Law Firm Management: The 80/20 Rule

RJH Consulting

By: Krystal Champlin

Good law firm management requires the knowledge of needed organizational and practice management skills. It also requires personnel to have the leadership capabilities to apply those skills to obtain, guide, and motivate good people. Good management also involves the ability to delegate tasks to the people. To people who can do them in the most cost-efficient manner.

Management in a smaller law firm involves a delicate balancing act on the part of the managing partner between carrying out management responsibilities and serving his/her clients’ needs and maintaining his/her fee production. A good law firm manager, therefore, must have the judgment to focus his/her time on what is most important. There simply isn’t enough time to change everything at once, so it is necessary to prioritize.

The 80/20 Rule: Law Firm Management Consulting
A nineteenth-century Italian economist named Pareto conducted a study of the distribution of wealth among the population. He found that 20 percent of the population controlled 80 percent of the wealth. His discovery became famously known as the 80/20 rule.

The 80/20 rule has universal applications. Thus, for instance, 20 percent of the population reads 80 percent of the books. 20 percent of your checks probably account for 80 percent of your dollar checking activity, etc.

In a law office, the 80/20 rule is applicable as well. Research shows that approximately 20 percent of clients account for 80 percent of revenues, 20 percent of expenditure categories account for 80 percent of total expenses, etc.

Therefore, the point is that by focusing his/her time on the important 20 percent, a manager can obtain 80 percent of the benefit from 20 percent of the effort. This is not to say that less important items should be ignored. It just means that more of your firm’s management time should be spent on important management matters in order to get the biggest “bang for the buck”.

For law firm management consulting, contact RJH Consulting today. We are here to help you. 

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