Every law firm I have advised has really smart lawyers with great ideas about improving the business and moving their firms to the next level of profitability and performance. Discussions with firm leaders reveal no shortage of creative ideas and sound business strategies. So what prevents more firms from moving their practices to the next level? I have found that the most common barrier to greater success and more profit is that firms often lack what I have come to call the “Will to Act.”
Law firms often struggle with maintaining the type of high-performing marketing and business development group that can support demanding lawyers in a very competitive environment, while at the same time creating a rewarding career model for the professionals on the marketing and business development team. In working with law firms that are seeking to improve performance and job satisfaction for their marketing/business development group, I have developed suggestions for simple things that can be done to ensure greater success and stronger teams to support the marketing and business development functions. My advice stresses the need for the team to organize and collaborate effectively in order to add value and provide the kind of concierge service to the firm’s lawyers that the lawyers want and expect. These expectations are based on service models that the lawyers in turn must provide to firm clients. The following list is not exhaustive. The suggestions focus on some of the issues identified when I was a managing partner that, if addressed, will boost team performance and inspire confidence and teamwork in the firm. Here are some of the things that should be considered.