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Your Competition Is Lazy: Three Things Small Law Firms Can Do to Find New Business Now

Thomson Reuters recently completed its fourth State of U.S. Small Law Firms survey. The findings were summarized here on Attorney at Work. That post’s title, “Small Law Firms Still Struggling With Finding New Business and Managing Administrative Tasks,” accurately reflects the overall state of the world of small law firms. ... Read More
Categories: Practice Management

Reassessing When to Retire During a Pandemic

Deciding when to retire, now more than ever, has become a moving target. In the best of times, it’s never a simple decision. Lots of variables to consider and assumptions to make. But with Covid-19, past careful thinking for many has been thrown to the wayside. Pundits galore have been making predictions about Covid-19’s impact on retirement. Here’s one more. ... Read More

Does Passion Equal Happiness on the Job?

During these pandemic days, everyone seems to be reevaluating many aspects of life, including career options. Have you recently wished you were more “passionate” about your work? And if you were, would it make a difference about how you felt about your career? ... Read More

What Can Law Firm Sellers Ethically Do During a Transition?

Rule 1.17 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct states that after a sale, sellers must “cease to engage in the private practice of law.” Does that mean you must hand over the keys, walk out the door, and immediately ride off into retirement sunset? And if the answer is yes, how is that realistically possible? ... Read More

Practice Makes Perfect, Even When Planning for Retirement

You should “practice retirement.” According to the 2018 Global Retirement Reality Report, only about half of Americans are happy in retirement even with financial security. If more retirees would have practiced retirement before retiring, the number of happy retirees would increase substantially. ... Read More

Is Strategic Planning Relevant in the Covid-19 Age?

Strategic planning provides a framework to make choices about how your law firm allocates its resources to maintain and improve upon its success. Yes, I know many of you are probably thinking, “We’re still fine-tuning how to get work done from home and the best ways to interact with clients. I can’t plan beyond a few days ahead, let alone a few years.” ... Read More
Categories: Practice Management

Hypocrisy and Selfishness Abound When Failing to Plan for Succession

If there was ever a wake-up call for solo and small law firm owners to create their succession plans, it is now. COVID-19 is a serious health risk that, as I write, is showing no signs of when it will go away. ... Read More

COVID-19 Impacts for Solo and Small Firm Lawyers: Beyond Remote Work

If you’re like me, you’re probably tired of getting email blasts about how to best work remotely. There is much more to this COVID-19 situation, from your law practice perspective, than remote work. If you practice in the solo and small firm world, here’s my take on a few other important things to consider in the pandemic age. ... Read More
Categories: Practice Management

Underbilling? Not Recording Time? There’s No Excuse!

Over the years, I’ve heard my share of stories about attorneys who have failed to properly record their time. You know what I mean. Finishing a task and then intentionally recording less time than what you actually spent on the task. Or, alternatively, simply forgetting to enter your time (e.g., phone conversations in the car). ... Read More
Categories: Practice Management

Recruiting Your Successor (Promising Premise, Perilous in Practice)

One retirement exit strategy often considered by solo practitioners and small law firm owners is the "recruit your successor" one. The idea behind this strategy is to find a young, inexperienced lawyer who is then groomed to take over the practice. ... Read More

If There’s a Will, There’s a Way: Comparing Succession Planning to Estate Planning

I was recently reading the business section of my local newspaper and came across an article on the importance of having a will. The focus of the article was on how to prevent people from delaying getting the task accomplished. The writer asked several financial planners for the best strategies they use to help their clients complete this task. ... Read More

Law Firm Revenues Down? Stop Blaming the Competition.

Lawyers are quick to blame the competition when challenged about why their firm’s revenues are not better. Before you keep on with the finger-pointing, you might want to stop and assess how your firm performs in light of some of the findings from the latest Clio Legal Trends Report. ... Read More

Finding Buyers for Your Law Practice

There are a variety of ways to find buyers. Some attorneys try to do it on their own. From a DIY perspective, usually the best ways to get the word out that you’re looking for a buyer are through networking and advertising. Others who don’t want to take the time and effort to find buyers on their own rely on consultants and brokers. Besides saving time, using outside experts provides other advantages from the DIY method. They include: ... Read More

Preparing for the Unexpected & the Inevitable: Law Firm Succession Planning for Disability & Death

Lawyers are notorious for thinking of ways things can go wrong for their clients and then determining the best ways to protect their clients from them. One calamity few lawyers ever consider, however, is their own unexpected disability that puts their career on hold—or worse, their death. ... Read More

Considering a Document Review Job? Weigh the Risks First.

Although the market for legal jobs has vastly improved since the Great Recession ten years ago, it is hardly a robust one for recent law school graduates. One popular job-of-last-resort is document review—a job that many of my coaching clients assert is “mind-numbing.” And, of course, it does not pay particularly well; usually around $20-30 per hour. ... Read More
Categories: Job Search

Including Office Space as Part of a Law Firm Sale?

Small-firm owners and solo practitioners looking to sell their law firms frequently believe that their particular office space—whether owned or leased—significantly enhances the value of their practice. They usually base this belief on the office’s superior location or their upscale furnishings and design. ... Read More

A Few Quick Tips When Implementing a Strategic Plan

When talking to law firm leaders, it’s not often that you hear complaints about the strategic planning process itself. Planning for the future is always a good idea. Implementing that plan is where the rubber hits the road, though. This is also where things often become problematic. ... Read More

Rainmaking at Conferences: Easy Tips for Connecting With New People

Back in the day, conferences were perhaps the most popular networking activity for lawyers. Today? Not so much. Many lawyers, especially younger ones, turn to social media as a substitute for in-person networking. Even with lower attendance numbers, however, conferences still provide excellent networking opportunities. More specifically, they are a great place to meet new people, thereby expanding your network and broadening your opportunities. ... Read More

Valuing & Distinguishing Goodwill When Planning Your Firm’s Succession

When it comes to planning your law firm’s succession, a primary area of concern for your successor is whether your clients will choose to work with that successor after you leave. One way to assess that is to evaluate the type of goodwill that exists with your clients and whether that goodwill carries any transferrable value. ... Read More

Strategic Planning in Times of Crises: You’re Doing It Wrong, but Does It Matter?

Most definitions of strategic planning focus on the idea that an organization needs to step back to look forward so it can determine its future goals for success. According to one definition, strategic planning involves “envisioning a desired future and translating this vision into broadly defined goals or objectives and a sequence of steps to achieve them.” Another definition is “the development of an organization's purpose and goals, beyond the immediate future, and actions to achieve those goals.” ... Read More
My company offered me outplacement at one of those huge, “one-shape-fits-all” outfits. Yes, they were able to help me with my resume and cover letters, but boy, were they clueless about what different types of legal jobs entail and what t…" Read the rest
– Former General Counsel, Minneapolis, MN corporation

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