Attorneys who own their own firms can learn a thing or two from Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics, featured in the award-winning movie “Moneyball.” Say what?
In a recent Attorney at Work article titled: Build a Major League Small Law Firm Using Data, author Tate Davis, director of small law product management for LexisNexis, shares these insights and suggests attorneys who own their own firms, can take inspiration from Mr. Beane by looking at numbers and metrics to inform the business aspects of managing the firm.
In the movie, Mr. Beane joins the Oakland Athletics ball club with little to no baseball management experience. Rather than relying on tried and true methods for making team purchasing decisions, he takes a more novel approach and uses numbers and metrics as his guide. Long story short — he develops a surprisingly winning team, against the odds.
To help attorneys grow and sustain a successful legal practice, Mr. Davis suggests attorneys look at six numbers in particular, to inform the business:
- How Much it Costs to Land a Client
- Marketing Budget
- Technology Budget
- Realization Rate
- Industry Benchmarks
According to Mr. Davis, with market forces at play, such as the commoditization of legal services, ongoing law firm panel consolidation and the steady rise of alternative fee arrangements, these numbers are critical for firms looking to thrive in today’s ultra-demanding legal market.
“In short, competition is fierce and running a successful law firm should be fiercely managed
— with hard data,” says Mr. Davis in the article.
After all, assembling a winning ball club or successful law practice, for that matter, have more in common than meets the eye, says Mr. Davis. It’s how well these numbers are managed and used that determines the difference between winning and losing.