There has been a lot of talk lately about what the future of law firms is going to look like.
As COVID-19 hit, some leaders who have been exposed, and teams that were not aligned have more struggles and challenges now. If you did not have a robust, well-rounded organization before, you’re paying the price for it today.
This time is creating a greater necessity to have strong fundamentals overall as a business. You can no longer focus on the short-term drivers solely as ways to drive new business.
If you were relying upon one source and it dried up, or you stopped investing in it (or consumer behavior simply changed) it has made you invisible.
Before, you could throw money into something that drives short-term new business. Now, you see the level of exposure and the necessity to have a strong, well-rounded organization.
You can no longer play the short game, and a lot of firms were playing the short game.
How many firms do you know that were packing their acorns, getting ready for the winter, and managing cash flow properly? Not many. The reality of it is this: Because of that short term focus, they put themselves in a dangerous position when an event like this occurs.
You don’t have a bulletproof law firm.
We see a shift happening to focusing on the long game.
You can’t succeed if you’re just relying on having a couple of good cases. You must build a well-rounded organization.
This is everything from having a clear, unique value proposition to having an aligned team and culture. Culture used to be one of those cute words, but now you’re realizing that when you have that true alignment, you don’t have the same accountability issues or trust issues when everybody goes remote.
Another factor to emphasize is world-class client experience. You now have to see that as a competitive differentiator. You’ve got to leverage technology. If you fail to adapt and adjust in leveraging technology, you will be left behind.
Everybody talks about systems and processes, but when COVID-19 hit, a lot of businesses — ourselves included — had to admit, “Hey, we’re not as good as we think we are. We’ve got a lot of room for improvement here.”
Look outside of your firm and the impact that you have to make in your community as a thought leader.
Finally, you need to build a strong brand.
This is the ultimate display of playing the long game. This exists not just by default, but by design. How are you perceived in your community? Do people trust you? Are you credible? If you ignored all these fundamentals, you might find yourself in a world of pain right now.
These aspects can no longer be ignored. They’re the catalyst behind the change that growth-minded firm leaders are going to say, “We’ve got to tighten up. We’ve got to make sure that not only do we have the right processes, the right team, and the right culture — but we’re going to build a great business here. We’re going to build this for the long term.”
Now you’ve got to start packing and stacking those acorns for the future.
We need to build a fundamental business that’s not reliant upon one source and one strategy.
If this is the catalyst that drives more firm owners to focus on those fundamentals and building a better business — focusing on their leadership, on their team, on their culture — then you might look back at this time and say, “You know what? That was the catalyst that made us the firm that we are today.”
And you will be the law firm of the future.
If you agree or disagree with anything said here, Michael wants to know about it. Text him at 404–531–7691 to tell him your thoughts.