As we enter the New Year, chances are good you’re dealing with a predictable slate of demands on your time: setting compensation and budgets; managing details associated with the latest departure; and interviewing this week’s lateral prospect. All important activities, and worthy of serious attention; but none of these is likely to make the firm
Law Firm Leadership
Should Your Law Firm Rethink Succession Planning?
Law firm succession planning as an imperative is a popular topic. Discussing and planning for succession makes great sense on many levels. Without a good succession plan, the theory goes, a firm may drive off the cliff with catastrophic results.
But what if your firm is not a good candidate for succession? What if its…
Five Keys to a Successful Law Firm Merger
Law firm merger is popular because, among other things, it can help a firm grab greater market share, enter new markets, bolster capabilities, or address succession challenges. These results or outcomes can compel a firm to pursue merger enthusiastically. Unfortunately, mergers don’t always guaranty success and in some cases can undermine a firm’s stability. To…
Thoughts on Building Long-Term Law Firm Health
For law firm leaders, continuing a firm’s success is about constant monitoring, clear vision, perspective, and the willingness to act.
Well-run businesses, including law firms, stay abreast of changes in the marketplace by monitoring shifting client needs. Successful businesses track the initiatives of competitors and seek to secure the premium assets needed to compete. For law firms, that means keeping clients, getting new ones, and preserving the talent in the workforce.
There are many ways to achieve this, but for nearly all law firms it includes staying focused on the bottom line. If a law firm operates profitably, it can be more responsive to its client’s needs, it can respond to its competition, it can innovate where appropriate and necessary, and it can retain its most valuable attorneys. Call it “staying focused,” “being on top of things,” or “keeping your eye on the ball”—each speaks to operating as if nothing is assured. Yesterday’s success is no guarantee of tomorrow’s survival.
A successful law firm is a busy one. New clients are landed, matters are opened, and legal advice gets delivered. The success enjoyed may be traced to the principles that drove the firm’s formation, the drive of the lawyers that came together as a firm, or a little of both. A brisk practice might also be due to increasing client demand. Whatever the impetus for the good fortune, few law firm leaders are naïve enough to assume that present success is a guarantee of future prosperity.
But if the fleeting nature of success is recognized, why do some firms fail to sustain the momentum they worked so hard to build?
Sustaining a law firm’s success, or even just ensuring that a firm survives, is a challenge faced by every law firm—every day of every year. And wherever the significance of the task is understood, focused and dedicated leadership can act and plan in firm-sustaining ways. For some firms, however, finding a way to continue the good times escapes leadership’s attention. And a struggling firm is an unstable one, less and less able to sustain its reputation and market position and increasingly putting itself at great risk.
Four fundamental lessons, if followed, can reduce risk and improve a law firm’s chances of surviving.
Continue Reading Thoughts on Building Long-Term Law Firm Health
Making Your Law Firm Stand Out-Five Things That Drive Needed Change
Competition among law firms is as brisk as ever. Gaining an advantage requires more than hard work-it requires strategic thinking that causes a firm to be different in a positive and noticeable way. Simply working harder or relying on strategies that performed in the past is not enough.
If business as usual is not sustainable…
Negotiating a Law Firm Merger-Have You Prepared for the Inevitable Attrition?
Merger is a tactic that never ceases to be popular with law firms. Among other things, a merger can create excitement, offer greater financial opportunity, provide a rescue, or promise a firm and its people a more promising future. As merger activity unfolds, a law firm leader may soon feel initial enthusiasm damped by unwanted…
Five Thoughts That Shouldn’t Drive Your Law Firm Merger
Law firm mergers can accomplish a great deal, so it is no wonder they are popular. The number of mergers consummated each year is steady if not growing. Strategically designed and executed law firm mergers can boost combined firms to places otherwise difficult to achieve in the time frames desired.
Even though many mergers make…
Four Steps to Enhance Law Firm Succession in the Busy Firm
Law firm succession can be easy, and it can be hard. It tends to be easy for the law firms blessed with talented people, a deep and repeatable client base, and a stellar reputation. Transition from one generation to the next can be natural and seamless. Unfortunately, not all law firms enjoy such a profile.…
Is Your Law Firm Developing Future Leaders?
One of the most underappreciated factors associated with law firm success or failure is the effectiveness of leadership.
The fact is, no single factor has a greater impact on the success or failure of a business than the quality of its leadership. During a period of increasing change in the legal services industry a well-defined…
Being a Law Firm Merger Target-Five Inquiries First Time Players Need to Make
Some law firms seem to be full-time participants in law firm merger activity. As new markets are entered and competitors gobbled up, the voracious law firms bring to their transactions a wealth of experience their counterparts often lack. If your law firm is thinking about merger for the first time, will a lack of experience…