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Top 7 Warning Signs to Look Out for While Managing a PI Law Firm

Red warning cone surrounded by low reviews, alerts, and falling profits.

When you run a personal injury law firm, you have to constantly work on your business acumen, people skills, and ability to handle the world of litigation. Not everyone is cut out for it.

Many things can go wrong. Here are the seven biggest warning signs, and what kind of action you may need to take to address them.

An empty green folder with a moth flying out of it.#1: Declining New Cases

New cases are a leading indicator of future success for a law firm, so if new cases are declining for your firm, that could be an early indicator of problems.

There could be many causes for this. Perhaps your marketing is ineffective. Perhaps competitors are spending more. Perhaps referrals are plummeting because of cases that went poorly. Maybe you have an intake conversion problem. Whatever the cause, new cases are the lifeblood of a law firm, so you need to know why cases are declining in order to address the problem quickly.

Read more about the top 7 ways to combat declining intakes.

Red case folder with a triangular alert symbol.#2: Quality of Intakes Is Declining

Even if intakes are flowing in, your profit margins may be declining if those intakes are of poor quality. If your team is taking on a lot of low-quality intakes that are difficult to move forward and close, that’s a warning sign that you need to change your strategy immediately.

Many law firms have trouble measuring this, but with GrowPath’s algorithm, each potential case has an assigned quality value so you can evaluate them.

You can use GrowPath’s Lead Scoring algorithm to measure not just the quantity but also the quality of intakes generated by each marketing source.

Two papers fading away into white.#3: Case Value Is Declining

The goal of a law firm is not just getting a lot of new cases and moving them through quickly. You also need to be concerned about the value of those cases.

If case value is declining, it’s an indicator of problems you need to address. Have insurance companies gotten tougher? Is your team not pushing as hard as they need to? There may be fundamental changes you need to make.

GrowPath gives you the ability to more effectively manage your treatment of cases, which will increase the value of those cases.

Case folders in a row changing from green to red.#4: Case Bloat

Ideally, cases move through your system at the same rate as they flow in. Case bloat is when you have a large number of cases that are not progressing. This bloat can occur with attorneys, paralegals, or even in multiple spots across the firm. It is a big sign of trouble that has escalating effects, as the individuals dealing with these cases fall further behind on other cases.

GrowPath allows a firm to see where case bloat is happening (as it happens).

GrowPath’s Matter Trackers tool ensures that you won’t lose track of a case or miss a statute of limitations.

Simplified GrowPath productivity comparison screen.#5: Declining Employee Productivity

Declining employee productivity is almost always a sign of trouble, and it’s not always easy to spot. This has become especially important in a remote world.

Lowered productivity can have many causes, and it can be limited to one employee or to an entire department. GrowPath has tools that allow firms to monitor how much employees get done and analyze all aspects of job performance to see who is keeping pace and who isn’t. The software can compare the productivity from one person against another individual, a group of their peers, or even themselves from a different time period. As hybrid work environments become more common, GrowPath firms use it to compare in-office performance to out-of-office performance for remote employees.

GrowPath’s productivity features allow you to monitor the performance of your workers.

Read more about how GrowPath helps increase productivity.

A frustrated and upset male employee with a darkened forehead.#6: Poor Employee Morale

Low employee morale is a problem. Happy employees are productive employees, and low morale often leads to dissatisfied clients. In the words of Richard Branson, “Clients don’t come first; employees come first.”

We recommend sending out annual surveys that objectively measure employee satisfaction and compare it to previous years. That allows you to address issues affecting employee morale.

1 star out of a 4 star review.#7: Declining Client Satisfaction

A law firm that is not satisfying its clients is at great long-term risk. You can measure satisfaction by surveying clients. We recommend a net promoter score that has everyone rate us at the end of a case on a 1-10 scale, with 9 to 10 earning us a point, 7 to 8 getting 0 points, and a score of less than 7 earning a -1. This is an objective way to tell whether clients are enthusiastic about your work or if you’re about to see a decline in new cases.

Another potential bellwether is online reviews. Check those regularly to see if you can spot any trends. GrowPath helps firms generate more positive client reviews by automatically messaging satisfied clients, directing them to review sites.

GrowPath Can Help You Avoid and Address Every One of These Warning Signs

All of these problems are completely avoidable, and fortunately GrowPath is tailor-made to deal with each of these issues before they become a problem for your firm. GrowPath’s advanced features can help you track client satisfaction, employee morale, case bloat, and all of the other things that plague a firm so you can take immediate action to address it. Want to see what GrowPath can do for your firm? Request a demo today.

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November 19, 2021