When you think about investing in your law practice, your first considerations are probably dollars and cents.
And while finances are certainly key to professional success, other areas of investment – which you might be overlooking – are just as important.
Wellness, for example. A guaranteed way to create a healthier, happier and more productive law office is to make wellness a priority. This means whole-spectrum wellness: emotional, physical, social and physical.
It doesn’t have to cost a penny. Take regular lunchtime walks around the block. Use the strolls to talk about your short-term goals and long-term vision. Attend a CLE as a group – and make it a fun outing. Swap jobs for a day to experience first-hand what it’s like to work on the other side of the desk.
6 Law Practice Investments That Will Pay Off Big-Time
- People. “[Y]our initial investment should be in hiring people and leaders who bring skills, experience and a winning attitude to your team,” advises entrepreneur and consultant Mike Ford in this Forbes article. “Ensure that these employees have the passion for your product or service and can support the vision and direction of the company.” Once you’ve got great talent in place, continue investing in their professional training so that they will keep paying dividends far into the future.
- Silence. The law office can be a noisy place – and often the loudest racket is between your ears. Create space each day to step away from the stress and clear your head. Some firms have designated quiet rooms or meditation spaces for mini-retreats during the busy day.
- Processes. It’s not enough to implement a new conflicts-checking or calendaring system and think the job is over. You’ve got to constantly monitor, assess and refine your internal processes. This will boost efficiency, reduce chaos and streamline workflow. “When we start a business, we tend to just get things done,” writes Ford, a co-founder of Pro Back Office. “That is not a good long-term solution. I recommend investing time and money wisely to document important areas such as business development, payroll, accounting, onboarding, employee retention, firm policies (such as expenses, paid time off and grievances) and quality control for your service and products, to name a few.”
- Story-telling. Everything you do to market your law practice – your website, business card, paid advertising, office décor, social media messaging – should tell the story of who you are and what you do. What makes you unique? Why should clients choose you over the other lawyers vying for their business? Tell your story. We respond viscerally to powerful and compelling stories, not sales pitches.
- Technology. “There is technology available for all areas of your business, including sales and marketing, accounting, payroll, inventory and human resources,” writes Ford. “Suggested technology investments could include Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for your client and pipeline management [and] Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) that can provide automated onboarding, payroll, and performance evaluations, and can manage and protect confidential employee data.”
- Laughter. Humor is not just a welcome distraction from the hard work of practicing law. It can make you a better boss and more valuable employee. It has been proven to be remarkably effective at boosting physical, mental and emotional health in at least nine ways.
What would you recommend as worthwhile investments in the law office?
Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. During the course of his 35- year career, he has been a solo practitioner, corporate lawyer, legal editor, Legal Aid staff attorney and insurance risk manager. Today he helps lawyers and firms succeed through marketing, work-life balance and reclaiming passion for what they do. He is available for consultations, retreats and presentations (www.yourlawlife.com). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-619-2441 to learn how Jay can help your practice.