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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of December 20, 2016

Change Your Ways

Change was the basic theme of a speech by ABA executive director Jack Rives in a recent speech, according to Terry Carter in “The ABA Should Embrace Change and Not be ‘Left in the Dust,’ Executive Director Says,” an August 8, 2016, ABA Journal article. Rives discussed how to increase membership in the face of declining numbers.

Rives’s advice is advice that spans all sectors of the legal profession, not just the ABA as an organization. Lawyers need to figure out ways to embrace the change around them and make it work to their advantage in their practice.

Locale Changes
The locale in which you practice might experience change. It might, for example, pull in a wealthier group of residents. You should then choose an office in a wealthier part of town and update the décor, thus appealing to this wealthier niche.

The locale might also lose population. In this case, you might be competing with the same number of lawyers for fewer clients. Thus, you should up your game in how you cater to clients, making sure that you are the lawyer of choice.

Economic Changes
If the economy improves and the housing market booms, you might want to consider changing your practice focus to real estate law.

If the economy changes for the worse, you should change how you market your firm, gearing yourself to a wealthier clientele so that you won’t have to worry about whether your clients will pay for your services. In a down economy, your clients might have trouble paying your fees, so you should change collection practices to be more aggressive.

Technological Changes
When technology improves, you can embrace it to give better services to your clients, thus gaining their loyalty and giving you the ability to gain new clients.

Technological improvements also are usually time-saving occurrences, which means that you will have more time to increase either your business or your free time with family and friends.



Change Your Ways

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"I requested that (my partners) allow me to take on the management of the firm and suggested the creation of a business plan.... (Our practice) is a successful practice, but in dire need of a direction -- and a business plan. They agreed to give me a shot and entertain a rough outline of my ideas. I was shocked when they agreed, but then horrified at the task before me. However, sitting on my shelf is "The Business of Law" that I purchased from you a few years ago. I began to read it and a whole new world has opened up for me. I just wanted to express my gratitude to you for writing the book... I am excited about the opportunity I have and just wanted to let you know that I appreciate all you do for the field."

Pleasanton, CA

"I was an associate at a large national law firm and I felt "stuck," but I didn't know how to market myself to clients or to other firms. Ed's focus on the business side of the law firm provided a solid grounding for me to evaluate my current situation and a platform from which I could start growing my own practice. In many ways, working with Ed is like working with a therapist. Part of my coaching process with Ed has been getting to understand more thoroughly my strengths and weaknesses as both a marketer and as a lawyer. After working with Ed for six months, I was ready to market myself to other firms: I developed a clearly articulated set of objectives and Ed has gave me the tools that I needed to increase my exposure. Today, I am working for a law firm that provides better opportunities for my professional growth."

San Francisco, CA


Ed Poll, LawBiz® Management   |   |   |   |


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