Now I know there is a huge debate about whether attorneys should engage in the “practice of law” or the “business of law”. However, I think this debate misses the mark. The salient question is – how can we continue to serve our clients’ legal needs while keeping up with their expectations for business? In other words, how can we practice law and maintain the business persona that our customers expect?
Over the years I have witnessed a few vigorous debates where the point of contention was over whether the practice of law is a business or a profession. I am sometimes taken aback by the positions some lawyers take.
There are those who really do find the notion of equating the practice of law in any way, shape, or form with the running of a business as an extremely offensive position. In the opposite corner stands the attorney who is in it solely for the money and views the very existence of our rules of professional conduct as a personal affront. Thus, the great debate.
We’ve all been there. We thought we had a great relationship with a client and the next thing we know we’re getting a letter from another attorney asking for our client’s file. You’re surprised, hurt, don’t understand what happened. You may even try to call the client but by this time the client isn’t necessarily forthcoming. So, you get upset for a while, or you celebrate because the client was a pain in the butt. But what you don’t really do is assess. You move on.
Therein lies the problem. You decide it was out of your hands. Wrong. You need to understand why the client fired you.
There are two new terms being used in this 21st century world which are making a big difference in their lives and the lives of others. Can learning them and implementing them make a huge difference in your solo/small firm practice? They really can!
It’s been five years since I started my solo practice. In that time, I’ve had many ups and downs. I’ve struggles at times – with depression, with stress and burnout, with financial troubles, and with staff turnover that got me labeled “The Hatchet” by a friend in the staffing industry. I’ve thought about packing it in a time or two, going back to work at a Big Law firm, but I never did.
You know what? I wouldn’t change any of it.
Christina Burns is the Director of Client Happiness at Ruby Receptionists. Ruby’s understanding of customer service is so deep, their results so stellar, it is why this company is growing by leaps and bounds and you will only find they receive glowing reviews. Christina understands, and Ruby Receptionists lives and breathes, customer service. They have developed a Service Pyramid which is at the core of their client service. Today, Christina will teach you how to implement your own Service Pyramid to improve your clients’ experience with your law firm. Listen and learn.
When I started my solo practice, I was confronted with one salient issue. Do I continue to practice law in the area where I have the most experience or do I try something new? How about you?
Here’s the problem. We’ve fallen into too much casual contact with clients and this contact is ’round the clock for both the client and the lawyer’s convenience. Cringe-worthy mistakes are inevitable. How do you avoid it? I have one simple suggestion.
Are you strategizing for 2016, and that means looking back over your prior years’ financials. I don’t know about you but I (and most of the small business owners I) rarely look past cash flow to the bigger picture, and then usually only when we are filing our tax returns. Here are some necessary tips to help you make much better decisions in 2016.
In my previous column, I discussed how cyber liability is a serious risk management issue for lawyers, given our Rule 1.6 duty to maintain the confidentiality of client information. Given the high profile cyber attacks against Target, Sony Pictures Entertainment, the United States Government, and the Ashley Madison website; many law firms may believe they are not big enough to be a target, or they don’t have data that cyber criminals would find attractive. These law firms would be wrong on both counts.