Most professionals who bill by the hour focus on their hourly rate … to get it as high as possible. What they forget is that the client who may contribute either a lower hourly rate or a smaller total revenue contribution is still a
The question was asked of me today: I can’t get a job and am forced to start my own practice sooner than I expected. I’m working out of my own home. How do I start?
The least expensive way to grow a law firm from “ground zero” is to do what you are doing, working out of the house and seeking sub-contract work from government entities and other attorneys. When you do this, negotiate the best arrangement you can for adminstrative tasks to be performed by the contractor, items such as their office staff taking your dictated material or rough drafts of computer-entered typing to complete the document preparation for your final review and submission to your contractor; if an office is needed, if an office is needed, your contractor providing one to you; same with telephone, and other requirements. This keeps your overhead to an absolution minimum.
Also, be sure to create a marketing plan for yourself which will describe how you plan to market yourself to other lawyers to get sub-contract work; then how you will extend your efforts to get “private” clients to know of you; and then how to expand beyond that into a full-blown office environment, traditional practice of your own.
Once the revenue starts flowing, be sure to set aside as much as you can, using only a minimum amount for living expenses. The savings then can be used to do what is needed when you are ready to start out on your own in an office environment, such as purchasing needed technology, paying rent and investing in the growth of your accounts receivable during your first few months.
This is just the beginning. You will have many adventures in your future. You may want to visit our web site again, to see practical resources available to help you grow your practice from the home-based practice to a traditional practice, as well as how to create a business plan for your future.
And, when you’re ready, our coaching has helped many lawyers increase their revenue by five and six figures! Consider this when you are ready to invest in yourself and your future.
On this date, in 1975, my most important mentor died unexpectedly and suddenly. My father. He was just shy of 66 years of age, very vibrant, very active in the business world, and far too young to leave this earth.
His teachings still resonate with me. In fact, I still feel his presence whenever I have a question or am unsure how to approach a challenge. Sometimes I hear him answer; other times, I use his principles and teachings to come to my own conclusion.
There have been a few other mentors in my life, some of whom haven’t even realized they were acting in that capacity for me. One of them was a good friend who taught me how to look at real estate investments, and how to live a full life, who died at 94. He had more than one career, each one successful. He stayed active in his life’s work right to the end of his life.
Another mentor was an extended family member who taught me, vicariously, how to stay involved with one’s extended family, and the beauty and value of that … and the huge and fabulous impact on the children and grandchildren who receive the loving and kindness of such a man.
And so, for you who are reading this at this time of year, I urge you to reconsider your priorities, not necessarily change them. Merely reconsidering them and focusing your energy for next year on those things that are important to you, both personally and professionally, will enable you to achieve ever greater successes.
Best wishes for a safe and healthy holiday season! And may you experience your greatest wishes for 2005! Thank you for being with me in spirit at this time of my life.
In our LawBiz Managing Partners Roundtable, we have been discussing for several years the phenomenon of mentoring, a practice prevalent for many years in smaller firms. As law firms have increased in size, and as pressures continue to mount to increase billable hours, there is no time left for the old-fashioned mentoring.
Yet, new associates do not advance without the benefits of mentoring as we knew it. Law firms are experiencing the negative impact of the absence of effective mentoring. Associates are leaving the firms in droves, some going to other firms, some going in-house and some leaving the practice altogether.
First, managing partners are beginning to say that they know mentoring doesn’t work … and can’t be mandated. The relationship must be between two consenting adults … the older and the younger lawyers.
Second, managing partners are beginning to say that the newer lawyer must seek out his/her own mentor from among the firms’ elders who are willing to make the contribution. Once done on a voluntary basis, the process will work.
This latter function is, today, being performed by law practice management coaches who understand the industry, the profession, the way law firms generally operate, and can provide guidance in a myriad of ways.