If you are law firm owner or manager, it is important to hear from others who have experience in law firm practice management. Just like any other area in life, going to somebody with experience is vital and important to being successful.
After all, if you listen to those who have come before you, you may not have to make the same mistakes that others have made. You also do not have to fall into the traps that your predecessors have stepped into in the past. Instead, you can focus your attention on strategies and approaches that have proven to be successful.
Whether you are going to a person (or persons) through for actual advice, or whether you are seeking out books or literature where you are seeking it out independently, you ought to listen to others who have tried — and even failed in some respects — but ultimately been successful. Getting important advice (and/or studying) from those who have been there is critical to having a flourishing law practice.
On the other hand, the reality is that a wise heart surgeon likely would not go to a doctor who has not had a heart surgery practice for practice management advice. In the same vein, somebody wise who wanted to build an IT company probably would not get their business advice from somebody who has not built an IT business.
It may be that certain similar businesses have some general tips that they can give that are transferable. But more often not, when you get into the minutia, the advice is likely to be apples and oranges.
It is no different from lawyers trying to build a successful law firm from the ground-up. For lawyers who want to hang their shingle and grow a law firm, the reality is that many attorneys are getting advice from all kinds of individuals.
Many get their advice from other attorneys and lawyers have hung a shingle. But has this lawyer grown the kind of practice they want to grow? If not, one has to wonder how much help it will be.
Many might go to judges or other lawyers who has worked at an in-house counsel job, a law school professor or a lawyer who worked as a prosecutor, defense counsel or in some other government agency. But is this applicable to what this lawyer is trying to build? What experience do these lawyers have running a law firm like the one you want to build?
For wise lawyers and law firms that want to grow a successful law practice, they ought to seek out lawyers who have built a successful law firm practice in roughly the same, general image of the law firm they want to build. These are the individuals that can really help you because they have been there.
In the end, when you are seeking out your law firm practice management advice, who are you going to? What are you reading? What are you listening to? Does the person (or persons) you are seeking have experience or a record in building a successful law practice in the general image that you also want to build? Is that you are reading and studying applicable or transferable to what you are doing?
It’s important to ask questions like these as you study and seek out advice. Otherwise, you can be led in wrong directions by listening to people with little experience running a law firm like your law firm.
If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.