A friend of mine once shared his “10 Characteristics of Successful Law Firms” and gave me permission to share his list with you.

  1. Have a comprehensive business plan (“play book”) and review and update the business plan on an ongoing basis.
  2. The client comes first. Without clients, there is no reason for a law firm to exist.
  3. Sell solutions (“provide value”) to clients, not sell time as expressed in billable hours.
  4. Manage client expectations on a daily basis.
  5. Utilize Rigorous Financial Management for all client assignments. Prepare budgets for each matter: tasks, events, timing and resources to be used for the benefit of the client. This requires early analysis and client signoff.
  6. Inventory is not “billable hours,” it is the cash those hours represent, and they focus on collecting accounts receivable and maintain a high realization rate.
  7. Practice effective cash flow management by getting funds into the bank as quickly as possible.
  8. Recognize that technology—emails, blogs, cell phones and voice mail—cannot replace personal relationships, personal integrity, and rapport with clients. (Note: I would have added social media)
  9. Value and reward “Team Effort” aligned with a pre-determined Strategy.
  10. Have in place a disaster plan and a management succession plan and keep them current. Business survival and succession cannot be left to chance.

My friend’s  ideas were right on target back then, and perhaps even more important for 2021. Is your firm doing what my friend suggests?