Lawyers spend their days repeatedly thinking and rethinking the same problems to find new ways to solve them. And then they bill by the hour for each of those solutions. But you don’t have to look far to see that this model is crumbling around us.
Every successful law firm thrives on efficiency and collaboration, but working with so many different people in such a fast-paced environment can be challenging at times. Luckily, there are proven steps that will help any law firm grow into something even bigger and better than before.
How to Grow Your Law Firm for Long-Term Success
Hiring the best attorneys and implementing reliable tech solutions for scheduling and billing clients is just the tip of the iceberg. Next, law firms must look around and identify the best practices big companies use for growth and long-term success. You may be in your first of the 6 stages for growing your law firm, but remember that the road upward needs some thinking and strategizing. So let’s see a few suggestions!
Hire for Culture Fit Over Skill Set
A law firm is only as good as the people who work there. You’re guaranteed to fail if you don’t have the right team. Even if you’re starting, you need people on your team who share your vision and believe in the mission behind your brand. If you hire only based on skill set, you’re limiting your team’s potential and stifling the innovation needed to take your law firm to the next level.
Establish a Culture of Transparency
What does it mean for a law firm to be transparent? Well, it’s more than just having an open-door policy and accepting feedback on your brand; those are also important parts of the process. For real transparency, your law firm needs to be open and honest about everything from financials to the way you handle client relationships.
It would help if you embraced a culture that encourages communication and feedback among your employees at all levels. That communication will help you avoid pitfalls with regulatory compliance and client relationships. And it will help your team understand the bigger picture and their roles in the firm’s success.
It might seem almost too obvious, but it’s worth mentioning regardless. Many law firms are just beginning to realize the benefits of technology in streamlining internal processes and making the firm more efficient. For example, a good customer relationship management (CRM) system can help you stay in touch with existing clients and nurture relationships with potential clients.
Develop an Employee Growth Strategy
Unhappy employees are the root of all evil in any company, and the law is no different. If your firm only focuses on bringing in new clients, you can expect to lose many of those loyal to you for years. If you want to create a culture of success and continuous growth, you’ll also need to focus on the development and growth of your current team members.
In short, you need to create a growth strategy that will help you to identify the best employees and then help them to advance within your firm. That doesn’t mean that you need to create a rigid promotion system. Instead, focus on helping your employees grow by providing them mentorship and professional development opportunities.
Build a Marketing Strategy and Plan
Brand awareness is crucial to the success of any law firm. The ideal client for your firm is out there, but they need to know that you exist and what you offer if you want to bring them on board. Marketing isn’t something that will happen overnight, and you shouldn’t expect to make a profit from it in the short term.
You should treat marketing as a long-term investment that will pay off over time as other firms notice your success and try to emulate it. You can start small and simple by creating a social media presence, joining relevant online communities, and posting content that shows off your brand and expertise.
Grow By Acquiring Other Firms
Unfortunately, not every firm will follow this process and make the necessary changes to grow. That’s where acquisition comes in. You might think acquiring another law firm will only make your brand larger. The truth is that the more law firms you add to your brand, the less valuable each one becomes.
It’s important to pick the right firm to acquire and work hard to make their brand part of your own. Make sure that you look at the overall financial health of the firm and the quality of its work. You don’t want to acquire an underperforming law firm that will hurt the integrity of your brand. By acquiring a firm, you can immediately add new employees and expertise to your team, helping it to grow significantly.