Reporting and Analytics for Law Firms
If you’re a managing partner that isn’t actively measuring and tracking performance within the firm, you may be missing the performance indicators that your firm needs to grow and compete in today’s market. Your data currently exist in multiple systems such as leads, CRM, intake management, accounting, billing, cloud, web analytics and third-party sources but how do you analyze it all in one view?
Most firms don’t have the resources or expertise to purchase and implement an enterprise based business intelligence system but they still need tools to manage their firm’s performance. This was the case in our implementation so we turned to open source tools to consolidate the data into one operational data store for reporting. All the data is merged into one business view that serves as the source for all the firm’s reports and analysis. The reports are scheduled to run daily and weekly and are automatically delivered to the users. Here are some of those reports that we use to manage the firm’s performance:
1. New Matters Report – Track matters by intake source and practice area.
Tracking the source of a new matter for each practice area gives the management team info on which methods are generating leads and matters for the firm. The numbers of matters are tracked by source grouping, lead/referral type, and practice area. A comparison by time (in this case Calendar year) lets the managing partner know if new matters are growing or declining. Data from this report helps the manager make better decisions on marketing and acquisition spend.
2. Web Analytics – Track your PPC campaigns.
Investing in a Pay-Per-Click marketing campaign can sometimes be a “black box”. You know you should be running web campaigns but costs can skyrocket if not tracked properly. The Web Analytics report helps identify the PPC campaigns that are effective and those that need adjustment. Components of the report include…
- Weekly leads and conversions (new clients) by practice area
- Traffic by specific blog or website domain
- Other metrics showing web presence including, Google indexed pages, SEO stats & rankings, Facebook likes count, new Twitter followers, # of videos & views on YouTube and new blog articles added
3. Practice Area Case Listing Report
Collect and analyze the data about the life cycle of cases by practice area in a list format. Include information such as:
- Open file number and case description
- Responsible and supporting attorneys
- Trial start and end dates
- Court & judge
- Fee agreements and dates received
- Case profitability
4. Statute of Limitation (SOL) Reports
Info that defines the SOL dates is recorded during the intake process. The report identifies these cases that have SOL dates and examines the dates to ensure that legal proceedings are initiated before the statute of limitation date has expired. For our use, we created 2 sets of reports based on retained and non-retained cases. Exception highlighted is added to each case which colors the row so that the reader is alerted to the status of the SOL case. Here are the groupings:
- Upcoming cases with SOL dates within the next 30 days – highlighted in Red
- Upcoming cases with SOL dates between 30 & 60 days from now – highlighted in Yellow
- Upcoming cases with SOL dates between 60 & 90 days from now – highlighted in Blue
- Cases past the SOL date – highlighted in Grey
- All other cases – not highlighted
5. Mass Tort Campaign Reports
This report shows a total of Leads/Cases acquired for a Mass Tort campaign. In this illustration, the mass tort claims are against a drug currently on the market (redacted). The total cases are grouped by source (rows) and the relevant info to convert the leads to cases are listed in the columns.
6. Conflicts Check Report
In our firm, paralegals used to run separate conflict check for each system and would then need to somehow merge all the outputs into one report. This was time-consuming and there were times when names were missed during the merge process. When these errors were made, the paralegals would have to repeat the whole labor-intensive process.
To solve this problem, we merged the data from the 4 systems, Legal Files, Elite, Needles, and Tabs3. We consolidated the names/party and file data into one dataset using the Pentaho ETL tool. This allows the user to run the Conflicts Check report once and do a search on a specified name against all systems. Based on the search the report lists all the related names/parties, open or closed matters and all the file related persons and their roles.
7. Case Profitability Statement
This report is a detailed itemized listing of costs, expenses, and fees by case. Ledger information is summarized and compared to show the overall profitability of the case. A section detailing timekeepers and billable hours is also listed.
By centralizing all the data in an operational data store, firms can create powerful reports and analyses like the ones listed above. Managing partners need these tools to better track their firm’s performance and take action to maximize the firm’s profitability.
Disclaimer: All data within these reports is generated sample data and any name or company is fictitious. Any resemblance or similarities to these names buy any real persons or companies is coincidental.
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