I had a terrific time at the Nevada Justice Association (NJA) headquarter in Las Vegas yesterday. My presentation “Law Firm Finance 101” was well received and I met many new friends among the plaintiff bar. Click here to see a few photos of the luncheon. NJA Executive Director Julie Ostrovsky and her team put on a great event and made me feel very welcome. Also speaking at the event was Rafi Arbel, the President of MarketJD. His presentation was very informative and engaging. I am looking forward to seeing the NJA team at their annual convention in Napa, CA next month. It should be an excellent meeting!
As a general rule, you should strive to minimize the amount of interest you pay each year by borrowing in a very strategic, controlled way. Here’s a good exercise: At the end of each year (or right now!) total up the interest that appears on your income statement from loans at your firm, along with any interest from credit cards that your firm may have. Subtract the interest that you recoup from your cases (if any) and take a look at that number. Ask yourself: What did I get for that money? If you’re not sure…there’s a problem!
Too many firms borrow money for short term needs (advertising, bonuses, etc.) but then never pay it back during the good times. The result is effectively a permanent debt that does nothing but steal profits out of the partners’ pockets without giving back much in the way of tangible benefits.
If your firm is going to borrow money, especially for case expenses, consider recouping the interest from your cases. It’s legal, it’s ethical and there are lenders in the marketplace that can track the interest for you on a case-by-case basis to make it easy on your staff.
I’m very pleased to be traveling to Las Vegas next week to serve as a guest speaker at the Nevada Justice Association’s Informational Lunch. I’ll be spending time sharing with NJA members the special business and financial challenges faced by contingent-fee lawyers and ways to successfully manage their law firm finances. I believe in what trial lawyers do and I enjoy helping them get the best results possible for their clients by maximizing their business and financial effectiveness.
Click on the video to watch Mr. Swanson’s interview with Sid Gilreath of Gilreath & Associates of Knoxville, Tennessee, as they discuss his various leadership roles and how his work has impacted the lives of his clients.
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*The views expressed in this book are not necessarily representative of the views held by AAJ. Furthermore, the donation of profits from the sales of the books to the Seventh Amendment Fund does not imply that AAJ has endorsed Advocate Capital, Inc. or the book and the views and information contained therein.