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Lessons for big law firms from sole practitioners

By Nick Jarrett-Kerr, Visiting Professor, Nottingham Law School

23 May 2014

Big law firms enjoy many benefits and there are huge efficiencies to be exploited from being well resourced. A multi-lawyer business model ought to lead to much greater profitability than most sole practitioners can expect. However, partners in big firms are often insulated by advanced systems, professional management and the comfort of co-workers, causing them to lose sight of some of the harsh realities facing sole practitioners.

There are at least three areas in which lawyers in larger practices can learn from the experiences and working methods of sole practitioners and smaller law firms.

1. Cashflow management

Sole practitioners are brutally aware that they will quickly run out of money unless they manage their work in progress, bill promptly and chase unpaid invoices persisten...

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