Starting back on March 23, RJon Robins of How To Manage a Small Law Firm held a series of free daily phone conversations with lawyers in response to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. RJon was his typically direct but his message was hopeful: there is opportunity out there for lawyers and law firms .
How To Manage a Small Law Firm called this series the Small Law Firm Coronavirus Growth Symposium and particularly at that time (now, two weeks ago) the optimistic, clear-headed message was unique as the pandemic was just underway and fear and uncertainty were extremely high. I learned a great deal from the seminars and probably even more from listening to RJon answer questions from lawyers.
How To Manage a Small Law Firm is putting on another iteration of this symposium and it starts today (Monday, April 6). It’s absolutely free to attendees and the value is definitely there. RSVP here.
What How To Manage teaches isn’t rocket science and it isn’t marketing smoke and mirrors or mindset “walking across hot coals”-stuff either. It’s basic Business 101. Run your law firm like a business, build it for scale, and you’ll make more money, have more fun, and help more people.
Here are three relatively straight-forward yet important ideas I picked up from the first iteration of the growth symposium that folks on the phone seemed to struggle to grasp.
- Good, effective marketing starts with listening. Everyone thinks they know and understand this, but it was really interesting to listen to lawyers and other legal professionals strategize with RJon about how to drum up business in this crazy, dramatically altered landscape we’re currently living in. And even though RJon said it over and over so many legal professionals kept saying to RJon: “Yeah, yeah, I know I need to listen to people, but how do I get them to buy legal services?!??!” RJon told them repeatedly: “Don’t try! Talk to them like a human. Listen to what they want. And then if - and only if - the opportunity to help them emerges, figure out how you can help or if you can find someone else who can help.” It’s that simple, particularly now, when people are tremendously anxious and looking for someone to talk to.
- Professional service firms can be entrepreneurial if they’re built and led that way. Professional services firms, including law firms, are in a position to help people a great deal in this crisis, if the staff is trained to be customer-focused and nimble and leadership inspires adaptability. Professional service providers help people solve problems. The key is to listen (see tip #1) and figure out how to adapt to what people are asking for. It doesn’t matter if that thing isn’t what the owner of the law firm imagined him or herself doing as a lawyer or in a law firm, or even if it’s something that they imagined the firm ever doing. Again, if the staff is trained to be adaptable and the culture open to new ideas and opportunities, professional service firms, including law firms can be incredibly valuable both to those who own them and those who hire them.
- Lots of problems means lots of opportunity. The world is going to be filled with people looking for help with their problems in the coming weeks of this crisis. Professional service firms are built to help people solve problems. The coming weeks and months are bound to bring problems to lots of people. The law firm leader who has encouraged employees to listen and adapt and help clients solve problems will be tremendously well-positioned both through this crisis and beyond.
If this Coronavirus crisis has challenged you or you find yourself struggling to figure out how to navigate this brave new environment, then look no further than Small Law Firm Coronavirus Growth Symposium. As a co-sponsor of this latest iteration, we believe that there’s tremendous opportunity for law firms who are disciplined to grow and prosper, even in today’s chaotic landscape. And it's being offered for free.
Tune in if you want to be one of them.