One of the biggest open secrets in the world of law practice is that managing a successful legal practice (whether for profit or not for profit), requires business skills. What I mean, specifically, is that practitioners that can apply practical business skills to their organizations, to help increase efficiency, operational costs, and improve overall employee and client satisfaction.
Most people consider legal practitioners to be a resource for vast knowledge. Some practitioners indeed are very prolific when it comes to serving as legal authorities on the law and evolving immigration issues. They may have authored treatises, practice guides, write journal articles and be tapped by reporters for news stories. For the most part, this is a great method of ensuring an edge on the competition but on its own, does not guarantee the survival of a law practice. To make sure your organizations attract and retain talented employees and solvent clients while all the bills are paid, practitioners must also cultivate non-legal yet essential skills. These included understanding and interacting successfully with individuals, as well as understanding the financial mechanics of operating the law practice business. Today, we’ll highlight the people aspect of law practice management.
Successfully managing personnel, vendors, partners, clients, co-counsel or opposing counsel or government representatives, requires strategic, soft-skills. For example, what if you could negotiate better renewal terms for your property lease by developing a warm relationship with the property manager? Apply that same logic to your long-term clients? What if, in addition to provide excellent legal expertise related to immigration laws, you provided that information in advance of the client seeking it? Here are some practical pointers:
- Satisfying Your All Clients All the Time: If you think it’s impossible, it’s not. The only way to satisfy each of your clients’ needs is by finding out what those needs are and delivering on them. For your next client engagement, find out what the client’s number one need is. Memorialize it so you both are clear on that need. After representation is complete, ask the client if that need was met and if not, what you could have done differently. If you consistently poll your clients after representation, you’ll be able to further refine your client interactions to a science!
- Your Employees Will Talk: Have you taken the time recently to get feedback from employees on how you’re doing? If you ask, they can provide valuable clues ways to improve office efficiency, client interactions and even reduce overhead costs.
- True Vendor Partners: Immigration law practice is fairly unique insofar as it’s paper intensive. There are forms, forms and more forms from multiple government agencies. What processes can best maximize your staff’s resources? In the case of immigration case management software for example, a vendor that offers software backed by a team of real-life practitioners with an understanding of immigration law is a valuable human resource.
Join us later this week to continue the conversation on how practitioners can streamline the financial mechanics of law practice management.
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