another example, administering a small trust fund used to cost a lot of money in bookkeeper fees but today you can use CosmoLex’s attorney trust accounting software features to monitor dozens of trusts easily and cheaply.
A horde of small jobs pays as much as a single large job. You are more divested among clients so your income is more reliable. That large job might seem like a great idea, until you end up having to fight with the client to get paid and then your entire quarter’s income is in jeopardy.
TinyLaw might not be for everyone, but with CosmoLex at your side it is at least a viable alternative to a traditional law practice.