Making more money is growing revenue is not just about getting more clients. If you are looking to become more profitable, you won’t want to miss this Law Watercooler podcast. Simply hit the play button below and learn how you can make you firm more profitable.
Join me for a live streaming coaching pod-cast, “Law-It’s a Business”, beginning Tuesday May 7th. If you are unable to attend live, a recording of each podcast will be available for you to view anytime.
This series is geared towards small firm owners and managing partners, however all lawyers who are serious about growing their firms or practices will find highly valuable content throughout.
What is a law firm without great talent? -Empty office space! There are so many reasons law firms need to do more to empower their lawyers and staff to excel in their careers. One of the most critical areas I see for improvement is how you on-board your newly acquired talent.
Firstly, the competition for talent is pretty fierce right now. And secondly, talent acquisition especially at the lateral level in my opinion is one of the more successful growth strategies for law firms. But are you doing enough to help your newly acquired talent land successfully at your firm?
Here is some research as presented at this year’s Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference, by members of the firm Winston & Strawn LLP. Although it’s research done in the US, we can easily see how it’s relevant to law firms everywhere.
Per ALM Intelligence, 2,895 partners changed firms in the AM Law 200 in the period from September 30, 2016 to October 1, 2017.
99% of managing partners with more than 250 lawyers said they pursued lateral hiring as a growth strategy in 2017 (Altman Weil).
Only 59% of lateral moves from 2011 to 2016 were deemed a success by managing partners (City Private Bank survey).
These statistics would suggest law firms in general are not doing enough to support lawyers in landing successfully at their new firm.
Here is a link to a recently published article I wrote on succession planning. It’s aimed at law firm and professional service firm management. However, it wouldn’t hurt to pass it along to some of your senior partners.
Going beyond business development and your ability to generate work, there are a couple of considerations you should think about if you’re looking to get on or speed up the ‘Partner Track’. The first consideration is to learn how to play well with others. Here I am referring to everyone with whom you come into contact on a daily basis; your assistant, paralegals, IT professionals, receptionists, firm management, marketing, library services, etc. Go out of your way to treat these people with the utmost respect and watch how in turn they will over perform and deliver for you. You will not become successful in your career without their support. So when they go out of their way for you, acknowledge their efforts. Take them out to lunch from time to time. Ask them how they would like to contribute. Find out how you can help them achieve their career goals by first understanding what they are. Treat them as you do your clients. In other words get to know them as much as possible.
Giving back to the firm
By this I am referring to what can you do outside your practice to provide value to your firm. Consider answering these questions as a place to start:
What committees can you be on and contribute to?
Are their opportunities for you to mentor a summer or articling student, or even an associate more junior then you?
What can you do outside the walls of your firm in the community to better position your firm?
Follow this advice and you are more likely to become a partner at your firm.
Several years ago I predicted that at some point the larger firms in Canada would look to bring on full-time in-house business development coaches. It has recently come to my attention that it’s happening now. New positions are being created where coaches are working in-house with specific practice groups. Unlike other business development and marketing roles, these new positions are purely about coaching. They are there full-time to help the lawyers create a plan of action and then support them through implementation teaching them various skills along the way. If this isn’t a resounding statement in support of the value of coaching lawyers in business development, I don’t know what is.
Over time little drops of water accumulate and form a puddle; growing into a stream, flowing into a river and eventually creating a lake, rushing into the ocean. And that’s exactly how growing your practice or firm works. New habits take time, and with repetition create lasting and impactful results. It all starts with that first drop; or in your case, first step.
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