Do you think that you’re fairly compensated? Or wondered if you could make more money somewhere else? There are actually a number of ways partners can make more money by moving their practice to a different law firm.

Do any of these apply to you? Partners can make more money by moving to another law firm:

1. GET MARKET RATE COMPENSATION

Sometimes, you’re being paid below market at your current law firm. Moving to a firm that compensates you appropriately can mean a big raise. Does it feel like you’re generating a lot of business and working long hours, that’s not reflected in your compensation? Do you work at a firm where the senior partners take a disproportionate amount of the profits in comparison to their contributions? Are you getting tired of your firm’s opaque compensation calculations that never seem to reward your efforts?

2. FIND NECESSARY PRACTICE AREAS AND CROSS-SELLING OPPORTUNITIES

Does your current firm have all of the practice areas necessary to meet the legal needs of your clients? If not, moving to a firm that does can often increase your compensation with very little effort on your part. Of course, this only works if the new firm encourages and rewards cross-selling. For example, you’re a patent attorney and your clients have real estate matters they can bring to the firm. The firm has to be one which encourages the real estate partner to help pitch the client with you. Although this can be accomplished through creating a culture of cross-selling, it’s easier to guarantee when there is some form of compensation tied to the assistance, and the firm gives you origination credit for matters you bring in to other departments.

3. HAVE RATES THAT MAKE MORE SENSE FOR YOUR CLIENTS AND PRACTICE

Although this one seems counter intuitive, going to a firm with lower rates may increase your compensation. You may have to collect on more hours. This is because instead of getting one “bet the company” deal or litigation once a year because your client thinks you’re very good but very expensive, you might become the client’s “go-to” firm for all of its legal needs if your billing rate becomes more reasonable. Partner can make more money with lower rates.

4. HAVE THE RIGHT TEAM

If you don’t have the correct support at your current firm, sometimes just moving to a firm that has the right team can be enough to increase your compensation. If you had appropriate staffing, you would never have to turn work away because. You will have the capacity to handle more.

With the right team of lawyers at the correct levels, you can also leverage your time better. This can lead you to be responsible for generating more hours, and even allowing you to spend more time away from the office while someone else is doing the work. It’s easy to recognize this problem if you’ve asked management at your firm to hire additional associates or other support. And they refused your request. A subtler version of this issue is when your current firm is unable to attract talented associates. The causes could include the firm’s negative reputation, low pay scale, or lack of brand in your practice area.

5. THEY NEED YOU

Sometimes a firm needs you for a particular reason and they will pay to get you. For example, a rainmaker partner is getting close to retirement with no one to take over his large client base. The firm naturally wants to keep those clients after the other partner leaves and that’s where you come in. Ideally you will have time to get to work side-by-side with the other partner having him introduce you to the clients as the lawyer who will now be handling their matters. In this situation, how much the firm pays you may be dependent on how hard it is to find someone with your skill set. Also, the timing of the retirement is a factor.

Even more motivating for a firm is the situation where a partner leaves suddenly. They don’t have anyone at the firm who can handle the work. There is a lot of time pressure to find someone to handle the clients before they find other firms. This translates into the firm just wanting to get the deal done and someone in place, at whatever the cost.

Lost Referrals

Another situation when a firm might need you is when it’s getting increasing internal referrals for a practice area it doesn’t have. Firms hate to refer work out, because there’s always a danger that the client will either stay with the second firm for other needs or find a third firm to handle all of their needs. How much this situation affects your compensation will be dependent on how frequent the referrals are, how difficult the firm thinks it will be to add the practice area, and whether you have clients of your own to keep you busy between internal referrals.

Do any of these issues apply to you? Although it’s not all about the money, most partners want to make sure they maximize their compensation appropriately. In fact most partners can make more money. Set up a call to see if we can help you make more money without working harder?

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