Proper planning is a key component of any successful law firm or attorney transition. It is also a key element to ensuring the long-term success and viability of any legal practice—big or small.
Indeed, law firms continue to operate in a challenging environment in which clients are expecting more, often for less. Law firms can’t afford to be complacent. They must improve their operations in order to improve their performance. They must always be planning for what is coming next.
Basic planning is a must for any law firm to survive. We counsel our clients on how to set up, revise, fix, change, and run law firm systems and business practices to function efficiently and productively. We counsel California law firms and attorneys on a wide variety of strategic business issues and transitions, including:
- Partnership agreements and firm structure
- Attorney advertising and marketing
- Law firm policies and procedures
- Law firm compensation systems
- Law firm start-up planning
- Law firm succession planning
- Law firm dissolutions
Advanced planning is necessary to thrive. Law firms are unlike other customer service businesses because the customer (or in this case, the client) isn’t always right and the work can be extremely demanding and time-consuming. Each attorney working on behalf of the business is bound by detailed ethics rules, California statutes, and case law, which require considerations beyond the bottom-line to be successful.
Attorneys are often highly motivated professionals, which means that it is critical to incentivize the right things, and to disincentivize the wrong things. Attorneys are also, well, attorneys. For any firm that doesn’t manage these issues well, expect to hear about it.
To be competitive in today’s legal market, each aspect of the firm’s management has to be working together and pointing in the right direction. The partnership agreement, policies and procedures, compliance systems, compensation systems, succession planning, and exit plans are all part of a whole, ideally, and should be viewed that way so that they are synchronized toward achieving the firm’s goals. Your business performance depends upon it.
If your firm doesn’t meet that description, let’s talk.