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5 Essentials for Running a Successful Law Firm

Many firms struggle to maintain a successful business, whether it be because of operational mismanagement or a limited financial portfolio. The management of money and the collection and management of assets are two common aspects that can lead to failure. Firm owners may lack the expertise necessary for good management and thus may not successfully conduct day-to-day operations. Given these difficulties, law firms must implement certain fundamentals to give themselves an edge over their competition. This article will discuss the five most essential practices thriving law firms use to increase profitability and decrease attrition rates. These five practices include:

Experienced Management

Law firms should continually look for new, talented employees to help boost performance and expand reach. The majority of law firm management is usually done by a small group of the firm's founders (a group containing about two or three individuals). By hiring even two quality professionals, firms can provide a broader base for management and add significant value to the organization. Lawyers need a more extensive education than other professionals to perform managerial duties successfully. If they cannot obtain these credentials in time, they may be forced to pass on administrative opportunities altogether and relinquish profitable opportunities.

Knowing When/Where To Hire Outside Help

As a small firm, it is helpful to know when to hire outside help. Many lawyers in smaller firms find themselves managing more tasks than they had anticipated, resulting in an extended workload. Firms need to be mindful of how much their personnel can handle, especially at the start-up stages. By knowing exactly when to hire outside help, firms can avoid the waste of resources trying to manage too many responsibilities. For instance, a law firm answering service to handle the high volume of phone calls is invaluable.

Envisioning A Long-Term Plan

The five practices discussed above are great for advancing the firm's operations and improving profitability. However, it is essential to establish a long-term plan to avoid confusion and uncertainty when transitioning from an individual firm to a large conglomerate. A long-term plan should include critical goals that the firm wishes to achieve over several years, such as "if we reach our projections, then we will have more people working at the office." Firms should avoid creating unrealistic sales projections that may not become a reality due to uncontrollable factors, such as changes in legislation or new technology being developed.

Maintaining a Positive Reputation

The reputation of a law firm means everything. Once a law firm establishes a positive reputation among others in the industry, it will quickly attract new clients, ultimately increasing profitability. Most potential clients tend to choose firms they have previously heard of and trust. Law firms can rely on word-of-mouth advertisements through their contacts or use business news and magazines to gain publicity to build a positive reputation.

Mastering The Art Of Marketing

Most firms are well aware of the importance of recruiting new clients. To ensure that these clients continue to utilize the firm's services, they must be as efficient at retaining clients as they were at attracting them. Before a client even steps foot into a law firm, a significant amount of work goes into marketing and advertisement. These tasks can be done by using different methods such as direct mail, email campaigns, or banner ads online. Without proper marketing techniques, firms may struggle in the long term to keep their client base and could face personnel turnover or even closure.

In conclusion, it is essential for law firms to evaluate their practices to remain profitable constantly. There will always be both internal and external pressures on firms. Many of these pressures include different stores of information and market shares that may be pertinent to the success or failure of the firm. By implementing these five core fundamentals into the everyday operations of a law firm, lawyers can ensure that they are increasing profitability and helping to build their reputations as leaders within their industry.

About The Authors

Jaya Mckeown

Jaya Mckeown - Jaya moved to Boston from New York to pursue a master's degree in corporate communications at Emerson College. This experience, combined with her undergraduate degree in psychology and teaching, has equipped her with valuable skills that she employs on a daily basis in real estate negotiations, homebuyer and seller education, and successful promotion of the team's listings. Jaya's clients often characterize her as meticulous, proactive, and enjoyable to be around.

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