Building a successful law firm on your own can be difficult.
Competition is fierce. Standing out from the crowd can seem impossible. And competing lawyers in your region don’t want to share their secrets.
So how can you learn from law firms that are more successful than your own?
The answer isn’t in reading a blog post or a book — at least not by themselves.
The answer is a law firm workshop group.
In this post, we cover exactly how a workshop group can help you grow your law firm.
This guide will explain:
- Gain a support network of like-minded professionals
- Learn quickly without the need for trial and error
- Learn without compromising work-life balance
- Get accountability to follow up and reach business goals
- Brainstorm ideas with more experienced attorneys
- Get honest feedback
- Grow your practice
- Legal marketing
- Positioning and branding
- Lead intake and closing
- Hiring best practices
- Scaling to a larger practice size
- Developing company culture
- Setting and achieving strategic goals
- Organizational infrastructure
What is a workshop group?
A workshop group brings together like-minded leaders that are all focused on elevating their game. Through structured workshops, strategic meetings, and tapping into a network of connections at or above your level, a workshop group is designed to provide support, accountability, and resources around a shared experience or common goals.
These groups can be a vital asset for educating yourself, networking, and taking your legal practice to the next level. You can, of course, also help others grow by sharing your knowledge and experience. The act of teaching can help you internalize lessons and insights about running your law firm.
What are the benefits of joining a workshop group?
Below, we’ve broken down the specific benefits of workshop groups for law firms.
#1. Gain a support network of like-minded professionals
One of the main benefits of a workshop group is the network you automatically get access to. Imagine a support network made up of successful, like-minded attorneys and managing partners — it’s an invaluable resource.
Members of our own coaching programs often highlight this aspect when talking about how a workshop group has helped them and their firm:
“You’re working with people that are on your level. You’re working with people that have reached financial success beyond yours. It’s putting you around like-minded, positive people who have similar goals.”
-Howard Spiva, Partner at Spiva Law Group and CrispX member
Research from Harvard Business Review has found that the majority of business leaders who engage in the kind of mentorship available in workshop groups:
- Drive increased company performance
- Experience better decision-making
- Avoid costly mistakes
- Become more effective in their leadership roles faster
#2. Learn quickly without the need for trial and error
When you interact with more successful law practitioners, you get access to their past successes and failures. You learn valuable business lessons about running a law firm without having to face the failures or hard times that lead to them.
This faster, more effective way to learn has been verified by science. Researchers at Bristol University used brain imaging to compare how learning takes place from personal experience with how learning takes place from observing the experience of others.
They found that learning signals in the brain fired not only when individuals made mistakes themselves, but also in response to seeing the mistakes of others.
Not only does this speed up the learning process, but it eliminates some of the risks of your day-to-day operations.
#3. Learn in an fresh, invigorating environment
The last thing you want is to go to another meeting after work or on weekends. But these kinds of workshops are nothing like legal meetings or law school. They energize, not drain.
“It’s one of those rare things that I really look forward to doing. The CrispX workshops have been a breath of fresh air.”
-David Laborde, partner at Laborde Earles and a CrispX member
The best workshop groups have an open, positive energy that makes it enjoyable to participate. You can sharpen your legal, marketing, and business skills without feeling like you’re working or studying.
Getting out of your routine has been shown to lead to increased innovation, collaboration, and thinking outside the box. Taking a step out of working in your law firm so you have a chance to work on your law firm is often the best thing you can do to to take your organization to higher levels.
#4. Get accountability to follow up and reach business goals
Managing the day-to-day operations of a law firm is hectic and stressful. It can be easy to forget business goals when clients make emergency calls. A workshop group holds you accountable and continually reminds you to work toward your business goals.
When everyone on the team is swamped with client work — when it’s tempting to focus exclusively on the day-to-day — a workshop group will encourage you to keep your eye on the big picture and never forget the vision you are striving for.
Consistency is the key to success, and accountability is the key to being consistent. Committing to another person and having regular meetings increases the chances of reaching your goals by up to 95%.
#5. Brainstorm ideas with more experienced attorneys
Instead of working on your own or with less-experienced attorneys, a workshop group gives you a platform to brainstorm ideas with more experienced legal professionals and experts.
Attorneys who have been there and done that can help you identify opportunities and overcome challenges in your business. They’ve experienced the same frustrations you have, and know how they can best be addressed to help your firm establish itself as the leading option.
Instead of running things by your paralegals, a workshop group gives you access to valuable ideas from attorneys with experience running practices at the level you are trying to grow to.
#6. Get honest feedback
When discussing issues, campaigns, and plans, a workshop group is one of the few places you can get honest feedback. Unlike friends or employees, there are no politics, ulterior motives, or feelings to stop you from hearing the hard truths.
Sometimes the truth can sting, but it’s better to get critical feedback from experienced pros than losing clients or making a decision that might hurt your business.
“I went into it with an expectation of getting two types of values. You’re getting the marketing of Crisp at a very high and intimate level. And you’re also gaining friendships and partnerships with other, superior lawyers throughout the country.”
Your workshop group is your barometer, helping you steer your firm through the unpredictable weather of a continually-changing market.
#7. Grow your practice
Jim Rohn’s famous words apply here: “We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with.”
When you join the right workshop group, you will realize just how true this is.
“[Our firm] had outgrown its network and many of the masterminds we were in before, and I felt like when you combined Michael [Mogill’s] knowledge with the legal marketing space and legal management along with the amazing attorneys and law firms that are in Crisp Game Changers, I felt like it was a no-brainer.”
–Seth Bader, partner at Bader Scott and CrispX member
A workshop group allows you to learn the habits and processes of lawyers with more successful practices.
By exposing yourself to more successful people, you will pick up tricks and skills that will help you take your law firm to the next level.
What do you discuss in a law firm workshop group?
Workshop groups discuss all aspects of running a law firm, from marketing and branding to hiring, scaling, and organizational infrastructure.
This section will cover the 8 topics you’ll most likely discuss with a law firm workshop group.
Workshop Topic #1: Legal marketing
As with any business, marketing is one of the keys to success for your practice. That’s why it’s one of the most important topics your group will discuss.
Avoid the pitfalls of beginner legal marketers, and don’t spend a penny on marketing campaigns and channels that have been proven to be inefficient. Learn the language that speaks to your target audience and which channels to utilize to reach them effectively. Relying on the experience of other firms can save you save thousands of dollars in wasted ad spend.
Learn by examining successful campaigns, like Nussbaum Law Group’s Facebook campaign targeting people in their specific geographic area.
Instead of a video saying “I’m a lawyer” or giving general legal advice, it’s tailor-made to people in Nussbaum’s community who share the road with millions of other drivers and experience difficult driving conditions. This ad answers a specific question about what to do after an accident and offers a free case review for Boston residents who could benefit from Nussbaum Law Group’s services.
It speaks directly to their target market, and helped them build trust before even talking to a prospect for the first time.
Brainstorming with experienced firms gives you a shortcut to creating successful ad copy and campaigns.
Workshop Topic #2: Positioning and branding
Branding and positioning are two powerful tools that most up and coming law firms fail to use to their advantage.
You don’t want your firm to become “just another option” in the mind of your prospects and potential clients. But that’s what happens when someone without experience tries to manage your brand, offline and online.
Learn how to create a unique value proposition (UVP) that separates your practice from the pack and positions your law firm to start attracting more of your ideal clients.
Every successful law firm has its own story to leverage for its positioning and branding. Use the collective experience of your group to guide your brand in the right direction and connect with prospective clients to ensure they choose you over a competitor.
James Sexton, of the Law Office of James J. Sexton, accomplished this for his own firm with a compelling, unique brand video to effectively differentiate his firm. He highlights his childhood and background in martial arts, and positions himself as a reliable rock that can help ground divorcees looking for legal advice.
Workshop Topic #3: Lead intake and closing
Closing new business is one of the biggest challenges for most law firms.
Establishing a brand and improving your marketing strategy is the first step to improving this process. Instead of low-quality purchased leads, your firm will start to get high-quality, interested, inbound leads.
These leads are already interested in your firm. There is a foundation for you to start building a relationship. But unless you have perfected your lead intake process, you will be leaving a lot of clients and revenue on the table.
Learn from industry leaders exactly how their team converts prospects into paying clients.
Instead of trying and failing, get access to insider information on exactly what it takes to get a prospect to choose your firm over your competitors.
Workshop Topic #4: Hiring best practices
The job market has become more competitive than ever. With more open positions than available talent, companies are bending over backward to attract the best people. Some go as far as offering on-site gyms and free snacks to get the attention of job seekers.
But your firm doesn’t have to resort to gimmicks.
In a workshop group, you’ll discuss the strategies that established firms use to attract and hire talented attorneys, paralegals, and other staff for their practices.
Learn how to best utilize old-school strategies (such as relationships with law schools and organizations) to modern tactics like using social media and video marketing to reach a younger audience of up-and-coming legal stars.
And it’s not like attorneys are the only members of your law firm, either. A law firm is a business, and you need to treat it like one to grow your practice. Once your firm grows past the founding attorneys, you need to attract talent and hire staff for other departments, many where you have zero experience. From marketing and sales to HR and accounting, you need to build teams with employees that have the right skillset.
It’s not an easy process.
Knowing what to look for and how to hire the right candidates for your firm is something that comes with experience. A workshop group gives you direct access to managing partners that can teach you how to overcome this challenge.
Workshop Topic #5: Scaling to a larger practice size
Beyond mere hiring best practices, learn what it takes to scale a law firm from managing partners with first-hand experience.
From managing budgets, learning to delegate efficiently, to speaking with the press, growing pains are a part of doing business.
As an ambitious owner of a smaller firm, you might have objectives and a long-term business plan. But it’s impossible to foresee and avoid all the unique challenges that come with scaling your practice.
The best law firm workshop groups give you access to managing partners at storied firms that have grown significantly over the past decades. They’ve done it themselves and can give you real advice on everything to come.
It also gives you a platform to share your experience with newer, smaller firms and inexperienced attorneys. Share your knowledge with those who haven’t reached your level yet. Helping someone else is not only incredibly rewarding, but it also helps you internalize the lessons you learned yourself.
Workshop Topic #6: Developing company culture
Company culture can make or break any business, law firms included.
If you’re a solo practice, you personally oversee every client relationship and interaction. And that means you’re the face and voice of your firm — everything comes down to you. If you’re leading a larger team, you need to ensure your team is on the same page in terms of your goals and philosophy.
A healthy company culture helps to retain employees and increases their value to your firm. In fact, companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%.
Your company culture shapes how your team works — from talking to prospective clients to handling cases. The right culture eliminates the need for a watchful eye and micromanagement.
For more on how a strong company culture (and the development of your employees) affects your law firm’s growth, check out our article “Invest in your Law Firm’s Team: The Benefits of Training and Development.”
Workshop Topic #7: Setting and achieving strategic goals
High-level strategic goals are a common topic in workshops.
Unfortunately, it can be hard to get less-experienced employees enthusiastic about long-term growth goals when they’re in the trenches of the legal quagmire. But in a room of ambitious senior and managing partners, no topic is more natural. Get help with setting and achieving your strategic, long-term goals.
You will have time to sit down, share, and clarify your long-term goals and company vision in a room of market leaders. They will help you brainstorm and develop a roadmap to take your firm to the next level.
But perhaps the greatest benefit is that you get the accountability of having shared your goals. Just the simple act of telling a friend can become a driving force that helps you stay committed.
But sharing your goals with driven professionals that want to see you succeed — that’s another level of fuel for the fire.
Get the clarity and accountability you need to achieve your strategic objectives.
Workshop Topic #8: Organizational infrastructure
Documenting processes and delegating important tasks is hard, especially in the early stages of growth. If you don’t do it right, senior partners will always feel uncomfortable letting go of the reins and trusting their team to handle every task in alignment with their culture and philosophy. You will find yourself double-checking work and never quite giving up control of cases and projects.
But letting go is necessary to separate yourself from the day-to-day tasks. It will allow you to work on your business, instead of being another cog in your business’s operation.
Get guidance on how to delegate, what positions to hire for, when to micromanage, and when to give a team member free rein. Discuss how to create processes integral to developing a robust organizational structure.
In short, learn how to create a law firm that runs itself efficiently, without constant micro-management by you and your senior partners.
What are the requirements to join a workshop group?
If you’re starting a new group, a willingness to meet and learn from other lawyers is enough. You have to reach out to potential members, create a schedule, and rent or prepare a location for every meeting.
For more exclusive workshop groups aimed at leading law firms, things are different. Our Crisp Coach programs are only available to ambitious law firm owners looking to scale to the next level.
You need to have a growth mindset and be open to share and learn with other attorneys and law firms.
Conclusion: Introducing Crisp Coach
Is your law firm doing more than $500,000 in revenue each year and looking to scale to the next level? Are you looking to join a vetted group of attorneys that share a growth-mindset?
Crisp Coach programs provide exclusive workshop and accelerator groups for leading law firms. We connect ambitious law firm leaders and provide a framework to help everyone maximize their returns.
You also get access to Crisp CEO Michael Mogill, who personally shares his legal marketing expertise — expertise he has used to help law firms around the country generate $150,000,000 in new business.
Both coaching groups include Crisp Academy, a one-of-a-kind training program for your legal marketing staff.