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Building a Successful Collaborative Law Practice- Is it possible?

This week I gave a Webinar on Growing Your Collaborative Practice. After the webinar, I received the following question from a lawyer:

Thank you for the webinar on growing a collaborative practice.  Sole practitioners, like myself, find it very difficult to slow down on the work we are doing to focus on something different or one aspect of our practice, we have to pay the bills.

I am very worried about the estimated amount of time it takes for this idea to work, I can’t afford to be in the hole because I switched my focus. 

So the idea can work well for a person in a firm where their expenses are paid and they get a salary regardless of the amount billed, but how does that work for the sole practitioner? 

How long does it take and what are the stats for success if implemented as you said?  For those of us who have expenses and are on the proverbial treadmill to keep the bills paid on our own, how do we balance that with your marketing strategy and what is the average timeline involved?”

I am sharing this question with you because the challenge to grow a Collaborative Law Practice while maintaining a financially viable business is a familiar question among both sole practitioners and lawyers in a law firm. In my experience, there are few, if any, law firms that pay a lawyers salary regardless of the amount billed.

The answer to the above question is based on three principles:

  1. You will get more of what you do. The more collaborative law cases you do, the more cases you will get and vice versa. This means if you continue to take cases for clients who do not value what you do best, you will spend more time and energy doing work that is not consistent with your strengths, and capabilities and passion. 
  2. “This journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”-Lao Tzu. No question, building the practice you want is a significant commitment and can be a long and complicated endeavor. However, by initiating your vision with something short and simple today, you will be moving in the right direction. 
  3. “Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is”. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Limited beliefs about your practice can limit your success in marketing and successful business development. Is it possible to reframe your belief about marketing? Instead of seeing marketing as time-consuming, distracting and costly, to view marketing as an opportunity to provide you with control for building a practice that is in alignment with your most important goals and values?

In my next blog post, I will provide five strategies for building your Law Practice. Let me know if you agree with these three principles. Do you have any additional suggestions on how to balance growing a law practice while maintaining a thriving business?

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