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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of January 3, 2012

LawBiz(r) newsletter

A few notes that recently crossed my desk seem to be good mantras to start the new year in the proper frame of mind:

  • See change as an opportunity.

  • Be part of the solution, not the problem.

  • "What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down." (Mary Pickford)

  • Have courage. "Courage is just fear that holds out a little longer." (attributed to Douglas MacArthur)

  • Listen.

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When Smaller Is Better

Law Firm Mergers
As December began, the Bryan Cave law firm based in St. Louis announced that it was merging with Denver-based Holme Roberts & Owen, creating a global firm of 1160 lawyers. After a recession-induced slowdown, law firm mergers seem to be happening faster than ever. The MergerLinetm of the Altman Weil consulting firm shows that 43 law firm mergers and acquisitions were announced in the first three quarters of this year, a number up 79% when compared to the same period in 2010.

Let's Grow!
Even after all the travail of the Great Recession, law firm mergers and acquisitions continue to begin with a single idea: Let's grow. Why? To expand, to better serve existing clients, to get new clients who can use existing services. The search for candidates (more accurately, available candidates) begins, the transaction is completed, and the firm has a general "mission accomplished" feeling. But is it truly justified? Often clients may not be better served if the expected economies of scale and enhanced collaboration do not materialize.

Communicate Effectively
One of the keys to a successful law practice of any size is communication among staff and colleagues and communication with clients. Smaller law firms have the advantage of being more transparent and having less bureaucracy than larger ones. Clients of such firms typically expect to receive more personal service, and typically receive it. But this kind of communication does not happen automatically, even in a small firm.

Promote Quality Communication with Clients
It is essential that the client knows what the lawyer is doing, and that the client approves of the actions taken to achieve the client's goals. There is no excuse for things to be otherwise in a small firm. If clients do not believe that a lawyer is serving their best interests, they will take their business elsewhere. The skills of a lawyer and the way in which services are delivered to the client must be in tune with what the client wants and needs. The obligation to promote quality communication between attorney and client and to assure that the client understands what to expect lies squarely with the attorney, as part of his or her professional responsibility.

Understand Client Needs and Wants
Bigger firms may have the resources to handle any and all client needs. But smaller firms can overcome any size disadvantage by a fundamental commitment to understand client needs and wants, and provide their services accordingly.

Disaster Preparedness & Recovery Planning
for Law Firms

Disaster Preparedness & Recovery Planning for Law Firms

It isn't a question of if your firm will face a disaster but when it will. How will you and your people respond? Disaster planning is one of the most specialized, most overlooked, and most vital business planning endeavors. This book discusses:

 •  The essentials of
    a comprehensive recovery plan
 •  How to create a team
    to plan the firm's response
 •  Where legal ethics and
    disaster planning intersect
 •  Must-dos to safeguard
    and support your people

Learn more.

Now Available: Price: $67
Call 1-800-837-5880 or order online at

In this issue:

When Smaller Is Better

Disaster Preparedness & Recovery Planning for Law Firms

Video: Compensation Model for Small Firms

Featured Video:
Ed Poll on YouTube video


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What Clients Are Saying:

"In the short time that Ed has been coaching me, his comments and guidance have been invaluable. Within weeks, he has improved my self-confidence immeasurably, guided me to run my law practice more like a business and most importantly, helped me obtain my goal of increasing my income while decreasing the time I spend working. It is a joy and pleasure working with Ed and I look forward to each coaching session. My only regret is that I did not start with you sooner."

Atlanta, GA

"I was initially reluctant to expend the money for Ed Poll's strategic planning session, but knew that in order to grow in an organized manner, I needed to spend the time in a one-on-one session. By the end of the first hour of our session, Ed helped me formulate a plan which, when implemented, resulted in an amazing return on the investment of the session. Ed then proceeded to analyze my financial statements and helped me to see my business in strictly financial terms - something us attorneys don't normally do. If we had concluded our session then, I would have felt that it was extremely worthwhile and would have felt that I had received my "money's worth." But I have now used Ed as my business coach for the past two years and have been extremely impressed with his practical approach to the practice of law. With Ed's encouragement, I find myself coming up with creative ideas regarding how to grow my business. I now feel that I can engage in the business of law, leaving my team to engage in the practice of law."

London, England

Ed Poll, LawBiz® Management   |   |   |
©2011 LawBiz® Management. All rights reserved.

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