We live in a unique and challenging time for law firms. Even so, there may be a greater opportunity than ever for a firm to differentiate itself from competitors. It takes real leadership and self reflection.  

Here are some questions a law firm leader might ask for that self reflection about his or her firm.

  1. Who are your firm’s top competitors?
  2. Why do your very best clients select your firm over your competitors?
  3. Why do clients select your competitors rather than your firm?
  4. What specific practice areas or industry practices are you the best in your city, state, the world and what makes you number 1?
  5. What do you see as the major changes that will take will take place in the legal profession over the next five years?
  6. What do you believe are the most important steps you can take to increase your firm’s competitiveness, financial strength and security? 
  7. What specific steps should you take to better serve your clients?
  8. Why should the highest performing law students and lawyers want to join your firm?
  9. Describe your firm’s “culture.” Do your lawyers and staff know your culture? How can you preserve it and effectively compete in the current economic environment?
  10. Lawyers are the most skeptical and autonomous of any type of professionals, meaning they constantly question decisions and they do not want to be told what to do. How can you convince your lawyers to become a team and work together to build the firm with these two prevalent traits?
  11. Stephen Covey has written a top-selling book titled The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In your view, what are the 5,  7, 10 or whatever number habits of highly effective law firms?
  12. What specific steps can the firm take  to improve the quality of your firm’s work product?
  13. Leading consultants suggest clients’ satisfaction is directly related to whether the service provided exceeds expectations. What does that mean and how can you best implement the unbroken rule: “exceed their expectations”?
  14. What specific steps can you implement to cause your lawyers to be accountable? 
  15. A noted business man writes: “Almost every significant breakthrough is a result of a courageous break with traditional ways of thinking.” What courageous break with traditional ways of thinking would produce the most significant breakthrough for your firm?
  16. Dwight Eisenhower and Peter Drucker both reportedly said: “Plans are worthless, but planning is invaluable.” Your planning must be centered on an overall purpose or vision and on a commitment to a set of principles for the firm. Why are your lawyers practicing law together? What should be your “vision”? What should be your primary principles or core values?