How the 80/20 Rule Can Help You Manage Your Personal Injury Law Firm

by Micki Love | August 22, 2022

You may have heard of the Pareto Principle or the “80/20 rule.” This principle, first put forward by Italian economist and philosopher Vilfredo Pareto, suggests that 20% of your effort will generate 80% of your income. So that means 80% of your effort is only producing 20% of your income.

Other real-world examples of this principle in action are:

  • You wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time.
  • 80% of your fulfillment and joy from friendships will come from 20% of your friends. That doesn’t mean ditch 80% of your friends, however. Instead, focus most of your time on the top 20%.

You might be thinking, “That’s some mighty fancy math you’re sharing there. But what does this mean for my personal injury law firm?” What it means is that when you apply this rule to how you manage your law firm, you can seriously elevate your firm’s productivity across the board.

Here’s How the 80/20 Rule Can Help Your Firm Manage Cases Wisely

At its core, this rule boils down to this: Your investments (whether your time or financial), ventures, and actions don’t create equal value for your firm. The key to your success is finding out which efforts are more valuable than others and then do more of those—and do them FIRST.

Here are a couple actionable tips for applying the 80/20 Rule right now:

  • Identify:
    • If you can identify the 20% of your cases that produce 80% of your fees, you can focus your efforts on maximizing those cases that give your firm the most value while strategizing to land more just like them. All you need to determine this 20% is a list of all cases by case type closed within a certain period and the fee for each. Sort highest to lowest.
    • When you know the top 20% of cases, add up the fees generated by these cases. Next divide that number into the total amount of fees generated. Is it 80% of the total amount of fees or is it short?
    • Look at the lowest fee that makes up the 20%. That is your Pareto Point.
    • What is the lowest settlement that makes up that group? That is the number you don’t want to go below. As a matter of fact, you want to try to get cases to settle more than that number to get closer to 80%.

This Pareto Point analysis is the perfect opportunity to see how you can focus your efforts more effectively.

  • Do: Once identified, you’ll see that tasks associated with your top 20% generally include better and more client communication and service. They may be the most challenging, but they’re also going to be the most rewarding financially for your client and the law firm over time. This prioritization of your time will have a significant impact on your bottom line.

We’re Here to Help You Apply the 80/20 Rule at Your Firm

This is just one way to apply the 80/20 rule to your business. Just like you can identify the 20% of your cases that produce that 80% of profit, you can do this in every aspect of your business. If you’re a cj client and aren’t already using this rule to elevate your firm’s productivity, reach out to your Brand Strategist. We can share with you how to do a Pareto analysis.

And if you’re just passing by our blog space, we welcome you to peruse our posts, our site, and reach out to us anytime at with questions about this specific topic and more!