Five Keys to Law Firm Management Success
Law firm management success starts with a good plan.
Everyone wants to know the handful of things they need to do to be financially free. We all want the keys to law firm management success.
Unfortunately, there are not just a few keys to success. There are dozens.
But in the interest of keeping my readers happy, I have distilled success down to five things (if for no other reason than to have a good title to an article).
So here they are. The five keys to law frim management success:
Focus on Growth
It’s convenient to believe that merely hanging your shingle will result in people flocking to your office in droves.
It’s easy to rationalize that all those years you spent in school entitle you to the lifestyle you feel you have “earned” by studying and practicing in the comfort of an academic environment.
You trick yourself into believing that being a great practitioner will be enough to establish a reputation that will attract people to you.
Stop fooling yourself.
If you don’t spend AT LEAST as much time promoting your practice as you do practicing your craft, you will never be financially independent.
Lawyers rely on reputation and referrals, and they believe selling is somehow wrong or unethical.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Lawyers who earn an income in the top 10% of the profession spend, on average, about half of their working time developing client relationships.
If you want to make a great living and live an extraordinary life, you must spend at least as much time on business development as you do practicing your craft.
Possess a Dedication to Continuous Improvement
Humans either continue to evolve, or we die. You’ve got opposable thumbs. Congratulations.
Now get off your iPhone and figure out what you can do to help your client improve the quality of his life.
You must understand how your client’s world is changing. You must understand how your client thinks. You must understand what he believes and how he makes decisions.
These are moving targets. If you want to hit them, you need to grow and evolve faster than the people with whom you work.
Keep your education up to date – but not just in your vocational field – also as it relates to business development and practice management.
Adopt an Action Orientation
Once you know what to do, you must do it.
This is where many lawyers fail.
Want a solution?
Each day make a list of three things you want to accomplish, then start working on them.
If three is too many, make a list with just one thing on it.
No fancy system is necessary. Just get started.
Deliver High Value with Low Labor Intensity
The pitfall of the lawyer is hourly billing. There are not enough hours in a day or days in a year for you to bill your way to financial freedom.
You deliver value to people. Start demonstrating that value to your constituents.
The next step in the equation is to deliver value with low labor intensity.
A lawyer helps clients adopt children. To the client, the process is time-consuming, paperwork intensive, and confusing. Since the lawyer has done this hundreds of times, he knows the pitfalls and how to avoid them. That’s valuable to the client. What’s also useful is that the lawyer is available during business hours to answer any client questions. If he’s busy, he guarantees a return call by the end of the business day. And those calls are included in his fee.
Now, this specific solution may not appeal to you, but I guarantee that there is a way for you to create a high value, low labor intensity solution in your business. You need to find it.
The final success factor is as simple as they come.
Don’t quit until you get what you want.
Most people give up after the first attempt at something.
The person who tries until he dies (or succeeds) is not only more likely to be more fulfilled; he is more likely to be successful.
The good news about this is you don’t have to be smart to be a financially independent professional. You need to be persistent.