There are hundreds of potential strategies for law firm leaders to consider as they evaluate how to compete in an increasingly crowded marketplace. In the process of wrestling with all the complexity and analyzing options, it is easy to lose sight of a few basic principals that go a long way when it comes to keeping almost any firm healthy. So here’s a quick refresher.


If you frequent this blog you know I am a big fan of Jim Collins — largely because of his ability to cut through all the noise and remind us of some basic principles. To borrow Collins phrase, getting the right people on the bus is key. Build (or grow) your firm with quality women and men, ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect, you’ve taken a giant leap toward stability and productive collegiality.

And, may we talk about laterals for a second? In particular, make sure that those that you bring aboard laterally share your basic values and aspirations. The same should be said with respect to those who have come up through the ranks for partnerhship consideration.

In the long run (and sometimes it is not a very long run at all) no one wins when you look for ways to short-cut the people part of the law firm equation.


Clients are getting smarter and demanding more. Central to success is ensuring that your firm interacts with its clients in a way that strengthens existing relationships, leads to additional work, and makes it easy for your clients to be a coveted source of recommendations and referrals.


It is news to no one that costs — and debt in particular — are law firm killers. Keeping costs at a low and manageable level has an amazing effect when it comes to minimizing the things threaten a firm’s existence.

The killers here are real estate costs,which are typically fixed, no matter the departures of lawyers or clients; and disproportionate (or just flat out-of-whak) partner compensation.

Minimize your reliance on external financing as a basic tenet of your management, and you’ll have fewer moments on the cusp of crisis.

Focus on basic blocking and tackling will lead to a healthy law firm

What are your thoughts?