Six Key Strategies to Running a Law Practice as a Successful and Profitable Business
Launching a law practice takes more than just legal skills - it requires business acumen and strategy. Applying business principles enables law firms to thrive and grow. Here are some key strategies and resources to make the business side of your law practice easier.
Define Your Business Goals & Set A Plan
Approach your law practice strategically by setting specific financial and operational goals. Typical goals include revenue targets, profit margins, number of cases, and geographic reach. Defining goals provides focus and a metric for success. How to Manage Your Law Office is a two-volume practical guide that provides readers with cutting-edge information about effective techniques in law office administration. How to Start a Law Firm When You're Broke provides checklists, flow charts, plenty of real-world tips that she used in setting up her successful law firm, and a chapter checklist to capture the core information by topic. Finally, How to Start a Law Practice focuses on virtually every area of starting a practice that new attorneys should think about.
Build an Efficient Operation
Maximize productivity by implementing efficient systems and procedures for administrative and legal work. Take advantage of case management software, document automation, shared calendars, paperless workflows, and other law practice technology. Standardize repetitive tasks. The Law Office Policies, Procedures, and Operations Manual includes everything you need to create a complete, customized manual that can serve as a reference guide for your entire firm and as a training tool for new employees, associates, and temporary workers. How to Do More in Less Time is a valuable resource to help you learn strategies for taking control of your day and become more productive.
Law firms succeed or fail based on sound financial management. Monitor cash flow, accounts receivable, profit and loss statements, and balance sheets. Prepare and follow an annual budget. Pay close attention to timekeeping, billing rates, collections, and taxes. How to Draft Bills Clients Rush to Pay provides an understanding of the new technologies that have emerged in timekeeping and billing to help you more easily prepare bills that are clear and informative to your client. Alternative Fees for Business Lawyers and Their Clients addresses how large firm, small firm, and solo lawyers can implement and evaluate alternative fee arrangements in transactional matters. See more resources here.
Market Your Legal Services
Actively promote your law practice through online and print marketing, referrals, speaking engagements, networking, and community involvement. Develop a brand identity that resonates with your target demographic. Marketing the Law Firm: Business Development Techniques examines how marketing can improve client satisfaction and increase the bottom line for both corporate and consumer practices. To learn about the latest, most-effective strategies for marketing your law firm, consider subscribing to the monthly newsletter Marketing The Law Firm®. In Personal Branding in One Hour for Lawyers, personal branding expert and experienced attorney Katy Goshtasbi explains how attorneys can highlight their unique talents and abilities, manage their perceptions, and achieve greater success as a lawyer in the process.
Provide Excellent Client Service
Prioritize communication, transparency, and fulfilling commitments. Train staff to handle clients courteously and efficiently. Offer flexible fee structures. Focus on client outcomes to foster trust and loyalty. Primarily directed at lawyers in solo, small firm, and general practice, Innovative Legal Service Applications: A Guide to Improved Client Services, provides real-world examples of how lawyers can improve their service to their clients. In How to Capture and Keep Clients: Marketing Strategies for Lawyers, the best and most innovative solo and small firm lawyers give the reader their secrets, approaches, and strategies to that age-old puzzle of growing your law firm. Connecting with Your Client Gives you the persuasive tools for achieving greater client satisfaction through improved communication.
Invest in Professional Development
Continuously enhance your legal knowledge and business capabilities through continuing education, professional associations, seminars, and current authoritative content. Stay current on legal industry trends and best practices via subscriptions and new resources, order online here. By taking a business-minded approach, law firms can gain the strategic edge needed to not only survive but thrive in today's legal marketplace.