ALA Question of the Month

August 2013

Is there a standard method of calculating law firm overhead?

Sorry to say, there's not a lot of standard information on how to define, calculate or allocate overhead in law firms; what does exist is not consistent from one source to another. Most of what we have found is tied to profitability

The following excerpt is taken from the ALA Management EncyclopediaSM article "A Cost Accounting Tool to Enhance


July 2013

Can you help me locate articles on trends in law firm office space and design?

Of course we can!


June 2013

I've been asked to put together a presentation on work-life balance for our firm's partner retreat. Can ALA help me find resources?

Yes, of course ALA can give you a hand with this project.


May 2013

I'm looking for articles or other information on getting a law firm organized to increase efficiency and productivity. Can you suggest resources I can use for this purpose? 

ALA has produced a number of resources on various aspects of efficiency and productivity in the firm. Check out the references below, which you can access from ALA's online Research Center— you'll find it under the Knowledge tab on this website. The Research Center leads you to members-only materials, so make sure you're logged in for access


April 2013

Some of our attorneys have poor timekeeping habits; they’re often late submitting their timesheets, and I’m sure they don’t remember all their billable hours. How can I persuade them to do better?

The whole issue of timekeeping is one of those eternal questions with no single good answer, unfortunately — some suggestions will work in certain firms and not others, but it’s a pretty good bet that no method will work all the time in any individual firm. The following may help persuade your attorneys to get their hours in timely.

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