In the past, law firms and lawyers mainly concentrate on their legal, counsel, and daily client services. However, a present study had revealed that a big population of law firms is now focusing more on business development and marketing, trying to increase engagements so that they can successfully assist firm growth, and the clients’ development.
Since it’s becoming a trend today, pressures on legal marketers are now building up from the competition against other law firms. As a lawyer, aside from how to solve a case and be competitive, you might also wonder how to distinguish the law firm that will benefit you most in the future. Here are some heads-up about what you might consider upon entering a law firm.
A law professor asserted that the primary foundation of a successful firm is to have a healthy partner relationship. In this relationship, partners will more likely to have similar perspectives, including purposes and visions.
In a firm, a “partner” refers to either employees or the owners of a firm. Firms that only concentrates on partner defections, personal fiefdoms, firm split-ups and break-ups, maverick partners, lone rangers and hoarding work are believed to fail from the very beginning.
On one hand, good firms tend to be respectful, honest and straightforward to their partners. Having in-depth conversations while handling issues is also one of the things that firms need to do. Hence, it’s recommended to choose a firm that knows how to communicate well to partners.
Good management has productive activities. Lawyers, including criminal lawyer and private defense attorneys, as well as the firm, in general, should indulge in these activities. There should also be a development for the said lawyers and the firm’s future leaders.
Economic soundness should as well be included in good management. Aside from that, a good management should have partner compensations, profit distribution systems, short term and long term financial planning, marketing, and business development.
A better law firm owners should focus more on the management issues rather than the administration itself. Law firm owners should hire assistants, managers or administrators who will deal with matters about “administrivia” or less significant standardized tasks and paperwork so the partners can focus on the concerns of the management in the firm.
A successful team is with good leadership. What makes a firm to move forward, facilitate new directions, and attain a strategic goal is to have a well-managed leadership. But, it’s not an easy task to be a leader that’s why leadership is one of the main problems that many law firms are facing.
Before entering a law firm, make sure that it has been being led by someone or a group of people who can lead a team well. People who can lead well have a clear vision, empower, influence and develop people, encourage teamwork, think in multiple options and take intelligent risks, and do work passionately while establishing trust.
In most law firms, indemnity or compensation systems are usually hard to be aligned with business strategies. In fact, most of the time, there are two main exigent matters in managing a law firm, which include how much money and how partners are being paid.
Furthermore, make sure that when you choose a law firm, it should have compensation systems to its partners, which also include you as an employee. There are many law firms that are facing challenges because they can’t do what they need to do in the firm as well as to their partners. It would be better if you can check the compensation system of the law firm.
Having team goals is one of the aspects to consider when checking the compensation system of a law firm. Business plans are always linked to team goals, and one can achieve team goals more easily and effectively through compensations. Consequently, this would make a firm's strategic goals better.
When should be compensated? If there’s something that has been done that can benefit the firm, then it should be compensated. The firm shouldn’t “overgive”. In general, compensation doesn’t encourage good behavior. It should be reinforced to the efforts of the attorneys so they can be better and be encouraged to do more.
Even in other industries, having a long-range strategic plan could make a business progressive. Well-designed business plans are always fundamental in one’s firm. No matter how many ideas, suggestions and brainstorming a firm would make, they would be with no use unless implemented and accomplished.
Failing to plan is planning to fail, as what the famous statement goes. Run a background check. Try to search if this firm has goals to do in the future and is not always dependent on the present. Effective business plans are comprised of decisions as to the direction of the firm, action plans, data collection and review, and implementation and follow-up mechanisms.
This is one of the most essential facets that you need to pay attention to. Most lawyers are not comfortable with marketing due to a lack of knowledge, training, and experience with the process. They often confound marketing with advertising, which is not right.
Marketing is the broader process that includes the development and delivery of legal services, which would be aided by advertising and eventually make relationships. Just remember that a law firm’s marketing is successful if they can build up additional business from the current clients.
Staying on top of the challenges and taking actions to make sure you can keep up are the key aspects that legal firms and lawyers must do. Moreover, one of the challenges would be how law firms will manage well in the legal market in order for them to earn more clients’ trusts in the future. Hence, it’s a must to make a better future plan by choosing the right firm.