Effective management is what separates successful law firms from other mainstream firms. Facing the fact that there’s a growing number of law school graduates, many lawyers have been pushed to open small law firms and engage in sole owner practice. This is compounded by the apparent restructuring of the market. Hence, many lawyers ought to embrace the fact that they will inevitably have to consider opening a small law firm at a point in time.
What are the essentials of how to manage a small law firm?
Solidifying Partner Relations
The secret to managing a small law firm effectively is promoting better partner relations. There should be a common purpose and vision. The partner relationship should be one that’s bounded by respect. This will bring positive value to the law firm and cases that are peculiar to partner relations will be avoided. They may include:
- Hoarding of work
Hence, a commitment should first be made on the modalities of work and this should be made to deal with issues in the real time.
Leadership is another aspect that’s central to the management of a small law firm. It’s not just enough for there to be a management structure, the managers themselves should have leadership traits ingrained in them. Effective leadership entails the following:
- Managing systems and developing people; instead of managing people and developing systems.
- Having the ability to influence others
- Instilling a sense of importance in others
- Leading by example
- Taking intelligent risks
In essence, leadership is what will propel the law firm forward. It will facilitate the achievement of the law firm’s strategic goals. Taking into consideration the challenging and competitive legal market, it is imperative that leadership qualities are embraced by small firms. The value will be felt is the resilience that the firm will build in all its operations.
How to Manage a Small Law Firm with Strategic Planning
Law firms that take the planning function seriously are better placed to achieve their mandates. An individual firm may have so much to offer in terms of ideas, options, and alternatives, but all these can amount to nothing unless they are adequately implemented. The central action that’s required in the implementation of such is a well-designed business plan for your law firm.
An effective business plan for a small law firm should encompass the following aspects:
- A decision on the overall direction of the firm
- The Plan of Action (POA)
- Monitoring and Evaluation
- Mechanisms for follow-up
Well, this may sound cliché, but failing to plan is always a plan to fail.
How to Manage a Small Law Firm with Exemplary Customer Service
Modern day firms are quickly shifting focus from the internal processes to customer satisfaction. As many business circles are putting it, “it is the decade of the client!”
Focusing on better customer service is what will assure you success, especially for your small law firm. Remember that the clients are spoilt for choice with regard to choosing a law firm to serve them. Hence, thefocus should shift from not only being competent in the legal field but also delivering individualized service to customers. You should focus on retaining clients as well as getting new ones. Having a goal of achieving 100% customer satisfaction should be central to the management of the small firm.
In conclusion, the above tips on how to manage a small law firm are sure to give you an edge in the competitive legal market. Apply them decisively and see for yourself the positive implications that it will have on the operations of your small law firm.