Money Math: How to Earn What You’re Worth As a Lawyer

3 NLBM Tips For Increasing Revenue On A Monthly Basis 

Law school didn’t teach you how to run your own business, especially the essentials like how to structure your time and your legal fees so you can earn a great living and deliver a fulfilling service without having to sacrifice time with your family.

Here at NLBM, we spend a lot of time talking with current and potential lawyer members about the power of process and building the kind of practice that leads to a life that matters. And we believe that with our whole hearts.

But we also pride ourselves on producing tangible results for our members and helping them see and realize the financial benefits of the NLBM program. 

So we thought we’d take a little time today to walk you through some of what we call Money Math, which is one of the results of the NLBM program. 

Money isn’t everything to you, we know that. But it matters and it should. 

And just like every other part of our program, the Money Math should inspire you and provide a foundation for evaluating your current practice and progress. All the numbers you’re going to see below are taken from our curriculum, and the real-world results generated by our lawyer members. If numbers are your thing, you’re going to love this.  

So, without further preamble – let’s talk Money Math. 

The Numbers Are On Your Side 

For the next little while, we’re going to go through very specific scenarios that tie directly to your potential future earnings and your daily earnings.

Let’s start here: imagine your average fee is $3,500 per client. 

(Quick sidenote: we recognize that’s on the low end for you, as it is for our lawyers as well. Many NLBM lawyers receive, on average, $4,000 or $4,500 per estate plan for families they serve. And then per business owners they serve, they get $2,500 upfront as well as $750 – $3,000 per month. Lots of numbers but they help frame up the conversation. Okay, back in.)

So again, let’s imagine your average fee is $3,500 per client.

How many new clients would you need to serve each month to pay all of your personal + business expenses? 

Got that number in your head? Good – hold on to it for a second. 

Next, consider how many prospects you would need to meet with each month, to hit that revenue goal, if you had a near 100% engagement/close rate. Let’s call it high 90s. 

Now we realize that many lawyers can’t imagine those kinds of engagement and close rates because they’re far from their current reality. 

But before we go further, you need to know that metric is one of many that we at NLBM don’t just aspire to – we train our lawyers to achieve it regularly. Because we’ve recognized over the years that it’s one element that makes a significant impact on the use of your time and energy, and hitting that number is not a matter of chance but rather the result of a process. Specifically, a process we teach. Now, back to the math. 

If 2 out of 4 people who need your services leave your office without hiring you, you need to see double the number of prospects each month to hit your goals.

In that case, your focus should be on increasing your engagement rate, not on getting more people in your office. And here in lies your first big Money Math takeaway: 

  1.     It’s about getting more out of your time, rather than using more of your time. 

Okay, next step: Maybe you’re already great at getting hired. 

But you’re still charging hourly, or your average fees are too low. In other words, you’re still not making enough. To compensate, you’ll likely need to serve tons of clients each month. Which means, the quality of your work will be below what you hope for yourself and for them. That’s bad news on two fronts. 

The Money Math takeaway? 

  1.     Charge a flat fee that’s high enough for you to provide a service you can confidently deliver. 

Here’s the kicker: that might require you to learn how to provide that service first. Which is another part of the NLBM program – not just teaching you how to run your business, but helping you create a practice that offers the kind of services that command a premium. 

We’re talking about more than just document creation – we’re talking about offering long-term relationships, where clients can expect care and expertise whenever it's needed for years to come. 

One last note: if you already know how to deliver an excellent service, it may be as simple as re-learning how to quote your fees. Which is more than simply moving numbers up. It’s about helping your clients understand the added value that they’ll be paying a premium for, before they ever walk through the door. 

Which is our last Money Math takeaway: 

  1.    Improved messaging is the cornerstone of making more money. 

When clients know what they’re getting and why it’s valuable, before they step through your door, the expectations are clear. Clear expectations are the foundation of every great relationship – it’s true at home, in business, and in your practice. 

At NLBM, we help you not only build a great practice that charges premium rates for premium services, but we also teach you how to build messaging that reflects all that value. 

We’ve left no part of the process, from marketing to client acquisition to long-term business strategy, undeveloped. 

Because every part of building a law practice you love and that provides for you, is important. 

Debra Koven is just one example of many member lawyers who are living proof that you can both love what you do and earn what you’re worth as a lawyer: 

And here’s another from Amy Hsiao, who shares how the program has helped her make better use of her time so she can earn an income that allows her to take care of her family:

Where To Go From Here 

We hope our little Money Math discussion has left you with some food for thought and a few good ideas for how to improve and evaluate your own practice.

If you enjoyed these ideas, check out the NLBM resources page for more tips and practical guides for how to improve your life, business, and more. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how the NLBM program prepares lawyers to create and lead better lives, Schedule a call with one of our Law Business Advisors, who will help you map out a customized plan for your future.