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Tips on How to Run a Successful Law Firm

by Olufisayo
How to Run a Law Firm

There was a time when a firm was expected to present an image that was dignified, stoic, and professional. A law office was supposed to be a quiet and serious place, and business was conducted accordingly.

Current circumstances in the legal services market demand a more creative approach to success. Your firm must find a way to stand out from the rest of the crowd and be desirable to potential clients.

Organizational Setup

The organization of your law team becomes more and more important as your firm grows. Twenty lawyers, all acting with complete independence and autonomy, are much less effective than 20 lawyers who all share the same company mission and have specific company expectations.

For example, if your firm is handling cases that are likely to appeal, you’ll want one specific team that focuses on the complex writing assignments and research needed.

Consider a flow chart that designates your chief legal officer at the top. They would then oversee teams that consist of each lawyer and their partners and associates. Your clerks, paralegals, and secretaries can be organized under the overwatch of a legal assistance team. And your support staff team would include IT services, marketing, and executive secretaries.

       

Hiring Talent

“Talent” is exactly how you should think of the members of your team. They aren’t just employees. They have certain presentational and creative facets as well, and their personalities, image, and creative input should add to your firm’s presence.

There are plenty of perfectly adequate attorneys and legal assistants out there with legitimate college degrees. Don’t hire perfectly adequate employees. Hire talent.

“We look for people who relish the role of being a David vs. a Goliath. A hungry wolf always hunts best — and that’s something I think separates good lawyers from great lawyers,” explains Eliot M. Houman, Co-Founder at The Accident Guys in Rancho Cucamonga.

Focus On A Specialty

If you take your Ferrari to a specialty Ferrari mechanic shop, you will see other brands of cars in there as well. Some of them aren’t even Italian. That’s because that shop focuses on Ferraris, but they are certainly pleased to repair any other car you might want to bring in.

The same holds true for any business that “focuses” on a particular specialty. If your firm states, “We only do divorces,” you’ll get a good divorce clientele, but you’ll also risk putting off anyone looking for other legal services.

       

You might even put off clients that are looking for related family law representation. “We only do divorces” isn’t focusing; it’s excluding. Focus, don’t exclude. Specialize, don’t pigeonhole.

When you specialize, you present credibility and commitment to a particular subject of expertise, and you also send a reassuring message. That message is, “We are exceptionally good at this particular facet of law, and by extension, we are also exceptionally good at related legal affairs.” Be a Ferrari shop, but repair a BMW once in a while.

Marketing

Marketing does not merely mean advertising. It involves a strategic approach to the promotion of your business. It means a plan and a vision. If you don’t have a marketing team, does it mean hiring a marketing company? Yes, it probably does. Do your competitors hire marketing companies? The good ones do.

When considering a marketing strategy, you’ll want to reverse-engineer it. Ask yourself what your desired outcome is. Do you want your firm to be the dominant presence in family law? Do you want the name of your firm to strike fear and panic in lesser law offices? Do you want clients to eagerly pay the highest rates in the area, just for the privilege of being represented by your team?

All these goals are achievable with the right marketing plan. All it takes is the commitment to the necessary budget and your willingness to deliver spectacular services as promised. One is no good without the other. But if you already have an exceptional legal team, having assembled the right talent, and having focused on a specialty, all you need is unstoppable marketing.

       

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