The information provided on this site is not legal advice. Depending on the area of law that you practice, you will be busy at different times of the year. As a law firm manager, you need to continue to grow your utilization rate over time. Whereas stable firms, as their name implies, were relatively flat in terms of revenue growth. You should first consider if it is the right time of year to grow your practice. It might have to happen in a retreat setting. You need to grow the number of billable hours you collect on per day. While nothing is guaranteed in life or law, attorneys and firm management consultants say law firm strategic planning—that is, taking a step back and looking at the big picture—is essential to know where you’ve been, where you’re going, and how you will keep growing whether you’re a solo practitioner or at a large firm. In larger firms, top partners typically sit down, figure out where their practice has been growing and where it’s become stagnant, and decide whether and how to recast lines of business that fall into the latter category, Caldwell says. For 30 years he has closely advised law firm management and legal industry service providers. Stay at the forefront of marketing. A Business Growth Strategyis a roadmap for growing your firm. Not an Insider yet? What do we look like today? Define your law firm’s growth strategy Define your expected profits per partner over the short & long term Continuously monitor business performance and productivity metrics. It allows firms to differentiate themselves from the competition, reflecting both strengths and weaknesses. In conclusion, if you are looking for growth strategies for law firms, we suggest you look at the 2019 Legal Trend Report. You need to be separated for a year before the divorce is approved. The courts are also now available again. That goes for the law firm strategic planning document, too, Olmstead adds. Here’s how to increase the odds that strategic planning will lead to real progress. In the legal services market, growth has stalled, corporate clients are taking their legal needs in house and independent law firms are losing their share of the market. If you want to learn more about law, visit our Youtube channel. For smaller firms and solos, there’s always a temptation to do nothing but react to the moment, says Bill Wilson, principal at The Law Offices of Wilson & Wilson and The Center for Estate Planning and Elder Law, based in west suburban LaGrange. For example, Olmstead has worked with firms who have legal accounting software but need to hire a consultant to pull reports for them. Managing Partner’s new report on Growth Strategies for Law Firms provides clear advice on the growth options available and expert guidance on the key factors you need to consider in order to tailor an effective strategy for your firm. As the role of legal operations in a post-pandemic world remains somewhat hazy, one thing In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for change is at the forefront of our agendas as law firms, lawyers, legal marketers … This webcast highlights key findings from Burford’s new research, the 2020 Legal Finance Report , based on 499 online surveys of in-house and law firm lawyers and 29 in-depth interviews of leading lawyers across seven countries. Your access to the website is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. But with the right strategic focus and insight, your firm can stem the tide, raise your visibility and lock down new business. Now, we know not every lawyer uses trust accounting, but many lawyers do. Unless indicated, individuals on this site are not lawyers. Olmstead figures that probably three-quarters of large firms have strategic plans, while mid-sized firms in the 50-attorney range are closer to 50-50, with the likelihood shrinking to 15 percent or less of firms with 10 attorneys and fewer. Even though law firms might be busy at a very particular time of the year, their payment cycle is often drawn out. “It requires the discipline to say, Friday afternoon, from noon to 5, we’re going to sit down, and not be billable, and work through some stuff about what we’re going to be when we grow up,” he says. “That doesn’t mean you don’t react to the moment,” Truax adds. I start soliciting some advice. The need for law firm strategic planning doesn’t change,” John says. All images, videos and graphics used on this website are dramatizations. Don’t put out bills when you know you won’t get paid. Focus On Gathering Data If your firm is still using Excel to categorize your leads and … With the vast competition law firms face to get new clients, your law firm needs a comprehensive marketing strategy to get found by clients, find new clients, and retain your current clients. All images, videos and graphics used on this website are dramatizations. We are in the process of transferring our clients to our lawyers. For example, your goal might be … 1. The most common law firm strategic planning issue facing firms in recent years has been how to respond to the economic shift in the legal market since the Great Recession, with fewer clients and a tighter bottom line, says John Olmstead, principal at St. Louis-based consultancy Olmstead & Associates. New research highlights how law firm leaders—and clients—are finding opportunity to generate revenue, despite facing previously unthinkable challenges. Register here. We love to help by providing free helpful content! To progress in the legal sector and outdo other players, take note of the strategies that we’ll be briefly talking about in this short article. Until you do some things as far as operations in the short term, maybe you shouldn’t think about strategic planning,'” he says. “They’re fighting fires, meeting deadlines, getting things filed in court.” Plus, he adds, “They don’t have the resources to hire an expert to do it for them.”, Small firm attorneys need to pick out a time and day, on a regular interval, to pop their heads out and look around, Caldwell says. Where do we want to be in 12 months, and in five years?”, The plans are revisited throughout the year iteratively, Truax says, which “requires focus and discipline, making sure everybody stays on message. New Law Firm Strategies for Growth Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic and After. “Every day is filled with new opportunities and new curveballs.”. So, there is certain work that they can undertake in January in terms of firm improvement. You need to compare what work your law firm has done and how long it takes clients to pay you. “If you’re wanting to grow your corporate law practice, maybe it’s the snagging of three to five major accounts, something that will let you know you’re getting a little bit closer to what the plan had set out for you.”, Be sure to assign responsibility for specific planks of the law firm strategic plan, Caldwell says. It describes the industries you will serve, the types of clients you will target, the services you will offer and how you will position and develop your brand. Privacy policy // XML sitemap // Page ID: 81059. Should they focus on SEO or referrals? Shrinking firms watched their revenue drop by about 54 percent. “Another recent addition to the law firm strategy team is the chief talent officer (CTO), a position that has become increasingly important since the GFC,” says Bruce Boulware, managing director at Boulware Partners. In recent years, most of the challenges firms are having are the same, everything from pressure on the economics, to resistance from clients to fee increases.”. “They may only have one shot at doing it,” he says. Lawyerist, Lawyerist Lab, TBD Law, Small Firm Dashboard, and. Automate Processes. Your law firm growth strategy should be at the heart of everything you do at your firm to help grow your practice, so you need to make sure it is as useable and accessible as possible. Are your clients out there waiting a long time to pay your firm? Learn The Best Law Firm Marketing Strategies For BIG Growth . Do quality legal work and make sure you collect money. “It’s hard to do a long-range strategic plan by yourself,” he says. Here are five success strategies that leading law firms can adopt as part of that investment. Every website should start with a goal in mind. This means they need to stop operating in the same way and try something else. By Jessica Haarsgaard and Ioana Good. When you break down by those cohorts, though, between growing stable and shrinking firms, there is a big difference. And then we lock ourselves up for a day or two in a retreat-type setting and basically work through the whole process.”, To measure law firm strategic planning success financially and otherwise, Jenner uses a range of metrics and compares performance throughout the year against the strategic plan, monthly, biannually, and annually, Truax says. That’s a problem from a cash flow point of view. The latter is more urgent. Growing firms are constantly improving their utilization rate. Below we will show you five business growth strategies for your law firm which will optimize your investments and maintain a steady flow of both business and profit. (It's free!). ClearWay Law is transitioning from being a law firm as of March 2020. Growth Strategies for the Modern Law Firm Growth is an imperative for any successful business. “We ask all the basic questions any business enterprise would be asking. “But then you’re just going to work each day and letting your environment dictate to you how you’re going to manage and work your law firm,” Wilson says. [The plans] go into books, they go on shelves, and very little happens as a result,” he says. Address generational differences. It is part of a suite of strategies encompassing your law firm’s growth strategy, budget & marketing plan. However, you can submit the divorce at any time. Referral Tracking Via CRM Solutions. Download The Visible Firm … “In some of the smaller firms, especially, I’ve run across somewhere I’ve advised them, ‘You guys have so many tactical issues going on in the swamp; you’re trying to survive day to day. Lawyers are only billing about 2.5 hours a day. Law firms that grow intensively can experience problems maintaining strategic focus, structural alignment and personnel balance. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. If they’ve got 14 or 15 attorneys and don’t have an office manager in place,” they should take care of that first, he says. “And then also, it’s important to get back to people in the organization with feedback about how things are going.”, Olmstead agrees. “If my plan is to increase estate administration and asset planning, and I see we’re putting too much time into real estate, I’m not adhering to my plan,” he says. Ask yourself if you are operating in a cadence that makes it easy for my clients to pay you. Many provinces and states require both a monthly and annual trust check. Sign up for emails to get updates on Canadian Law and tips for resolving your legal issues. An insurance defense firm knows that they are going to be dependent upon business filed by personal injury lawyers or medical malpractice lawyers. Law firms can grow in a variety of methods. How can law firms stay relevant and competitive in this ‘new law’ era where many firms are doing things differently, and ensure that’s reflected in their long-term strategy? Solo and small law firms are more likely to be selected for trust account audits. You talk about client relationships at partner meetings and in business development training, but applying the concepts to client interaction can be challenging. A plan that isn’t implemented is only a list of suggestions. Growth Strategies for Law Firms- Cash Flow Is King You need to start figuring out a way to cut these getting paid waiting times down. “The reason it’s important is that it’s a guide for a firm to keep on topic and on goals, so we can always look back and bring it up at a monthly meeting.”, The original content within this website is © 2020. •You’re losing business because you can’t keep up with demand •You need/want to focus on certain aspects of your business rather than struggling to juggle everything Law Firm Growth Plans How to know when to hire your first employee by Charlene Jimenez in Business Entrepreneur - February 21, 2012 3. Let’s take a look at several key steps and pillars or a quality growth strategy that any modern law firm should focus on to ensure steady growth. For latest updates please, follow our blog. It’s part of your monthly workflow to be prepared for those audits. What was once standard operating procedure for Baby Boomers or even Gen-Xers can now seem completely obsolete or anachronistic to Millennials. Many lawyers say they are overworked and that’s going be difficult for them to grow their law firm. Where do I want to be in 24, 36 months?” he says. Your law firm is dedicated to building long-term client relationships. “I go off-site and hibernate. What are our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats? And so, having a cadence around account reconciliation is important. Sometimes it’s a month and a half before a lawyer even bills their clients. Strategies for Growing a Law Firm: Managing Partners on Developing a Growth Strategy, Recruiting New Attorneys, and Responding to Economic Challenges (Inside the Minds): Shaw, Brian L., Axinn, Stephen, Goldfein, Fredric L.: 9780314904171: Books - He cautions smaller firms not to take on more than one or two significant strategic initiatives at one time. Law firms facing rising costs, pricing pressure, and the need to invest in staff, resources, and service delivery are finding that growth is not as easy to achieve as formerly, and that market share must be wrestled from the competition. Related “Offer Unbundled Legal Services to Compete in Today’s Legal Market”, One current scenario that’s affecting consumer-oriented firms, in particular, is the trend toward websites that help people handle some of their own legal matters, Caldwell says. “That will guide us as to whether we’re moving forward with respect to that strategic objective,” he says. David Ackert, the president of Ackert Inc., advises law firms to revisit the basics with more one-to-one marketing efforts versus mass marketing strategies. You also need to think about annual planning requirements for trust accounting. “They have a choice to make—do we find other ways to get those dollars that we’ve lost to, or do we join that site?” he says. Are you are looking for growth strategies for law firms? “If we decide the Internet’s the thing, let’s chase that business.”. “I want to know: When are we going to do it, and whose name am I putting in the box, and when is this task going to start,” he says. Because in that month they are going to be focused on billable work. I have my own ideas, but they’re more down in the trenches and know a lot of things I don’t know, or forgot, or need to keep in mind.”, Firms should not confuse strategic planning with crisis management, Olmstead says. While a larger firm might take six months from the kickoff meeting to the presentation at the end, smaller businesses can get the law firm strategic plan finished in a month—and that’s probably wise given that they don’t have the professional administrators and other support staff in place to help out, Olmstead says. “It’s not something you do in one sitting, and you need somebody looking over your shoulder, whether that somebody might be your spouse or your staff person.”, Olmstead worked with a solo practitioner in Iowa who did not realize he was only paying his associate of 10 years a $60,000 salary – or that he himself had only cleared $20,000 the previous year. Virtual Legal Assistant-Delegating to Freelancers, Law Firm Data & Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Law Firm Client Reviews & Reputation Management, Virtual Receptionist, Chat & Phone Services, CRMs, Client Intake & Marketing Automation Software, Staffing Services (Virtual Assistants & Freelance Lawyers), #304: How to Discover and Lean Into Your Strengths, with Becca Syme, “Offer Unbundled Legal Services to Compete in Today’s Legal Market”, fewer people involved and fewer decisions, “Going Solo: Debunking the Top Ten Fears”, “The Importance of Long-Term Goals for Your Practice”. Lack of strategic planning might not negatively impact a law firm as quickly as another type of business—say, a technology firm—because of the highly regulated legal environment, which provides a buffer of sorts from economic and other changes, Caldwell says. Wilson’s strategic plans go out five years and attempt to project for each year the gross revenue, net income before taxes, the number of people he will employ, and numbers of matters he expects to handle. That’s why the best strategies take your time and focus on one at a time. Otherwise, it’s just one of those non-billable activities.”. This data was collected over a five-year period. We love to help by providing free helpful content! Where are they going to spend their business improvement efforts? They’re refined throughout the year; we ask people to pull together their plans and test them.”, In smaller firms, there are fewer people involved and fewer decisions to make but also less time, Caldwell says. “The challenges and issues are different.”. “These obviously are all projected goals.”, Wilson considers his plans living documents that he revisits continuously to see how well the law firm’s strategic planning efforts are matching the vision laid out. Every sector in the legal industry has felt the effects of COVID-19. The writing is on the wall.

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