Running a law firm isn’t the first thing you think about when you make a list of tasks a legal professional undertakes, but it’s one of the most crucial. Law firm management is actually a group of tasks, all of which can make or break a lawyer’s legal career. Even if an attorney is a wizard in the courtroom, speaks fluent legalese, and has an in-depth understanding of whatever field of law they practice, management is a whole other kettle of fish.
To be a manager you need to have leadership qualities, stay apprised of your customer service capabilities, and work to attract new clients all at the same time. What’s an attorney to do? Thankfully, there are a few key items on your task list that can have you on the path to success. Let’s take a few moments to discuss what those items are.
Take care of your employees.
Even if you’re the senior partner, you’re probably not the only one at your law firm. You may have an assistant, or junior partners, or paralegals working at the law firm as well. If this is the case, you’ll want to make sure that you have loyal and motivated employees on your hands. There are plenty of ways to incentivize your employees. Providing financial incentives for meeting goals, giving employees perks (like gift cards to local restaurants), or just providing great feedback are all ways to keep your employees happy.
Another way is to make sure that your office is well stocked with the best snacks and beverages to keep your employees fed and hydrated as they burn the midnight oil. Simple Googling “Bottled water Canada” will get you to a beverage and water delivery service to solve that problem for you.
Show your clients that you’re professional, but also well-rounded.
Your clients want to know that you understand the ins and outs of their case, but they also want a human being who will show them compassion and empathy. If you’re like a robot, how can they trust you? Take a leaf out of Howard Fensterman’s book. Fensterman is a top Long Island lawyer in the healthcare realm of law, but he’s both a renowned lawyer and mineral enthusiast. By showcasing his understanding of ores and gemstones, Fensterman makes himself more approachable to clients without compromising the quality of his legal work. This inspires confidence, which leads to more happy clients. You don’t need to be shy about your interests, and you can even showcase them in the office if possible.
Stay on top of client outreach, as well as incoming calls.
When people reach out to a legal professional, they’re usually experiencing a difficult moment. Whether it’s a moment of personal turmoil, like a divorce or a child custody case, or a physical challenge, like a work injury or a medical malpractice case, they’re in need. If you only have one person answering the phones, and they’re not trained as a call center agent, it might be better to think about outsourcing to call centers that have the expertise to take good care of your prospective clients. An added benefit to call center outsourcing is that these professionals will also be great at targeted outreach, which may end up getting more clients in your door.
Managing a law firm is hard, but not impossible. You already passed the LSAT, made your way through law school, passed the bar, and have dominated the courtroom. You can do this, too. Make sure to show your whole, well-rounded self to your clients, be compassionate, and take care of your employees. You’ll be on the road to success before you know it.