I spent my career in entrepreneurial law firms. I don’t believe I would have lasted in a firm with so-called institutional clients.

In 2015, I had the pleasure of  working with Simmons Olsen Law Firm located in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. The firm has a senior group of lawyers and is working to develop their next generation of lawyers. It was a great experience for me because even the most senior lawyers in the firm were open to new ideas.

I asked Steve Olsen to share with you what his firm is doing.

Cordell Parvin advises law firms, including ours to critically assess:

  • What they are doing,
  • Why they are doing it,
  • How they are doing it,
  • How they are preparing for the future, and
  • How they are reacting to a changing market?

Our firm had discussed those issues for years.  It was not until we had the chance to work with Cordell in late 2015, that we really understood how to analyze these matters.  It is one thing to strategically plan, it is another to work that plan.


Cordell persuaded our attorneys to create a strategic plan for the firm and individual business plans that were consistent with the firm’s strategic plan. He also helped us go from a shot gun approach to a laser focused approach.

In 2016, we started our firm strategic planning.  In addition, all of our lawyers created their own business plans.

Once that was done, it was up to us to work our plans and hold each other accountable.  We’re a full year into the process and our senior mentors are encouraging and supporting our junior lawyers. Additionally, our attorneys have all created their business 2017 plans expanding and stretching on what each lawyer accomplished last year.

My take-aways from our work with Cordell, include:

  1. We better understand the demographics of our firm.
  2. We understand our efficiencies in providing excellent service to clients.
  3. We have plans in place to help us expand.
  4. We have a strategy that will emphasize client retention.
  5. We are more aware of the importance of maximizing our profiles and presence as it relates to marketing.

Does your entrepreneurial firm have a plan? Do your lawyers? If you have plans are you working the plans or just keeping them in desk drawers.