Like any other business, success is not a linear path. A successful law firm will undergo many twists and turns, and endure periods without success. A successful law firm is not built in a day, but rather through years of dedication from every single employee.
To maximize your firm’s growth potential, here are eight tips for putting your law firm on the right path for success.
1. Plan A Firm Vision — And Stick To it!
A great firm needs to have a vision guided by core values.
Choosing a few key values can help your team make microdecisions that ripple across the firm, as well as larger choices. When selecting these core values, keep them simple. The more core values you add, the harder it is for your firm to stay focused.
Truly consider which values you want to embody during the hard and successful times. This will help differentiate and guide your firm.
2. Wisely Select Your Leadership And Partners
Like any other organization or business, your law firm can only be as good as its leaders.
When hiring for leadership positions, bring in those who you believe have a great work ethic and an even greater vision. A proper work ethic will provide your partners with the daily motivation to approach long-term projects. The greater vision will keep your firm on the right track.
3. Invest In The Company Culture
As the first and second tips suggest, a law firm can only be as successful as the people who help run it. To create a durable company culture, ensure that there are both professional and social opportunities for co-workers to convene regularly. Meetings are an opportunity to discuss work objectives in an open environment and can lead to social gatherings as well.
When everyone, from the front desk receptionist to the managing partners, buys into the culture, company efficiency is likely to improve.
4. Be Client-Driven
After defining who you are as a law firm, embody those values for your clients. Think about your clients’ needs and how you can best serve them. Legal work is important and you need to put your best foot forward for each client.
Take the time to listen to your clients’ post-case reviews. This provides areas for improvement. View your clients as an extension of your firm’s vision.
5. Standardize Systems And Common Procedures
Part of the client-driven culture relies on organization and a shared understanding of the common procedures. Potential clients will likely leave your firm if you come off as unorganized, unreliable, or inefficient upon the first impression.
To help make a superb first impression, create guidelines for your employees to follow throughout the intake and case process. This can include a record-keeping system, consistent pricing, a structured case approach, and other mechanisms to save your clients’ time.
6. Invest In The Firm As A Business
Often, lawyers do not think like business people. I find that few understand what goes into proper branding, marketing, and business management.
While each firm is different, consider your options for business growth and bring in outside help to promote your business, when needed. This can provide new opportunities to engage with new types of clients, expand upon your existing core values and build your company culture.
7. Stay On Top Of Law Firm Technology
Much like the previous pillar of law firm success, a successful law firm should always look to stay on the cutting edge of new legal marketing and technology. To help, be sure to monitor what your competitors are doing on a regular basis. Their branding, marketing, and technology can give you a sense of how your firm needs to improve.
8. Be A Community Partner
Tying back to your core values and company culture, take the time to give back to your local community. Offer initiatives like scholarships or fundraising events for the issues you care about. This helps put your core values into action.
Your potential clients are usually community members. Each case you take on impacts the community in some way, so shows that you are invested in it.