Your law firm is like a baby going through the different stages it has to go through in order to be an adult.
At each stage the child needs to learn specific lessons to mature through each stage through adulthood.
When you first start your law firm you have to take those baby steps (the basic necessities) first, otherwise it’s like you are a newborn trying to be an adult. At each stage there is a different lever you can use to complete that stage and move on to the next one.
These decisions can change. You just need to start with something.
In this stage you’ll access the lever of time. Make the most of your time and learn to use it well. All these things take time and now is when you need to master it.
How do you hire that first employee when you just start? First make sure you’re not starting your own law firm right out of law school. So far all you’ve done is read books. You need to actually practice law before you open your own firm. Start off working for someone and by a year or two you’ll have enough experience and you’ll have built up a good client base. This way you already start off with clients. Once you start your law firm you should hire someone (as long as you can afford it), so that the customer service level is maintained at what your clients are used to.
Although lawyers see hiring employees as an expense, it’s really a necessary investment. You should really hire your first employee as soon as possible because it’s just not feasible to get everything done when you are doing everything on your own.
It’s not even like you have to lay out a lot of money right then and there. You’re paying your employee...
I am a firm believer that people shouldn’t hire based on skill, rather they should hire based on personality, motivation, and passion. Skills can be taught, but it’s the personality and character that’s almost impossible to teach.
First and foremost when you hire it should be for the emotional intelligence and core values. It’s so expensive and painful to hire and train someone who ends up not showing up or quitting after a short time. When you hire from the human side of things, you will see a world of a difference in the employees you hire.
Money motivates to a certain point, but when you have a goal, a mission statement that someone is passionate about then that will be a greater motivator to them. They won’t mind being paid less at first.
Earlier on in my career, when I worked in the IT industry, I was working for a technology company that served schools. I was a salesman and in the few busy months of my first year we made 2 million dollars in sales. That happened without any planning, so imagine what we could have done if we did have a plan. We spent half a day coming up with a plan and the goal ended up being to make 30 million dollars in sales. It was a huge jump, but guess what? We did it. We went from 2 to 30 million and all it took was a little planning.
The only way we were able to achieve that goal was because we made a plan and arranged all the details beforehand.
The following three examples will show you different ways that planning is important:
1. Let's say you want to travel from New York to Miami. You don’t know how to get there, but you know it takes 24 hours. If you just start driving and continue for 24 hours, you may end up on the opposite side of the country, near the west...
Everyone has a different version of success. Once you define what success is to you, how will you get there? There are many routes to one goal, but some will be faster and more successful than the others. How do you find the most direct path?
We will find that path by using the book, The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan. The topic of their book is focus, which is what my system thee 10x Differentiator is based on. Learning how to focus will help you achieve massive results in a shorter amount of time.
To Do Lists
Most of us use to-do lists and many of us actually live by them. But there is something fundamentally wrong with them. To explain what is wrong with them, let me introduce you to the Pareto principle.
Pareto Principle - 80% of our output is achieved with 20% of our input
Basically, it shows us that 80% of our input is wasted! 80% of our to-do lists are unnecessary and are just wasting our precious time and energy.
Every day, you get up early and put your heart and soul into your firm. You are the last one to leave each day and you sacrifice time with your family to try to make a difference.
You’re not unsuccessful, to the contrary, your peers think you’ve got it all figured out. However, you know the truth: the reason you started your law firm is not the result you are living today.
For some, the firm was intended to be a better financial opportunity than employment as a lawyer. Others wanted time freedom and hoped the firm would allow for that to happen. While the real dreamers, wanted to impact the world in a massive way.
Why is it that you have not been able to achieve financial or time freedom? Why has your impact on others been so small that you don’t see it?
The problem is you need to decide your identity. Are you a world-renowned attorney or are you a world-renowned CEO of a top notch firm? If your dream is of more time, money or to have a bigger impact then the...
One of the biggest challenges facing a small law firm owner today is that of time or lack thereof. It isn’t due to anyone slacking off, law firm owners are very hard workers.
On the flipside, with all of their hard work, firm owners have the added challenge of performing the sales, marketing, customer service, collections, bookkeeping, etc. which eats into the ability to produce billable hours.
According to Randall Ryder of the Lawyerist.com in his article titled “Three Myths About Solo Attorneys” a firstyear associate works 80 hours per week whereas he puts in 50-55 hours per week. In another well publicized utilization rate study from Clio (2018), solo law firms collect fees on an average of 1.6 hours per day. This begs the obvious question – if a solo law firm owner works 50 to 80 hours per week, why are they only collecting for 8 hours of that time?
I have had the pleasure of conversing with several solo attorneys on this exact question, and here is a...