Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. – Napoleon Hill

Even as the economy improves, we see many law firms of all sizes continuing to struggle. Mid sized firms seem to be having the greatest difficulty adapting in the evolving marketplace.

In a recent Forbes article, Basha Rubin suggested that we might be seeing the end of the mid-tier firm. Rubin’s reasoning is that the growth of in-house counsel staff and their uses of temporary legal resources to manage fluctuating workload results in dim prospects for the mid-tier firm.

Step Away From The Ledge, And Remember What It Takes To Flourish and Grow


There is no denying that a number of forces are creating pressure on many firms; however, the fundamentals of what it takes to grow a successful practice remain the same – for firms of any size. Here’s a quick primer.

  • Manage obligations to a low and manageable level. This means:
  • Not committing to expensive (and extravagant) office space. Resist the siren song of that newest office tower – and the long term lease that comes with it.
  • Limit hiring of permanent lawyer and support staff until there has been an extended and reliable need established.  In the interim, learn to rely on part time, and temporary resources.
  • Focus your practice on an area of law for which you have a passion, and for which there is a significant demand.
  • Strengthen and expand your relationships. This means the network of those that you have a direct relationship with, and those that can be developed through social media.
  • Without exception, do work of a quality that will bring clients back and turn them into referral sources.

Success is not about size. It is about purpose, passion, wise management and a relentless focus on your network.

How do you see the future for mid-tier firms?