A disproportionately high number of solo and small practice law firms fail. Yet, the biggest dream of every lawyer is to own a thriving law firm.
If you’re already a law firm owner, thumbs up! Starting up a firm is not an easy feat. However, that’s not the hard part. Keeping it open and building into a profitable business is where the real challenge lies.
At a time when firms are cropping up left and right, knowing how to make your firm stand out can mean the difference between success and failure.
In this guide, we’re fleshing out a number of things you can do to make your firm more competitive.
Let’s get into it.
1. Partner Up
There’s a compelling case for starting a solo law firm. You’re in complete control of every aspect of running the firm. If you believe that too many captains will sink a ship, then setting up a solo practice would suit you.
However, partnering up with another lawyer to set up a firm has a significant advantage over going solo. A partner brings a diversity of thought and skillset. If you’re not business savvy, for example, partnering with an investment lawyer who is business savvy is an invaluable thing.
Plus, a law firm partner can potentially add to the range of services your firm will provide. If you’re a criminal lawyer, for example, partnering with a corporate attorney means you can offer both criminal law and business law services. This expands your target market.
Some lawyers dislike partnering up because of the potential for disagreements and chaos. There’s no doubt that these can disrupt the operations of a firm and even cause failure. However, you shouldn’t partner up with someone for the sake of it. You ought to be intentional about finding a partner with whom you can develop a positive working relationship.
2. Hire Top Talent
Any organization is just as good as the people working there. Your law firm isn’t the office or the name. These are important, but your law firm is its people.
From the onset, your goal should be to build a team of dedicated, competent professionals. From lawyers to paralegals, assistants, and other members of staff, everyone should be up to the task.
However, more focus should be on the legal team. A law firm provides legal services. At the end of the day, you’ll be judged by the quality of legal services you provide. You can use a law firm staffing company to hire top talent in your market.
Hiring top talent is only one-half of the job, though. The other half is keeping it. A high employee turnover will hurt your employer’s reputation, making it more difficult to attract top talent.
Strive to provide a good work environment for everyone. This helps retain your employees.
3. Build a Strong Law Firm Brand
In a recent survey, over 50 percent of respondents said they consider the expertise and reputation of lawyers or law firms when deciding whether to consume their services.
This isn’t surprising, really. As the digital revolution takes root, more and more people are turning to the internet when looking for products and services. These consumers want to establish your reputation before hiring.
This is where branding comes in.
Essentially, consumers want to hire businesses with a strong brand. Not only this but also a brand whose values align with theirs.
It takes time to build a credible law firm brand, but it’s something you should start doing as soon as you establish the firm. What do you want your firm to be known for? To answer this question, you need to understand the needs of your target market.
If yours is an immigration law firm or you are an immigration lawyer, you might want to position it as the firm that fights for people who’re facing various immigration issues. To brand your firm this way, be clear about it in your mission and vision. Other branding elements, such as your logo, can also subtly communicate a similar message.
Branding is a full-time job. It’s also a skilled job. It’s advisable to hire a branding specialist and task them with transforming your law firm into a reputable brand.
4. Leverage Law Firm Technology
Law firms aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking of the latest business technology. All you see are shelves with thick books, heavy carpets, and a few computers.
Well, times are changing. The modern law firm is home to state-of-the-art technology and if you want to keep your firm competitive, you ought to be using the best technology there is.
There are many types of tech hardware and software to invest in. Office productivity software is a good place to start, but you also need technology for client management, legal research, document storage, accounting, discovery, and more. Almost every law firm function has a technology solution.
Above all, you need proper IT management. It’s of no use having bleeding edge technology if you don’t know how to get the most of it. Outsource this task to a company that offers legal IT services, so that you can focus on your primary functions.
Transform Your Law Firm into a Competitive Beast
The legal industry is getting more competitive. Now more than ever, legal consumers have no shortage of choices. But you can make your law firm their preferred choice. Use these tips to build a law firm that’s competitive and stands out.
Keep tabs on our blog for more tips and advice for lawyers and legal service consumers.