Attorneys are always asking about the one thing they must do in their law firm to make it successful. The answer to that question is not necessarily easy but I think I have come up with one thing. Now understand, doing this one thing alone will not make you a success but I do think it is essential to do it each day and forever as you build you law firm business. So without any more beating around the bush- here it is.
Hope you did not miss it, that’s right, pay attention. To what? To everything. Pay attention to everything in your law firm. From how your building looks, to the hallways, to the reception area, to the way your phone is answered, how do you get clients, what type of marketing do you do, what is your plan for the year, all the way to how you deliver legal services to those who keep your doors opened. Pay attention to employees and notice what they are paying attention to. Is it your business or is it something else? Pay attention to the big things and the little things. This one thing will lead to many things.
You see, most lawyers do not pay attention. In fact, now more than ever it is hard to pay attention to what is happening around us because there are more distractions than ever before. In addition, it is easier than ever to access these distractions. You all are aware of how easy it is or should I say how hard it is to stay away from the internet and email or texting or tweeting or … whatever comes next.
For lawyers it is particularly hard to pay attention to the business because of the built in pressure of the legal practice itself. Meeting client demands, staying on top of the law in your area or areas of expertise, managing technology, managing finances, managing employees. Most just try to keep afloat as compared to planning ahead, building a business and controlling it rather than the other way around.
But in order to succeed you must pay attention to every aspect of this law firm business otherwise it will run you, most likely into the ground! For great a reference on paying attention to all the little things see the book “Broken Widows Broken Business,” by Levine. For an examination of the law practice see the “E-Myth Attorney — Why Most Legal Practices Don’t Work and What To Do About It,” Gerber, Armstrong and Fisch.
Sanford M. Fisch
CEO & Co-Founder
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.