3 Steps to Growing Your Law Firm

 

Growing a remarkable company is not an easy task. Building something that lasts requires time, work, resilience, and the ability to constantly pivot.

After working with over 600 law firms in Chicago of all sizes, we have seen a few things that separate those who build a thriving firm from those who stay stuck. In this article, we’ll explore what those key characteristics are, and how you can start implementing them today.

 

Step #1. Set a SMART Goal

We cannot define progress without first having something to strive towards. That is why the first step is setting a Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound goal. This is known as a SMART goal, and without it we have no way of measuring progress and will be more prone to stay reactive to whatever life throws our way. We want to be proactive.

Where would you like your law firm to be within 3 years? Define your target revenue, profit margins, team composition, client profile, and hours that you work. Only by being clear and specific about what we want, can we start aligning all our daily actions with our goals.

Try to also go deeper into the reasons WHY you desire those things. The only way to stick with your goals when things get busy and difficult (which they will), is by setting up goals that you genuinely care about and see the importance of. In other words, your goals should be musts and not only wants for you to truly commit to them.

Step #2. Protect Your Schedule

Now that we have a goal, the next step is to invest resources to achieve it. Those resources come in the form of work, money, attention, focus, and time.

Let’s say you want to double your firm’s revenue within the next 18 months. You would need to reverse engineer that target by asking yourself, “What would need to happen for me to double my firm’s revenue?”

This will give you a strategic set of actions that need to get done — either one time or recurrently — in order to achieve that goal.

Where most business owners get stuck is by thinking they will achieve their goals without some sacrifices. As Jim Rohn said, “What got you here won’t get you there”. There need to be real changes in your schedule, your activities, and your relationships for this new goal to materialize.

Dan Sullivan advises business owners to set an inspiring 10X goal. He says “Seemingly impossible goals spotlight a few pathways and enable you to clearly identify the 20 percent of things and people in your life that are producing most of your results, and the 80 percent of things and people in your life that are holding you back.”

“Going for smaller goals (2X growth) means you can keep 80 percent of your existing clients, roles, behaviors, and mindsets. Only minor tweaks are needed.”

“Going for inspiring goals (10X growth) requires a different kind of effort, often less in quantity but higher in quality. You’ve elevated your vision and focus and must eliminate 80 percent of your current reality. 10X requires a full-scale transformation of yourself as well as everyone and everything around you.”

This reinforces the point that, in order to achieve a higher level, many things that are keeping you stuck need to be eliminated or delegated. That is when the next step comes in.

 

Step #3. Focus On What Matters

Now you have a goal and know that strategic plan to reach it. The next step is to open up space in your calendar. This will give you the time and the mental bandwidth to take your law firm to the next level.

A tool like the Eisenhower Matrix can be highly useful in this case.

The thing is to filter any task you need to do with this set of criteria. If it’s not important and not urgent, you delete it. If it’s not important but urgent, you delegate it. If it’s important but not urgent, you schedule it. If it’s important and urgent, you do it.

In that way, you are only left with tasks that move the needle, while your team takes care of tasks that maintain your current level but don’t contribute strategically to your goals.

 

What If You Cannot Afford a Big Team Yet?

The reality for solo practitioners and small law firm owners is that, even by having goals, a strategic plan, and protecting their calendar, they do not have the team in place to delegate their work. That means that they need to keep serving clients, growing their firms, and trying to enjoy life all at the same time.

That is why at Amata we created a suite of support services, that allow lawyers to delegate admin work without the overhead costs of full-time hires. With these services, small law firms can focus on growing their firms while protecting their profitability.

Just imagine how much further you would go if you could reduce your workload by 10-30 hours a week with a part-time assistant. At Amata we find and train these assistants for you, and bill hourly for only the work that you require.

Our support services for attorneys include paralegals, law clerks, live receptionists, and virtual assistants who act as an extension of your law firm. Here is a list of some of the on-demand services we provide:

  • Appointments and Calendar Management
  • Mail opening/scanning
  • Court Runs (Including the assembly, print, and preparation of courtesy copies.)
  • Notary/Witness Service
  • Scan/Fax/Deliver documents
  • Review court fillings
  • Editing appellate briefs per your notes
  • Draft simple complaints and motions
  • Handle the back-and-forth aspects of discovery
  • Video conferencing set-up
  • New client intake
  • Hand Deliveries/Pick-Ups
  • E-Filing
  • Preparation of Notice of Filing, Notice of Motion, Certificate of Service, and forms.
  • Review of local rules, court’s standing orders, & any temporary procedural orders in place.
  • Spindle or piggyback motion hearing dates, and any communications with the court clerk.
  • Confirm acceptance of filing by the court clerk.
  • Document Translation and Proofreading
  • Formatting appellate briefs
  • Skip Tracing
  • Social media posting
  • Asset Search (bank accounts)
  • E-Recording
  • And much, much more!

By having these support services without the need to hire, train, and retain employees, solo and small firms can practice law on their terms. You can focus on billable hours, defining your vision, and being a strategic leader, all while enjoying the work/life balance you started your business for.

Contact us today and see how our on-demand, flexible legal support services can help you grow your law firm and free up your time while protecting your profitability.

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