An in depth operations analysis will encompass any and all issues that a firm may be dealing with, including firm profitability, management and governance, attorney productivity, partner and associate compensation, practice development, office administration, dealing with senior partners, planning for the future-you name it.
Although I am flexible depending on the circumstances, the typical methodology I have developed begins begin with a thought provoking confidential questionnaire covering all aspects of law firm operation for each of the attorneys to complete and return to me in confidence. I also review and analyze copies of all relevant firm reports and documents, such as profit and loss statements, attorney productivity and compensation histories, aged accounts receivable, copies of partnership/corporation documents, etc.
The process continues with a visit to the client’s offices for the purpose of interviewing the members of the firm and any other relevant personnel, such as an office manager/administrator. Following that visit, I provide the client with a written summary, or “word picture” of the firm, including my impressions and observations, analysis of the financial data, comparisons with other firms, etc.
The process I have described has proven to be very effective to identify the issues and concerns and to gather the necessary information. The final step is an exit briefing, which usually lasts a full day, at which I present and discuss my written report that contains specific recommendations on the issues identified by the review process described above. The exit meeting is typically held about 6 to 8 weeks after my visit to the client’s offices, depending upon scheduling.
I don’t indulge in boiler plate in the preparation of my reports. They are all drafted from scratch, and are tailored to the unique culture and personality of each individual client. My style is to be frank, and to call things the way I see them, and, when appropriate, I am accustomed to saying things people don’t want to hear.