A recent survey of top lawyers revealed a core
group of common denominators - the top eight requirements - to
Find something you love to do
Passionate, contented and happy attorneys perform
better, deliver higher quality legal services and get better results
for their clients. In general, they feel better about themselves and
The client comes first
There is one common truth associated with
profitable, growing businesses of all types: The customer is Number
One. This belief or mindset means that you educate the client about
the judicial system and the particulars of his or her matter, develop
reasonable expectations in the client and then perform as though this
were the only client you were serving.
Think like an owner
Many attorneys may think like employees, merely
punching their time card on a daily basis. Ask this question: "If I
were the owner of this business, what would I do to improve this
situation?" Coupled with the attitude that the client comes first,
your actions are now based on keeping clients and increasing the
firm's revenues and profits, a sure recipe for personal success.
Be a problem-solver
Instead of just reacting, look ahead for
solutions to client problems. Too many attorneys are so busy with
immediate concerns that they cannot look forward for ways to solve
future problems. Successful attorneys think about the long-term
effects of actions taken now and in the future.
Successful attorneys have always continued their
education and currently take more than the minimum requirements. It is
impossible to know everything in any one field of endeavor, let alone
everything that is contained in the vast and growing area of resources
made available by books, the internet, etc. To be successful, you have
to continue to learn new information and update old thinking.
Develop a knowledge of business
When an attorney seeks business clients, it's
important to be able to speak their lingo. Conversation and advice
from an attorney that helps a client in his or her own business is
usually well-received, and it also lets the client know that the
attorney can see the entire impact of the current situation on the
Treat partners as clients
Most large firms tend to be a conglomerate of
sole practitioners, and, unfortunately, the attorneys fail to really
integrate the practices with others in the firm. An outstanding and
too-often-underused source of new business is your own partners and
the relationships they have with the outside world.
Make yourself invaluable
Make a difference in the lives of your clients.
Go the extra mile and provide a service that clients feel they have to
have. Know your clients' business and anticipate their future
problems. When you become truly invaluable to a client, you will
always compete successfully for their business.
Edward Poll, J.D., M.B.A., CMC, is a certified management
consultant in Los Angeles who advises attorneys and law firms on how
to deliver their services more effectively while increasing their
profits at the same time. Poll can be reached at 1-800/837-5880, firstname.lastname@example.org,
or at www.lawbiz.com.