You thought you were going to law school to be a lawyer and counsel clients, and help people.
You thought you'd get a well-paying job in a law office afterward, or if you went out on your own, that the clients would show up with ease.
Now that you are out on your own (or considering leaping into your own law practice), you are discovering there is this whole other piece of building a law practice that no one ever told you about:
The Business Aspects of Building a Law Practice
While law schools are great at training you to think like a lawyer, law schools are truly awful at training you handle the realities of running your own business, and it'd be no surprise if you're feeling less than prepared – or even downright terrified – to effectively handle all of the critical components of building a successful law practice. To name a few . . .
Those 2 – 4 clients per month you need to make to even your base overhead every month don't just show up like magic, even if you think you are doing what you are supposed to be to get them.
Note: If you do not have a solid intake and engagement system in place that ensures you get hired by at least 90% of the people you talk to, you are wasting a huge amount of time and money. Read this article for 11 steps to engaging more clients in your law practice immediately.
The revenue rollercoaster is making you nauseous each month, wondering how you'll pay the bills, especially when each month you start over at zero.
Hiring, training, and keeping team members
Law school certainly didn't prepare us for leading people, and may have done the exact opposite, as most people don't like working for lawyers.
How much dang time it ALL takes!
Maybe you thought it would all go so much faster and be so much easier than it appears to be – and it all probably feels pretty overwhelming.
I was there myself. And I'll tell you, even after 13 years in business, I still feel scared quite often.
Each time I hit a plateau – and want to go to the next level of income, impact, and freeing up my time – I have to do things I've never done before.
And mostly those things are things I never wanted to do: investing more time and money in hiring team support, hiring coaches and mentors, or getting my financials in order.
Sometimes, it seems like maybe it would be easier to stay small, not make the investments in building a law practice, perhaps even go back and get a job . . .
But, that's a lie that keeps us trapped by our limited thinking.
And, it doesn't ultimately get us where we want to go.
The answer is to refocus on what you really want, and then be willing to go all in to create it.
It's called resolve. And, every single time I do it, I'm rewarded with the results.
You will be too.
New Law Business Model is here to provide the missing puzzle pieces that you didn’t learn in law school and support you in building a law practice you love. Book your call with a Law Business Advisor here and get started today.
I worked with two lawyer clients recently . . .
One of them was starting in practice for herself and thought she'd just engage 2 – 4 clients a month, have a smooth, simple practice, not invest much in it, and have it pay her $4,000 a month.
But when we got on the phone for a cash plan forecasting call to review the time and energy commitment to generate 2 – 4 clients a month consistently, we saw that it's more profitable for her, from a time and money perspective, to invest in building a real business.
Without systems in place, building a law practice to 2 – 4 clients a month consistently is a farce.
It's a lie we tell ourselves because it seems easy, but it's not.
It requires as much system and team support to have 2 – 4 clients per month as it does to have 6 – 8 clients per month.
But the financial results and the support you have are far different.
Yes, you have to invest to get to 6 – 8 clients per month, and then maybe even 10 – 12, but you'll spend far more of your time, energy, attention, and money to try and create a ‘2 – 4 clients per month’ practice. And, you could find yourself spinning your wheels, sinking in the quicksand of a practice that doesn't really work, for years.
How long are you willing to invest time, energy, and attention – which you'll never get back – to keep doing what you've always done, and hasn't been working for you?
Money, you can always make more of . . .
When you can financially buy back your time and energy - by getting support, hiring and training a team to support you, and putting in place systems - you are using money the right way: as a tool to create the life and business you truly want.
When you use your time, energy, and attention to try to save money, you are digging yourself into a hole you can never get out of.
Just look at any lawyer you meet who hates their life and law practice. That's exactly what they are doing:
- If they are lucky, they've created a job for themselves, that pays them enough that they can never retire.
- If they are unlucky, as most are, they've created a money and time suck that costs them more than they receive back in return.
The other lawyer I mentioned is at the opposite end of the spectrum . . .
He started working with us about 18 months ago when he was going out on his own from a big law firm. And he decided to invest in growing his law practice into a business.
Today, he has a steady 15 – 20 new clients per month, two team members, takes home around $8,000 a month in a combo of salary + distributions, and works 4.5 days a week.
He made the investment, and he's reaping the rewards.
And, of course, looking at what's next:
- Will he coast for a while?
- Will he bring on an associate and grow so he can free up more time?
- Will he keep working the 4.5 days a week, bring on a new associate, and sock the extra money away in a retirement account so he can have freedom later?
Either way, he'll need to invest in his next level of growth.
He's now learning how to bring on an associate and learning how to be a manager, not just an attorney.
And of course, he's scared.
He's begun to think like an entrepreneur, and he recognizes that feeling scared and feeling excitement are two sides of the same coin.
He's choosing to see it as excitement.
What makes life wonderful is being at the leading edge of growth and feeling that energy of excitement – which feels a lot like terror sometimes – that lets you know you are on the right track to your next level.
Resolve is the answer. When you have clarity about the life and income you want – and are ready to focus on creating it – being willing to invest in the support you need along the way will get you there as quickly as possible.