Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work for Law Firms and What to Do Instead

New Year’s resolutions. We’ve all made them, but who actually sticks to them? When it comes to running a law firm, the pressure to improve and grow can make the traditional resolution approach feel like a quick fix. But what if there was a better way? This year we’re taking on the role of the antagonist when it comes to resolutions. Instead of trying New Year’s resolutions that usually fall short, let us present an alternative strategy for setting and achieving goals that are sustainable for your law firm in the coming year. 

Creating a Vision for Your Law Firm

As we move into 2023, it’s important to remember that success in running a law firm doesn’t come from haphazardly setting New Year’s resolutions, but rather from having a clear vision for the future of your practice. A vision for your law firm is a guiding principle that defines where you want to go and how you plan to get there. Without a vision, your goals and actions will lack direction and purpose. So, instead of making empty promises to yourself, take the time to develop a vision for your law firm in 2023 that will provide a roadmap for your business decisions and help ensure long-term success.

Areas to Focus on Improving Your Law Firm

When you’re creating a vision for your law firm there are three areas you should be focusing on:

  1. Scope & Scale: Both are important concepts to consider when running a law firm. Scope refers to the range of services a firm offers, while scale refers to the size and capacity of the firm to offer those services. Having a clear understanding of the scope of services that your firm can provide and the scale at which it can provide them is essential for setting and achieving goals, as well as for determining the direction of the firm’s growth. By focusing on both scope and scale, you can feel confident that your firm is providing a comprehensive range of services to clients while also being able to handle the demands of your client base. This can help to identify the areas where the firm needs to invest more in order to grow and improve. Furthermore, focusing on scope & scale is what will allow you to expand into new new markets or even new practice areas.
  2. Recruitment & Retention: This is arguably one of the hardest parts of running a law firm. Finding the right talent is one thing, but retaining them, especially in today’s job market, isn’t always easy. We’ve created a great team of employees at all of my practices, but this wasn’t always the case. After meeting with some of our staff this year and listening to their needs and current situations we decided it was time to make some adjustments to how they’re paid, as well as implement a personal/professional development budget. The biggest part of retention is taking the time to listen to your staff and making change when change is needed. With inflation we realized it would be more beneficial to increase salaries and reduce bonuses to help with day-to-day living expenses. We also realized that the wellbeing of our employees and their job satisfaction is crucial to their performance. Implementing a personal/professional development budget of $600 per year will allow our employees to improve their quality of life whether that’s in the gym or taking new coursework or training.
  3. Elevating Services: Every year this is something you should be focusing on. Elevating your law firm’s services is crucial to being the best and staying the best. Start by focusing on providing outstanding services to your clients. This means going above and beyond what is expected, being responsive to their needs, and de
  4. livering results that exceed their expectations. Another way to elevate your law firm’s services is by creating raving fans. This is achieved by consistently providing exceptional service, building strong relationships with clients, and creating a positive and memorable experience for them. When your clients are raving about your firm to others, it can lead to more business and greater success for the firm. By focusing on providing outstanding services and creating raving fans, your law firm can differentiate itself from the competition and establish a reputation for excellence.

How I’m Focusing on Improving my Law Firms This Year

While I won’t be implementing any resolutions for my law firm this year, I will be focusing on all the areas outlined above. Scope & scale is something I am always razor focused on. I love seeing where I can help other divorce & family law attorneys, but I also love growing my own practice. This year I’ll be expanding into Colorado Springs and most likely Kansas City as well. Additionally I’ve made changes to the way our employees are compensated and have given them a personal/professional budget for the year to allow them to continue to improve themselves outside of work. Lastly, but most importantly, I’m also focusing on what my firms can do to provide the best services to our clients and leave them with a lasting impression. We’ll be providing our clients with care packages to hopefully make the process easier. We’ve also created a resource page on our site that has all the information a client could need in one spot, so it’s easy for them to navigate and find the applicable information they’re searching for.

Know that while I do preach often, I always practice what I preach. Growing a divorce & family law firm isn’t easy. It takes a strong vision, the right people, and time. The Cardinal Concepts team has real world experience doing that for my law firms and clients alike. If you’re looking for more than a quick fix when it comes to improving your law firms, reach out to me, I’d be more than happy to help.

David Crum, Esq.

David Crum, Esq.

Being an attorney and law firm owner for over 25 years, I know first-hand how critical marketing and business operations are which is why I help others learn and grow from my own personal experience.

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