Take Your Practice to the Next Level with LawBiz

Attorneys and law firms across the country turn to law firm consultant Edward Poll, J.D, M.B.A, CMC when they want to increase their profitability. He offers legal consulting and lawyer coaching services to lawyers and their teams on practice management, business development, and financial matters.  With long-term experience in both business and law, Ed’s coaching strategies can bring a unique edge to your law firm.

Internationally recognized as a law firm strategist, best selling author and renowned speaker, he guides lawyers – from sole practitioners to managing partners – on how to increase their revenue with long-term strategies for sustainability. He helps small, mid-size and large law firms learn to refocus energy and reduce stress through their performance and productivity. Aside from consulting, Ed has taught classes for law firms, bar associations, and at UCLA, USC Law Center, and the Institute of Continuing Legal Education.

Thousands of lawyers have turned Ed’s ideas into a bigger income for themselves, with his legal consulting services helping to increase profitability with new clients, higher quality cases and clients, and more effective and efficient legal services.  Ed’s coaching can help improve your law firm as well. Ed Poll offers a variety of coaching and consulting programs on various subjects. Ed can provide the tools you need to help you develop a customized plan to achieve your goals.

How do I start my own law practice?

The least expensive way to start a practice is to start working out of your home. However, if you can, find a place to rent so you have somewhere to meet with your new clients.


Start seeking sub-contract work from government entities and other attorneys. When you do this, negotiate the best arrangement you can for administrative tasks to be performed by the contractor, items such as their office staff taking your dictated material or rough drafts of computer-entered typing to complete the document preparation for your final review and submission to your contractor.


Also, be sure to create a marketing plan for yourself which will describe how you plan to market yourself to other lawyers to get sub-contract work, then how you will extend your efforts to get “private” clients to know of you, and then how to expand beyond that into a full-blown office environment, traditional practice of your own.

How do I create a business plan for my law firm?

We believe there are five steps to creating a plan for your business:

  1. Prepare and agree to the plan. All the key players in your firm need to agree on a direction. Whether you work as a solo practitioner or as a partner, everyone involved in the decision-making process needs to “buy in” to the plan.
  2. Identify goals. Know what you want to be and what you want to do. If you don’t set goals for yourself, both personally and professionally, then you won’t achieve the success you want.
  3. Create a marketing plan. You need clients, but how do you get them and then keep them? Develop a marketing plan to help you identify and go after those potential clients to get them to take the first step and contact you about their case.
  4. Create a financial plan. A financial plan is the statement, in financial or monetary terms, of your dreams and goals. Without a financial plan, you won’t be able to succeed.
  5. Evaluate and revise the plan. As you begin work on the plan and notice that something isn’t working or may work better in a different way, change it. The plan can be updated on an ongoing basis.

Is a law firm’s marketing plan different from a business plan?

Treat your law firm as a business because it is one! All law firms need a strategic business plan that defines their goals, the nature of their new law practice and where/how they’re going to attract new clients.

What kind of goals does my law practice need?

Businesses fail because the owners fail to focus their energy on the business. Law is a profession; it is also a business. In order to succeed, lawyers must act in a businesslike way. Lawyers must plan their businesses to include service elements and procedures that will encourage consistently high standards of client interaction such as:

  • Establishing a return phone call policy
  • Creating a client-friendly environment
  • Preparing your clients for interactive events by role playing
  • Generating billing statements that are easy to understand
  • Regularly ask clients for feedback about whether or not they are pleased with the firm’s services

What does the state bar require of me in terms of running my business?

Each state may vary, but they may require having a business plan that includes your fee arrangements, budgets and business strategies. Acquiring a business license from the municipality where your practice is located or conducts business.

What technology does my law office need?

Technology has become so integral to how law firms operate. The must haves are:

  • Investing in a laptop or PC
  • Microsoft Office
  • Email management program
  • Fax machine

What do I need to do to become a more efficient lawyer?

To become a more efficient lawyer, they first thing you need to do is:

  • Set goals
  • Create a marketing plan
  • Create a cash flow statement

How can I make my law firm more profitable?

Businesses grow and become successful based on the growth of their customers. If you’re blessed with good fortune, you attract clients who grow, need more of your services as well as refer others to you.

Aside from that, business development, practice development, and marketing are the backbone of all growth effects. To make a law firm more profitable, you truly have to create a concrete plan of your goals and how you plan to attain them.

How do I set my legal fees?

In the law, as in any business, pricing is arbitrary; it is an art, not a science. The seller (lawyer) may calculate cost, set profit targets, gauge market demand, and then decide on the price for the service to be delivered.  Whether it is $100 or $1000 an hour, lawyer’s rates are set on a number of factors.

Ultimately, the fee that most lawyers charge is based on their “gut feel” after evaluating these and other factors. When clients start telling you that your fee is “very reasonable,” you know that the next client in the door should have an increased fee.

What happens if I don’t increase my revenue?

When running a law practice, you need to focus on doing the best you can by improving your skills, efficiency, and cost effectiveness—and above all, focus on what you should be doing, not what your competition is doing.

If you do find yourself in a place where you don’t increase your revenue, you can always increase your fees. Again, you cannot stick your head in the sand in this issue. Any attorney should have a feel for the current rates, depending on the market and practice area. The lawyer who adds value, who achieves results, and who is cutting edge has every right to a reasonable fee increase.

How can I collect unpaid legal fees?

If you have a client who hasn’t paid their fees, you first need to determine whether they even received the bill, and if they did, whether they are dissatisfied. Many lawyers keep doing work for a non-paying client hoping they will get paid and get referrals in the future, but that doesn’t always work out in their favor.

But what should you do when that doesn’t work? Firstly, stop all further work! Consider using a collection agency. To avoid jeopardizing client confidentiality, only disclose details that are necessary for fees to get collected. Another thing to ensure before sending a file to collection is to review the file for any potential basis for a malpractice allegation.

How do I improve my law firm’s client relations?

The best ways to improve client relations is taking a customer service approach when dealing with clients:

  • Believe that the client is number one!
  • Another way is to return your client’s phone calls. Surprisingly the single most-frequent complaint with state bars across the country is the failure to return phone calls.
  • Work on creating a relationship with your client—you can learn a great deal about clients by visiting them in their place of business.
  • Advise your clients about changes in the law that could impact them. This will show clients will that you’re up to date and that you care about them.
  • Communicate regularly with your clients. It is important to let clients know what is happening with their matter, and one way to do that is to send a status report on a regular basis.

What happens if the client wants to do something you think doesn’t fit their best interest?

It is best to explain the law to your client, and how each situation can pan out. Explain to them what you truly believe is in their best interest If they still want to move forward without adhering to your advice, consider withdrawing.

How do I make the client feel part of the team?

Lawyers have the tendency to focus on the task at hand without communicating their actions to clients. They may be doing a great job with documents, the courts or opposing parties, but the clients are never told. It is best to send them copies of all relevant documents that come into the office and provide status reports on a regular basis.  Clients always appreciate the communication.

How can a lawyer coach help me become a better lawyer?

Good athletes need coaches to become great and stay at the top. If it works for some of the top athletes in the world, then coaching can work for you. Grow your income, control your practice and gain peace of mind with Ed Poll’s lawyer coaching. With Ed’s approach, lawyers have been able to:

  • Significantly increase their profitability
  • Lessen the stress they experience in the practice of law
  • Give them back feelings of control over their professional life

Are you looking to increase profitability with new business, higher quality cases and clients, and more effective and efficient legal services? We can help! Customize Ed Poll’s coaching and consulting services to fit your firm’s specific issues and challenges. Let us help you grow your business, contact us today to get started!