Planning & Organizing Law Practice Management
The topics most important to law practice management revolve around critical-delivery tasks such as area specialization, staffing, finances, communication with clients, time planning and physical plant properties. Using a “Strategic Planning Approach,” members receive personal coaching and training on:
- Planning for Law Practice Management
- Strategic Staffing Management
- Reception, Administrative Support and Telephone Procedures
- Implementing Legal Marketing Calendar System
- Conducting Effective Meetings
- Office Set-Up Tips
Creating a Client Base
Legal marketing is perhaps the most important function in law practice management. Investing time and money in developing your staff, office and practice is worthless, unless you also develop a solid client base. By having a sound law practice marketing plan, you can keep your clients and consumers in your community abreast of changes in the law, as well as educating them about the importance of creating or maintaining an estate plan.
The Academy offers a wide variety of legal marketing tools and programs, along with individual coaching, available exclusively to Academy members. These coaching efforts focus on which tools to initially implement, how to organize your approach and how to measure the results. For a complete list of marketing resources available to the Academy’s members, contact our member information consultant.
The Basics of Law Practice Management
The Academy provides its members with CounselPro™, comprehensive proprietary law practice management software, which performs all of the basics of law office management. Features that our members find especially valuable include:
- All contact information can be stored, including notes from anyone in the firm for clients, prospective clients, vendors, professionals, staff and more.
- “Communicate” feature allows users to send client appointments and emails to anyone in the database with a valid email address
- “Activities” feature provides a handy “to-do” list for all staff, tracking all open items, action items by staff, allowing sorting by any field, and with reporting available.
- Assembly of client estate plans and other documents from the client’s main record.
- Over 200 management or marketing reports available, providing important information on clients, marketing methods, expenses and revenue, current activity/documentation status, budgets, and much, much more.
- Provides over 300 letters for specific purposes, alleviating the need for members to draft their own.
Please note, CounselPro™ is a powerful tool, with immense functionality, so please feel free to contact the Academy for a more detailed discussion about the benefits of using software this advanced!
Establishing Your Firm
Whether you’ve just graduated from law school, left your corporate position or have decided to part company with former partners, implementing a law firm management system is crucial. Some fundamental law firm management tips and techniques you should immediately employ to develop a client base:
- Prepare a strategic law firm business plan – decide upon your objectives and the best way to reach them.
- Prepare a traditional, paper or media-based, detailed marketing plan
- Ensure that your strategic and marketing plans are properly calendared
- Prepare a website and optimize it for excellent search engine placement in alignment with your objectives
- Network with other lawyers, such as you would find in organizations like the Academy
- No doubt, the single most important consideration for a newly established firm is law office practice management software! CounselPro, the Academy’s proprietary law practice management software, does all the work to transition a “new” firm to a successful, thriving practice.
Law Firm Marketing Plan
To create a profitable law firm marketing plan, a detailed analysis is a vital first step:
- Identify major strategic development goals such as area of specialization
- Target client locations and characteristics and how decide how to exploit your intended target markets, carefully identifying the competitive environment
- Identify any “unique selling asset” you possess and then develop targeted campaigns for radio, newspaper, internet, professional groups, social groups, etc.
- Elaborate on the specifics of your campaigns, such as detailing whether you are available to speak, write, found, etc. for professional groups, etc.
- Employ a marketing calendar to document all important segments of each step.
Develop a Law Firm Strategic Business Plan
A “strategic business plan” is a systematic process of envisioning a desired future and translating this vision into broadly defined goals, or objectives, and then developing a sequence of steps to achieve the goals. As opposed to “long term planning” which starts from managing your current position so that an ultimate goal may be achieved, the strategic planner virtually ignores the present. This “strategic” concept is very important in developing law practice management procedures because what a lawyer was, or did, is really not important. What is important is, “what do I want to become?” This is where the Academy is invaluable. Becoming a member of the Academy not only prepares you individually as an attorney, but also helps you attain the goals of your practice by employing clearly defined legal marketing plans, law practice management software, staff training, and many other resources available exclusively to our members.
The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys’ Law Practice Management Systems are organized and outlined in the Academy’s manual, Practice Building Handbook. This important law practice management handbook, along with the Ad and Direct Mail Library and the Integrated Marketing Guide, are the cornerstones of our system. To master the critical field of law firm practice management and reap the benefits of this detailed, profitable and powerful system, get your membership started today.