Do your departments, sections/practice groups and offices have a strategic plan? (To make it easier, I will refer to all these as groups).

If you are a member of a small firm, does your firm have a strategic plan? If not, developing a focused strategic plan for your group or your firm is one sure way for your firm to be more successful.

If you are a member of a large firm and your firm’s planning stops at the firm level, it likely will not provide the maximum benefit to your firm. If you are a member of a small firm and each lawyer in the firm does his or her own thing, your firm is not achieving what it could with a collaborative concerted effort.

When I was a practice group leader we created a ConstLawStrategicPlan.pdf for our practice group. Then I worked with some of our other practice groups on their plans. Now, I have the chance to work with groups in other large firms and small firms helping them develop their plans. I know each group has benefitted just by the collaborative brainstorming.

Where do you start to develop a plan for your group? I suggest you begin by defining what differentiates your  group from your competitor  groups in other firms. As you will see by clicking on our construction law practice group plan, we brainstormed these questions:

Why? Why would a potential construction client choose to engage our construction law practice group  as opposed to another firm? How? How does our construction law practice group distinguish itself from other firms? What? What must our construction law practice group do to distinguish itself and cause potential clients to select our firm?

Our construction law practice group competed with some groups in large firms and many boutique construction law firms that charged lower hourly rates than our group. It was important for us to focus on targeted differentiators. Here were the six we focused on:

  1. First to Market
  2. Investing in Clients
  3. Effective Use of Technology
  4. Strategically Located
  5. Full-Service
  6. Quality Service Driven

Each time our practice group met, our agenda included one or more of the six differentiators.

I hope I have convinced you that having your group or having your firm create a plan will energize your lawyers and will cause them to focus their time on more valuable efforts to provide value to existing clients and secure more clients.