Four Strategies to Grow Your Law Firm
If you’re an attorney that wants to grow your law firm, I am uniquely qualified to tell you how to do it because I’ve done it for myself. I started my legal career as a solo practioner and my now have over 80 employees across three states. I’ve grown my legal practice using each of the strategies I outline below so I can speak from personal experience on the matter.
Adding Associates & Staff to Your Practice
This is going to be the most common strategy to grow your law firm. Adding associates or other revenue generating team members such as paralegals and legal assistants is rather straightforward but there are multiple considerations before you begin the recruitment process. First, is whether your firm has the work to support an additional team member or the ability to generate the work for them. My associates carry 40 active cases on average so I know that every month, our law firm marketing has to generate four new clients per associate. I have over 30 associates so you can do the math on that client acquisition.
Legal support staff is another great way to grow your practice. They can provide a stream of revenue while allowing attorneys to be better leveraged and manage a higher caseload.
Adding New Practice Areas to Your Services
If you’ve read or seen any of my content, you’ve probably heard me say, “riches are in the niches.” Meaning, your law practice can be more efficient and profitable by focusing on a specific area of law and owning it instead of being a jack of all trades, master of none attorney. I still wholeheartedly believe this to be true but there are two reasons that led me to expand the service offerings at my own firm:
- If you’re not growing, you’re dying. When your law firm is just maintaining the status quo, it’s unlikely you’re creating an inspired vision for your business and team. This is going to lead to turnover which will cost you time and money. Even when correctly executing the highest level growth initiatives, at a certain point you will hit market saturation with no where else to go but into new practice verticals or out to new markets.
- Certain legal services are so closely tied together, you are doing your clients and community a disservice by not offering them help. Case in point is domestic violence. If a client going through divorce has experienced domestic violence, instead of forcing them to engage with a separate attorney for the criminal charges, you should be able to represent them for all of their needs.
How to Add a New Practice Area to Your Firm
First and foremost you need to have legal expertise and experience in the new practice area. For me, I had a talented family law attorney who was a former Public Defender with a desire to take on criminal defense case work. If you don’t have the skill on your current team, look for individuals with relevant backgrounds or look to recruit new talent to your team.
Next is creating the systems to service these prospects and clients. Working with my operations team, we created an intake and onboarding process that highly leveraged the work to technologies we already use (don’t miss the Clio case study on us) so that our existing team could efficiently service this new line of business.
Lastly, the marketing. You will need to effectively communicate your services and get your messaging in front of your target audience. Having reliable lead generation is key. For me, that meant rolling out our Launch and Earn™ Google Ads campaigns and having a strong content marketing strategy to support SEO efforts.
Expanding to New Locations with Additional Offices
This has been one of my most successful strategies. By expanding your geographic reach, you can attract clients who prefer local representation and establish a stronger presence in multiple markets. Consider demographics, legal demand, and competition when selecting new locations. For example, Las Cruces, NM and Grand Junction, CO have been great expansion locations for me because there is a demand for legal services but fewer attorneys available to service the community making client acquisition much easier than the primary office locations of Albuquerque and Denver.
Multiple offices enhance your firm’s visibility, credibility, and accessibility to clients in different regions. Moreover, local offices allow you to develop personal relationships with clients, fostering trust and loyalty. However, expanding to new locations requires careful planning, investment, and effective management to ensure seamless operations across offices. With the right approach, expanding your physical footprint can significantly contribute to the growth and profitability of your law firm.
Acquiring Another Law Firm
Mergers and acquisitions offer law firms the opportunity to experience rapid growth and gain a competitive edge. By acquiring another law firm, you can leverage synergies, combine resources, expand your client base, and enter new markets. Acquisitions enable you to tap into the expertise and reputation of the acquired firm, enhancing your firm’s capabilities and credibility. Moreover, acquiring a law firm with a complementary practice area or client base can provide immediate access to a new segment of clients and revenue streams. However, successful acquisitions require careful due diligence, alignment of values and culture, and effective integration strategies. With proper planning and execution, acquiring another law firm can fuel significant growth and solidify your firm’s position in the market.
Growing a law firm necessitates proactive strategies and a forward-thinking approach. By adding associates and staff, diversifying practice areas, expanding to new locations, and acquiring other firms, you can position your law practice for sustained growth, increased profitability, and expanded client reach. If you want to discuss the best path to grow your law firm, schedule a free strategy session with me and we can talk through your options.