Although small firms often have fewer opportunities to improve processes, technology has offered them an efficiency advantage that may significantly cut one major cost, Toronto employment lawyer Doug MacLeod tells Lawyers Weekly.
As MacLeod, principal of MacLeod Law Firm, says in the article, the use of virtual offices has allowed some smaller firms to eliminate rent — the second-largest expense for most legal practices, after personnel costs.
In general, however, as small firms have fewer internal processes to manage, they may not have as many opportunities for process improvement as their larger counterparts, says Lawyers Weekly.
“I’m lean. Everyone I have can bill,” says MacLeod, who describes his firm as a semi-startup with a staff of three lawyers and one articling student.
“But now we need to take on overhead, add an infrastructure, because we’re growing. We’re at a point where we need a professional manager to run the business side, handle marketing, business development and so on.
“Having lawyers manage law firms is extraordinarily inefficient. They typically have little background or expertise in administration so they aren’t good at it. That means their time would be better spent doing law. It’s a balancing act. The leaner you are, the more time you’re not being a lawyer. You have to find the right trade-off.”