Habits of a Successful Law Firm

25th May 2021

Habits of a Successful Law Firm

What are the best habits to implement to be a successful law firm? Read our guide as we break everything down for you to be the best.

Are you hoping to find the magic formula for making your law firm more successful? Unfortunately, there isn't an on/off switch you can toggle and suddenly arrive at success.

Yet there are habits and practices that law firms can implement to help them on the journey toward success. Reaching your goals means first having goals, so we've put together some ideas to help you think about what you want for your firm.

Here are some of the best ways the most successful firms achieve that top status.

Educated Attorneys and Staff

The best law firms are ones that hire people with a proper education. Getting through law school requires hard work and perhaps a few of the best study tips, especially when attending a top law school. Someone who has learned from the best and gained real experience during their studies will perform best at a top law firm.

It's a stressful career choice, and top attorneys should also learn how to care for their mental health. Besides the ethical and social issues you encounter during your work hours, there's also the overtime and prep work that can burn you out.

Besides employing educated attorneys, with the academic background as well as self-care and mental health training, good law firms also prioritize continuing education. They seek to provide opportunities for their lawyers to keep learning and stay up-to-date on relevant decisions and new cases that change legal precedent.

Law Firms Where People Like Their Jobs

The most successful law firms have attorneys who are happy. Yes, it's a tough job, but the best lawyers love their work. Keep your finger on the pulse of the firm to see whether everyone is working in the area that's most enjoyable for them.

For example, someone may be a great family attorney but they could be spending all their time on criminal law or another area of litigation. Instead of forcing someone to continue in that area, talk with your attorneys and find out if they want to continue.

Unfortunately, that may mean that some of your attorneys need to find another firm, if yours doesn't handle the type of cases they're passionate about. Yet that's a better solution for everyone, especially if you want your law firm to continue to be successful.

Another reason attorneys may not like their jobs include a lack of mentors or appropriate support. Take time to set up a system for everyone to have the support they need to bounce ideas off each other and get advice. Having someone to turn to for help can make a huge difference in an employee's satisfaction.

Always Organized

Law firms with the top lawyers stay organized so they can be efficient in the office and in the courtroom. From exhibit labels to file folders, using the right supplies can help you stay on top of everything.

If you don't already have an organizational system that works, spending time developing one will go a long way to streamlining the office. In larger offices with a lot of staff, it's essential that everyone understand the filing system and be able to use it without errors. Any issues with a filing error can screw up an entire case.

Another important aspect of staying organized is backing up your files. As more and more of the world switches to digital filing systems, having backups of your files is essential so you don't lose data or compromise client privacy.

Even small firms can benefit from hiring someone specific to handle data management and digital file organization. Rather than trying to incorporate that into a staff member's duties, having someone dedicated to these tasks ensures it's done right and frees up your other staff for legal tasks.

Business Skills

For some lawyers habits are hard to build. Yet with time, you can learn to do the small practices that increase productivity, like turning off email for an hour a day or reading a new article every day. What's harder to develop are the business skills you need to succeed as a firm.

A law firm is a business, just like any other corporate organization. While it has its own nuances and needs, you still need to have some business skills to be able to run it well.

There are tasks you need to do that are unrelated to the legal part of your firm. These include:

  • Writing and sticking to a business plan
  • Accounting and financials
  • Human resources
  • Networking and managing your firm's reputation
  • IT and technology jobs

The list goes on and on. Running a business is a full-time job, and you're a lawyer on top of it all! Entrepreneurs wear all the hats at once, and it can be difficult to manage all the roles.

If you don't have any formal business training, it might be time to get some. Learning the skills you need to stay afloat and run a business well can change the trajectory of your firm.

Client Experience Matters

Sometimes attorneys forget that managing the client experience is important. One of the best law firm habits is making sure that your clients understand the process and feel they can trust you. Many people haven't ever had to interact with a lawyer before, but they come into the relationship thinking lawyers are shysters.

You have the ability to change their mind and help them see that a lot of cases aren't won or lost in a black and white way. Discuss their goals and how you hope to help them in court (or out of court, if at all possible). When they learn about how the legal system works and how you can advocate for them, they'll come out of the experience with more geniality for the profession and your firm.

The Most Successful

Law firms can see exponential growth when they follow the habits above to help them succeed. From focusing on education to managing the client experience, there are plenty of ways you can make your firm soar.

For more help with organizing your firm, shop our exhibit labels and supplies!