After collections dropped in 2008 to around 87.5 percent, Callison says, the firm asked lawyers to make sure to communicate with clients about bills and the value of the firm's work, and to follow up. He says the firm is currently working on a process to enable lawyers to have collection information "at their fingertips," so they can see where clients stand on paying bills.
He says firms are more attentive to collections today because it's a business objective.
"For too long, law firms had the attitude that as long as they raise their rates and bill more hours, everything will be OK," he says.
Wade Cooper, the Austin-based managing partner of Jackson Walker of Dallas, writes in an email that it's his sense the firm's aggregate realization rates "remain lower than other large Texas firms."
However, Cooper writes, "We stay pretty focused on overhead with the hope that, if our rates are very competitive and we manage the files well and our clients receive good value, everything else will work out."