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Driving Success: A Management Toolkit for Busy Lawyers

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Driving Success in Your Law Firm

‘I am so busy working in my law firm, I just don’t have the time to work on my law firm’

Having spent the last several years working with hundreds of High Street law firms up and down the UK, this is a complaint we have heard from numerous Managing Partners.

If you are a busy lawyer, just how do you carve out time to develop and deliver business plans to ensure the future success of your firm?  The reality is many don’t, and law firms with a cohesive long term business plan in place are few and far between.  

This is not for the want of trying.  Most Partners in law firms are keen to grow and develop their practices, and indeed may have a vision of where they would like to be in, say the next five years. Unfortunately, (in the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupery), ‘a goal without a plan is just a wish’.

In writing  Driving Success in Your Law Firm we have endeavoured to provide a solution for time poor but idea rich managing partners by developing a blueprint plan which High Street law firms can adopt, pretty much out of the box.

The starting point for this plan introduces a new model – the ‘Client Journey’, which tracks the experiences of a client as they pass through their legal services journey within a firm.  More specifically, this is broken down into four key stages:

Attracting – how to acquire potential customers, both individuals and businesses

Convincing – how to convert people or businesses into customers

Delivering – how to implement efficient and optimal processes for the delivery of legal services

Keeping – how to create customer loyalty and maximise future value

Overlaid on top of these four key stages, are two pervasive themes which touch every part of operating a law firm and client interaction.

Managing – how to run the firm as an efficient and well-managed business

Technology – the opportunities to be gained from applying integrated, end-to-end technology.

Structuring the book this way allows the reader to cherry pick from the selection box of ideas contained within the book. There are over 60 individual stand alone suggestions for firms to take away, however we hope the book will be applied in a more holistic way as the strength of the plan lies in embracing it in its entirety.  Driving Success illustrates with practical examples how just a 10% improvement in each of the aforementioned core areas of the Client Journey can result in a doubling of profit.

In order to truly drive success, it is our experience that a different viewpoint needs to be adopted.  Underpinning any successful Client Journey redesign has to be a willingness for that process to be built around what the client really wants and needs – that is to say, viewing legal services through the Client Lens®. This often overlooked and yet relatively straightforward strategy provides firms with a real opportunity to differentiate their offering, win more work, and retain more clients.  And to this end, we have been conscious of sharing illustrations of how the Client Lens® can be applied in a High Street law firm.

In the spirit of keeping it real, we have been lucky enough to be able to include thirteen ‘Guest Author’ slots.  These have been written by solicitors and other professionals who have generously shared their experiences and real-life examples of what happens when you set about implementing the ideas and principles described in Driving Success. This ethos of shared experience and a willingness to learn from it is a huge opportunity for the profession.  We are facing unprecedented change in the legal world on a number of fronts but if we embrace this as a profession by supporting and collaborating with each other, the future is extremely rosy.

For firms who know where they want to get to but don’t have the time to plan how they will get there, we hope Driving Success will prove a helpful resource.  

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Sally Holdway

Legal Services Innovator / Customer Experience Expert / Founder of Legal Tech Incubator / Author I've spent the last decade or so on boards and management teams of large national legal services organisations in Solicitor, Project Director and Head of Innovation roles. I'm a bit obsessed with how tech can positively impact law, and more specifically, how customers access and consume legal services. So obsessed in fact I've co-written a book about it. Also, really proud to be working with like minded individuals on this Legal Tech Incubator Start Up... I take an active 'open source' approach to changing legal services and am ALWAYS happy to talk / knowledge share / discuss the art of the possible, especially if over tea and cake.

2 thoughts on “Driving Success: A Management Toolkit for Busy Lawyers

  • May 12, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Tell you what I did when a partner in practice and still do: I set aside as an appointment a period of time EVERY week to do the thinking, strategy, reviewing software and so on that is NECESSARY to maintain a competitive advantage…and then set aside periods periodically to turn that learning and research into beneficial change.

    The ‘we don’t have time’ argument is not only a total cop-out (people always seem to have the time to do the things they want to do, and firms also waste a lot of time…) but is it simply storing up worse problems for the future.

    I always think it is especially ironinc when firms play the ‘lack of time card’ as an excuse for not investing a small amount of time in order to make changes that will save them much larger amounts of time downstream…an position we face with our services all the time.

    ‘I don’t have time’ is just a refusal to work smarter…

    • May 13, 2017 at 8:40 am

      Thanks Joe, that sounds like sound advice and practice. I do think its difficult balancing management, team and client work priorities for many Partners. But a person who has a dedicated management role has no excuses!


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