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A Roll-up of Cost Recovery Resources

Sam Bock

Many law firms are bucking tradition in the interest of innovation—and to do it, they’re moving away from long-standing billing practices and toward cost recovery strategies.

This, as it turns out, is what many clients want: a greater focus on moving the needle with creative thinking, better access to the latest tools, and a collaborative blend of legal expertise and advanced technology.

It’s no small feat to make such a change. And if you’re the one in charge of spearheading a cost recovery campaign for your firm, there’s a lot of weight resting on your shoulders. Luckily, there are plenty of resources at your disposal to educate your strategy and help walk you through the transition.

#1: Cost Recovery for the Law Firm 101

New to the concepts behind cost recovery? Curious whether it makes sense for your firm? Start with the basics.

This 101 blog post will help walk you through the fundamentals of different go-to-market plans for law firms, including what makes cost recovery different and how it can help advance your firm’s innovation strategy. It also highlights the first—and arguably most important—steps of implementing a new plan.

#2: Major Considerations to Address

As you start building out your own cost recovery plan, it’s important to consider the new strategy from all angles. What are you current costs? How will clients react? What kind of ROI can you expect?

This article in Law Journal Newsletters can help you begin asking these questions. You can also get a handful of first-hand, expert perspectives in this recorded webinar. It’ll provide insights on ethical considerations, how to manage internal perceptions, and the best way to communicate these changes to clients.

#3: Top Five Reasons Cost Recovery Plans Fail

When it comes to a shift this significant, knowing what not to do is almost as important as knowing where to start.

There are a few common mistakes that stunt cost recovery plans before they start, so be sure to familiarize yourself with them to ensure you and your team are able to avoid falling into the same traps. A little caution could save you a lot of pain down the road.

#4: Common Questions, Answered

Having many discerning minds in the room can help give voice to all the questions you may not think of on your own—or the ones you’re afraid to ask. But that can be hard to accomplish in a conference room filled with your colleagues, all of whom have the same stakes in the cost recovery conversation for your firm.

Fortunately, professionals from other law firms are asking the same things—and we have a couple of blog posts sharing their queries and experienced experts’ answers. Check out parts one and two of the follow-up questions from the cost recovery webinar we hosted earlier this year.

#5: One Law Firm’s Story

There’s no teacher quite like experience. You’ll learn a lot of lessons along your path to a cost-recovery model, but it helps to get a bit of mentorship—direct or otherwise—before you dive in.

Dickinson Wright, a Detroit-based international law firm with 475 lawyers, recently made the move and has been generous enough to share their insights right here on The Relativity Blog. Take a look at that blog post for their first-hand advice on how they avoided those common pitfalls and what kind of results they’ve seen.


Keep an eye out for more resources along these lines. In the meantime, learn what you can right here on The Relativity Blog and let us know if you have any questions.

Turning a Profile for Your Law Firm's e-Discovery Practice

Sam Bock is a member of the marketing team at Relativity, and serves as editor of The Relativity Blog.

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