You may have noticed – our firm is pretty different from most other law firms! 🙂 And since we are *so* out there, we want to make sure we clearly set out our commitments to each other as we manage this project for you.
- To help small nonprofits achieve their mission by doing things right
- To provide transparent, flat-fee pricing and never charge by the hour
- Use systems and efficiency to keep client project costs lower
- Avoid wasting our teams’ time
- Avoid wasting your teams’ time
- To create pragmatic, real-world solutions in partnership with you
- To achieve the mission and protect the nonprofit along the way
- To pay one price for a defined scope of work and avoid expanding costs
- To avoid squandering the nonprofit’s time and resources
- To accomplish the work with us on your desired timeline
How Birken Law Manages Many Client Timelines and Your Project
And, as you can imgaine, we have a LOT of clients all working on projects. Each project is very important to each client and to us.
We work on a first-in, first-out basis.
To be fair to everybody serviced by the firm, Birken Law works on a first-in-first-out basis for client projects. If you think about it like a train…we’re hooking up train cars to the engine. We work on each train car as they get hooked up to the system – in that order to the greatest extent possible.
We use agile project management.
In order to juggle many client timelines and maintain an honest reckoning with our own capacity, we follow agile project management systems. This helps us stay on track and be efficient with everyone’s time and resources.
We leverage modern technology.
We also use technology to the greatest extent possible to automate routine tasks like delivering information or following up multiple times with clients which can add to project costs if they were done by hand every time.
We rely on you doing your part in a timely manner (within 7 days).
To keep things with your project on track and moving forward, Birken Law asks that you invest in your very important project by turning in your “homework” within 7 days, throughout the life of the project. Homework includes things like materials, comments, reviews of our work product or other questions about the work.
We promise to deliver drafts in a timely manner (within 30 days).
In order to manage many client timelines, Birken Law generally requires up to 30 days to produce our work. This clock starts running only when client homework is received. Once homework is in hand, then the work on our end can start (or continue).
Sometimes, delays happen.
It’s important to note that in fairness to all clients who are also in the work queue, clients who cause delays on their end, as a rule, are not allowed to move their work up to the top of the Birken Law queue due to that delay. Each client should work closely with their project manager to make sure everyone is moving their parts forward toward the overall end goal timeline.
So it’s very important that clients turn in their “homework” within the 7 day timeline whenever possible. Of course, sometimes life has other plans – it happens, we understand. 🙂 When clients get behind in their “assignments” the project manager will reach out to see what deadline is reasonable for the client or will assign a new deadline (usually a 7 day extension).
Likewise, we are only human and may need additional time to complete your project. That could be due to a true client crisis, a team member out on leave, or some external factor like a government notice in your case. We ask for your patience during these times as well.
What happens when we don’t hear from you?
Sometimes clients need a lot more time. If we don’t hear from you after a couple of extensions on your assignment, then we may put your project to the back of the work queue until you are ready to invest time and effort in your project again.
Sometimes we’ve produced all the work and haven’t heard back whether you are happy with it or have questions. In that case, we may close the matter in our system as if you had no questions and were happy with everything just the way we sent it to you.
Sometimes we just aren’t able to reach clients and no longer are sure the client wants to continue the work. Or for whatever reason, we are unable to continue the work for you due changes in circumstances at the firm after a long delay by the client. We may, at our option, elect to withdraw from the representation and issue any refund required by the engagement letter.
The engagement letter (including project scope; and subscriber terms, if applicable) is the controling document for resolving any issues.
What if we have a timeline goal or filing deadline?
Clients communicate any known timelines to their Client Success Paralegal, and she will be able to let you know whether we can meet that timeline.
Birken Law Office – Law firm serving nonprofits organizations, and foundations – Birken Law