Happy new year! And what better time than the new year to commit to investing in your associates. Your associates are fundamental to the success of your law firm. They should always be top of mind and have access to and gain benefits from your firm’s support and guidance. A key mainstay in running a prosperous business is to build trust with your clients through the service your firm provides. This trust is assisted by developing and leveraging your associates.
Too frequently, you are reactive in your tendencies when dealing with complicated matters and rectifying situations. Your adrenalin rush to right your wrong has you acting in ways that may not be conducive to achieving your best results. A speedy resolution is not the outcome you want. The right solution is and should always be your goal. Slow down your impulses to hammer out an instant remedy. Instead, apply a slow fix.
You will proactively increase your market footprint and achieve bigger and more targeted returns on investment when you actively control your practice and visibility and determine what work you want to do and with whom. Bottom line, you increase your footprint by having a strong personal brand and an effective web presence. Test your marketability by Googling yourself on a regular basis.
When you focus on your lawyers’ time sheets, you will mine gold: the data that stokes the engine of your firm’s profitability. When you mine your gold, you can predict productivity market and activity trends. You can review quality and quantity of hours. You can gauge the variety, complexity, timing and nature of assignments.
It is time for you and your firm to endorse multi-track career options at your firm. This is not a second-tier program being put into place for second-class lawyers. In fact, a strategic and effective system will enable all your lawyers to excel. Some lawyers may opt straight out for specific career paths while others, through discussions and mentoring, will align themselves to paths deemed best for their career progression.
To stay competitive, you really want to know your market. To determine how well you know the legal area and practice within which you are a successful member, take your market challenge. Describe succinctly in no more than four words the type of law you practise.
In today's environment, all lawyers need law firm sponsors, not mentors. You might think that these two terms are interchangeable or synonymous. The terms are very different; different meanings and very different expectations. That said, mentorship and sponsorship programs do not negate each other: mentorships provide platforms from which to launch sponsorships.
To succeed as a leader, you need to give and take: give foundational support when you delegate to others and, when you act on critical feedback, take next steps to be perceived the way you want to be seen. Why do you sometimes struggle with these key skills?
Your team is integral to your firm’s success and you want to consistently use them effectively to service your clients. To be successful, you want to act like the manager of a baseball club. Compare your lawyers to baseball players and think of your client matters as specific ball games. Like ball players, when your lawyers are well-positioned and prepared, they will effectively carry out their responsibilities on their projects.