Law Practice Management Asked and Answered Blog

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December 2006

Dec 07, 2006


5 Tips For Reinventing Your Practice

TIP #1: Develop a business mindset. Become an entrepreneur and learn how to think like a businessman. Look at the world from your client’s perspective. Consider you client your business partner.

TIP #2: Select your clients carefully. Establish client acceptance criteria. Learn how to say no. Dump undesirable clients.

TIP #3: Brand yourself. Look for was ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Become the only attorney that can do what you do. Make a decision – what do you want to be known and remembered for? Unique services, unique client groups, different service delivery strategy, personal style. Create a five-year plan for goal accomplishment.

TIP #4: Learn how to become “solutions orientated” and become a consultant to your clients as opposed to simply their attorney. Solutions may involve activities and services other than legal services. Think out-of-the-box and outside of typical frameworks in which you are comfortable.

TIP #5: Conduct a firm-wide management and leadership assessment and identify strengths and weaknesses. Enhance management and leadership skills through skill development training and personnel acquisitions.

John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Dec 01, 2006


Lawyer Coaching

Recently the following question was submitted to our office:

When should a firm consider coaching for attorneys?

The day-to-day stress of practicing law and serving clients leaves little time for focusing and investing in the future of the firm. When attorneys exhibit the following it may be time for a coach:

§         Stuck and unable to move forward on new initiatives
§         Indecision paralysis.
§         Lack of commitment, inertia, self-accountability or follow-up
§         Poor implementation skills
§         Lack of management, leadership, interpersonal, or other needed skills.

Training and skill development is not easy. Studies reveal that 90 percent of the people who attend seminars and training sessions see no improvement because they don't take the time to implement what they learn. Practices create habits and habits determine your future. Up to 90 percent of our normal behavior is based on habits. The key to skill learning is to get the new skill to become a habit. Once the new habit is well developed it becomes your new normal behavior. This requires practice. Unfortunately, attorneys do not have time to practice and experiment.

The coach's role is that of steward, facilitative leader and teacher. Law firms retain coaches to work with attorneys and staff, mostly on a personal level, to address problems involving lack of commitment, inertia, implementation, self-accountability and follow-up. Firms are using coaching in the following areas:

John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

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