Bob Dylan poetically sang about the changing times surrounding him back 1964, and his words resonate truth today. While industry experts have long declared the need for changes to the traditional law firm model, law firms have been slow and even reluctant to change.
This will not longer work. With increasing client demands, fast-paced technology innovation and now a global pandemic, the need has never been clearer and the time has never been better for law firms to embrace change.
We believe the 4 essential elements of law firm operational models listed below are ones that law firms should rethink. In our ebook "The Times They Are a Changin'", we closely review each of these four areas and give some of our ideas for constructive change.
1. Physical Space
In our experience, at one point or another, office space becomes an anchor around a law firm’s neck and can bring it down to the point of failure.
Smart firms strike a balance between an office dependent culture and a distributed work environment.
2. Marketing and Business Development
We think it is better to create a marketing system built on a strategy map, brand strengths, a useful website, SEO credibility, automated marketing systems, and superior service delivery. A system-oriented approach serves everyone, creates goodwill value, and establishes an economic benefit that will strengthen connections to the law firm.
3. Attorney Performance Management and Morale
So how do we keep our talent together without the physical space and connection that a brick and mortar culture provides?
Better tools can help, but a change in thinking is necessary.
4. Financial Resources
Building capital in a law firm is challenging. Most small/midsize law firms are taxed as partnerships, and retaining capital requires members to receive taxable income without the corresponding cash.