Making the Case for Adding a Law Firm COO
In this blog, we discuss the importance of adding a law firm COO to help run law firm operations and scale growth.
The Importance of Running the Business Side of Law
Contingency fee law firms are usually founded by one or two partners. At the start, these founders will find themselves taking on all the business management roles necessary to keep the lights running while they litigate and bring in case fees. One partner may be better at marketing and client acquisition while the other may find themselves more interested in running the daily operations.
As a firm grows, these operational responsibilities can be made official under the title of Chief Operating Officer or COO. The COO is essential in interpreting the law firm’s growth goals into digestible workplans and tasks for the firm’s different departments. Additionally, the COO supports the firm’s growth by effectively and efficiently managing the firm’s business operations. Without a competent COO, a law firm can easily become bogged down by its daily operations needs.
The Value of a Law Firm COO
The law firm COO can identify business areas ripe for change. For example, a COO may be able to spot an especially effective intake specialist, map out and analyze their process, and help to develop a training program that can be scaled across the entire intake team. Law firm COOs should be excellent communicators, have high emotional intelligence, and be extremely skilled at conflict resolution and negotiation. These attributes will help them prioritize which parts of the business need focus and lead department heads in implementing change to deliver the firm’s overall growth goals.
The Challenge of Funding a COO
Not all law firms may be able to afford a standalone COO, so this work usually falls on one of the partners. To ensure this partner has the time and resources to do their role well, law firms should consider reducing their litigation work, hiring a team to support them, and hiring skilled litigators to pick up the cases the partner must forgo. Hiring talent is often a costly expense for growing law firms. At Esquire Bank, law firm clients often cite their inability to afford talented litigators as an obstacle to taking on more cases.
A COO could help a law firm determine where it can economize, increase productivity, and streamline operations to find the cash to hire these coveted litigators. If the firm still comes up short, an adept COO could also suggest taking on financing such as a Case Cost Line of Credit or a Working Capital Line of Credit.
Many of Esquire Bank’s clients have evolved from self-financing case costs to taking on a Working Capital Line of Credit once they saw how financing allowed them to scale the growth of their law firm and exceed their goals. Ensuring that the business of your law firm is running smoothly requires constant supervision and attention.
Meet with Esquire Bank
Interested in adding a Chief Operating Officer to your law firm? Learn how your law firm can finance its case costs and free up capital to invest in talent, marketing, technology, operations, case acquisition, and growth. Schedule a no-obligation consultation with an Esquire Bank Business Development Officer today at a time convenient to your schedule.
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* The information provided on (or accessed through) this blog is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, and should not be relied on for, law firm operations, tax, legal or accounting advice. Some of the information may not be applicable or appropriate for all law firms. Please consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors as appropriate. Results may vary by law firm.
Effective Law Firm Leadership: Building Growth with Vision and Culture
This blog, featuring Reza Torkzadeh, founder and CEO of TorkLaw, explores the transformative power of leading with vision and culture, revealing how it can drive sustainable growth and set firms apart from the competition.
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