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Preparing your Law Firm for 2018

In just a few weeks we will begin 2018. Is your law firm prepared?

As the year winds down, many law firm partners and management teams are gearing up for 2018. Just as we make New Year’s resolutions to improve our personal lives, management can identify resolutions that the organization should embrace professionally. Here are some ideas to help you set your law firm up for a stronger 2018 and beyond.

Evaluate the firm’s technology

Law firms are not known to be early adopters of cutting-edge technology. If you have been waiting to see if this whole “cloud” thing takes off, or if it’s been several years since your firm implemented any technological advances, it is time to take some of the following steps into the modern world.
  • Automate time-consuming and repetitive tasks such as timekeeping and billing.
  • Introduce collaboration tools so attorneys can work together in real-time.
  • Upgrade case management software and train lawyers on how to utilize it.
  • Manage the firm mailing list and database.

Create or update the Disaster Prevention and Recovery Plan

After the catastrophic events of 2017, neglecting to have a disaster prevention and recovery plan borders on negligence. Every organization should have a comprehensive plan that protects employees, clients, and data when the next event occurs. Having this plan in place will ensure your firm can weather just about any disaster with a minimum of disruption.
  • Evaluate what worked or didn’t work during the last disaster.
  • Update all contact information in the plan.
  • Have both digital and hard copies of the plan available for employees.
  • Schedule a meeting during the first quarter to review the plan with key employees.

Build new profit centers

The legal marketplace is rapidly changing, and firms must constantly find ways to monetize their services and bring value to clients. Certain legal services are being offered online or by third-party vendors, so it is critically important to continually develop new revenue streams.
  • Look for ways to cross-sell clients. Offer incentives for attorneys who do so.
  • Identify new market opportunities.
  • Add services or practice areas that are frequently requested by your clients which can be accomplished with paralegals and contract attorneys.

Examine your firm’s culture

For the first time in our nation’s history, four generations are working side by side in the workplace: Traditionalists (70 or older), Baby Boomers (54-72), Generation X (42- 53) and Millennials (23-42). This gap of more than 50 years between the youngest and oldest in the workforce presents new workforce dynamics. Eventually, this will lead to a culture shift within many organizations.
  • Understand your firm’s current generational profile.
  • Create opportunities for different generations to collaborate
  • Understand motivations – Each generation is motivated by different things, whether it’s stability, authority or work-life balance.

Update the marketing strategy

Is your firm still printing expensive, glossy brochures and running a large schedule of ads in shrinking publications? Are event sponsorships still bringing in new clients? If you haven’t already, take time to review all of the components of the firm’s marketing activities and determine which ones are generating the best results.
  • Determine if marketing activities are simply being repeated year after year.
  • Renegotiate advertising and marketing agreements with media outlets.
  • Refresh the firm website – is it optimized for mobile devices?
  • Review the State Bar regulations on advertising to be sure the firm is compliant.
We wish you the warmest holiday season and a prosperous New Year. The professionals at Collier Legal Search can help you make 2018 the best year ever!
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