How to Design a Law Firm Business Plan that Works for Your Life

You've invested a great deal of your time and resources into your education and building your law practice, but are you reaping the rewards that are possible due to all of your hard work?

If you are like most lawyers, probably not.

Your law degree is one of the most valuable resources you have, and with the right business plan, you can make the most of it—and build a law practice and a life that you love.

Use these six steps to draft a law firm business plan that will drive results in your law practice.

1. Consider your long-term goals:

  • Do you want to build your life around your law practice, and not the other way around?
  • Do you have (or want to have) children you'd like to be able to spend more time with, being a full-time parent and part-time lawyer?
  • Do you want to travel more than you've been able to, or desire to spend your winters somewhere warmer?
  • Are you hoping to build a practice that you can eventually sell?
  • Would you like to make at least six figures annually, while having complete control of your schedule?
  • Would you like to build a million-dollar+ a year law practice?

2. Decide how much monthly revenue you need to generate to support your family and business expenses.

3. Consider how much time you have to focus on your law practice - while also having a life.

4. Look at how many clients you need to engage each month, and at what average fee to meet those goals in the time you have.

5. Choose a clientele to serve that values your services enough to meet those goals, and learn how to educate those clients so you are top of mind when anyone in that clientele base needs your services. (Learn more about why great lawyers don't take 'every client who walks through the door' here.)

6. Create a cash forecast and monthly goals to work your intentional marketing plan and do just the activities necessary to meet those goals. Use this free Cash Flow Forecasting training and customizable template to get started.

When you use these six steps to design your law firm business plan, you'll know you are headed in the right direction—directly toward a law practice that truly serves your life today, and that you can even sell and retire from down the road.

What will your perfect law firm business plan look like?

We've found that most lawyers who want to build a successful law practice will fit into one of three different types of practice plans. Not everybody wants to build a million-dollar-a-year law practice, and not everybody should.

Designing your ideal practice plan begins with you identifying clearly what you want to earn, and how much—or how little—you want to work, based on the reality of your life circumstances and your desire to learn how to hire, manage and train others.

Which of these law firm business plans most closely matches your goals?

  1. Solo Practitioner: Serve just 3-4 clients a month, at an average fee of $3,000 – $5,000, and have one outstanding team member working by your side. You'll keep around $10,000 per month (before taxes) and could work very, very part-time with the right automation systems set up.
  2. Staffed Practice: Serve 12 to 15 new clients a month at an average fee of $3,000 – $5,000 and have a staff of 3 people to support your practice. You'll take home approximately $200,000 – $250,000 a year, with gross revenue of about $650,000. The best part of this model, it is possible to do all of this while working just 3-5 days a week, if you've got great systems for educating your community and automating and personalizing your client services.
  3. 7-Figure Firm: Serving only 250 new clients a year, or 20 new clients a month, at an average fee of $4,000, makes it possible to build a million-dollar law practice and take home $300k – $400k per year. You'll likely have 6-7 team members, at least, plus you are likely to be training other of counsel attorneys in your systems. Much of your time will be spent working "on the business" rather than serving clients. Personalized automation is, of course, the key here, to ensure you can maintain a reasonable schedule and be building a law practice you can sell.

None of these law practice plans are a get rich quick methodology! We're not talking about a do-nothing-and-get-paid way of showing up with any of these. You have to care about your clients for this to work. If you don't genuinely care, then none of the strategies, techniques, or resources that we have for you here at New Law Business Model will work for you. If you do care, then you have the opportunity to build yourself a law business that makes a difference in your client's lives, makes you a great living, and gives you full control over your schedule.

No matter which law firm business plan you decide is right for you, it will indeed take work to reach your goals.

However, with the right guidance, systems, and support it can be easier than you think. Once you have it all set up, you'll have a working plan for long-term success.

If you'd like to explore how building your law practice with New Law Business Model can support you reach your personal and professional goals—and start building a law practice and a life that you love—book a call with a Law Business Advisor today.