It’s not uncommon for immigration cases to start as one type and turn into another over time. As an immigration lawyer, this is good since it means that an approval for your client today doesn’t mean you’re done working with that client tomorrow - you may have more opportunities to do work for them in the future as they may become eligible for other immigration benefits. They may also have dependents or immediate family who need immigration legal services as well.
Given that there is often potential for a long-term relationship that may lead to multiple immigration filings or referrals, you can think of your clients in terms of all the possible statuses they are eligible for and other clients they may possibly bring in.
This concept is called the customers “lifetime value” (CLV, or LTV) - the value that a particular customer can bring to you and your immigration law firm over their “lifetime” working with you. This is a common business concept used in many other industries, and it’s one that can help you put a dollar value on client engagements and make better-informed decisions.
This article explores the idea behind CLV, what it means, and how it impacts immigration lawyers. Let’s jump in.
The CLV is a metric that can be used to measure the value of a client over the entire lifespan of their customer relationship with your firm, either through a case you’ve completed or will complete in the future. A customer’s lifetime value is calculated by looking at how much they will bring to the firm in business versus how much you have to spend to acquire them.
In some areas of immigration law, a client may not be eligible to file for a new status until years later. So, how can we practically look at the lifetime value of an immigration law client when that lifetime value is not apparent until much later down the road?
Clients you’ve helped in the past can be a source of future business - generally, there are two ways in which this can happen:
It may not be possible to consider all the future work a particular client can bring, especially in the beginning, but over time, considering the potential number of cases that may come down the pipeline from one client, or the number of clients they could potentially refer, it becomes easier to estimate the CLV of a given client.
Let’s look at a few examples.
Depending on the type of immigration law you practice, CLV may vary. Here are some examples, but of course, this is not an exhaustive list - it’s merely illustrative. There are endless examples, including immigration benefit filings, administrative processing, and court.
It’s important to consider CLV along with other business concepts when you’re putting together your immigration law firm growth and marketing strategy. Check out our Top 20 Business Terms for Immigration Lawyers to learn about and see examples of other important business terms and concepts for immigration lawyers!
As you start to look more strategically at existing and past clients from a business standpoint, let Docketwise support the rest of your practice. With our CRM, full library of immigration forms, easy-to-use client questionnaires and industry-leading API integrations, Docketwise helps you stay up to date on all your immigration cases, communicate easily with your clients, and otherwise build and manage your immigration law firm.