The Business of Law Reimagined: Introduction

This blog post introduces a new Mastermind series, “The Business of Law Reimagined.” Over the next weeks and months, we will explore the topics and impacts today’s law firms face. We’ll explore the challenges and offer suggestions to help you make your law firm business more successful.

The pandemic and our subsequent return to work have changed law firms in several distinct and permanent ways. Today’s law firm leaders grapple with increased expectations and client communication demands. Their employees desire improved working conditions, greater flexibility, and modern technologies to help them do their work better.

Law firms no longer control communication with clients. Clients do! Clients want better and more frequent communication with their legal advisors. As consumers, we have learned to expect instant responses from our banks, search engines, social accounts, and other online sources. That mindset has carried over to professional service providers. We are expected to provide timely, if not instantaneous, responses to client inquiries.

Today’s workforce is significantly different from the workforce of the pre-pandemic era. There has been a seismic shift in how, when, and where people are willing to work. Meetings and court appearances are frequently virtual rather than face-to-face. Collaboration software, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and other applications, makes a virtual connection between clients and employees more convenient.

Every law firm is challenged to determine how to create a thriving culture with fully engaged employees while struggling with the impact of how to manage post-pandemic workforce requirements. New (and younger) entrants into the workforce, a quickly changing economy, an intensified focus on safety and security, an overabundance of cybersecurity concerns, increasing compensation and benefits packages, evolving technology capabilities, and often overwhelming work/life balance demands have a daily impact the modern workplace community.

Who is this series for?

This group of blog posts addresses the specific challenges facing law firms of ten to one hundred fifty attorneys, the segment of the profession most often referred to as “mid-size.”

Why? Mid-size law firms are unique in that they are challenged from above (big law) and below (small law). Big law can easily out-resource mid-size firms, while the lifestyle of solo/small firm practices appeals to many professionals.

The advantages of mid-size law firms are significant. Mid-size firms are more approachable, focused, and able to pivot and implement faster than large law firms. At the same time, mid-size firms offer many more resources and greater stability than solo/small law.

Law firms traditionally struggle with change. Lawyers and legal professionals are busy working on client priorities that leave little time or inclination to embrace change. Comfort with traditional processes results in an “ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset.

Yet today’s law firm leaders must seriously consider changing their operations to meet the demands of both clients and employees.

Why now?

To succeed in today’s environment, firm leadership needs to bring the firm together with a cohesive vision, voice, and the tools that enable long-term success. In that way, all members succeed, and attrition is reduced.

Leadership is more important than ever before. It requires listening to both employees and clients and developing a consistent approach to seeking improved relationships.

In the early days of the pandemic, many law firms found their technologies and infrastructure required immediate and significant changes to accommodate the work-from-home (WFH) model. In many cases, those new technologies help firms overcome their challenges. In other cases, the implemented technologies were not a good long-term fit, and now the firm regrets or feels “stuck” with a less-than-desirable tech stack.

What we will cover

This series will identify critical considerations for long-term success and help identify the tools required to meet those challenges.

We’ll cover the following:

  • Law Firm Culture
    • The Elements of Culture – building an authentic workplace community
    • Attitudes about security/safety and why it matters
  • Change & Change Management
    • Are you a Manager or a Leader?
    • Is your firm attracting new talent?
  • Law Firm Financial Considerations
    • The right KPIs – understanding your growth objectives
    • Metrics – are you lying to yourself?
  • Law Firm Technology
    • Is tech helping or hurting your firm?
    • There is no one-size fits all solution

The law firm business model is changing, evolving, and adapting to the new client and workforce demands. Join us for this journey as we examine these critical topics. Send us your questions and concerns, and we’ll do our best to incorporate them for you.