The profession is going through an upheaval and shakeout of unprecedented impact. Some futurists predict that as many as a third of the lawyers in practice today will have left the profession within the next five years. How will small firm & solo attorneys need to change their thinking to stay viable? Some of my thoughts —
1. Learn from change, don’t resent it. Ask yourself “what is the opportunity here?”
2. The past ain’t coming back. Move forward or be left behind.
3. Embrace technology. It’s not a choice. Every old dog can learn new tricks. As Yogi Berra once said, “first ya gotta wanna.”
4. Hire or keep a strong right arm. Without it you don’t have a practice. You have a job.
5. Attracting work is just as important as doing it. Get over it.
6. Develop a clear identity. General practice is not an identity. It’s a plea.
7. Three (okay, four) key words to remember that will help you stay alive: focus, niche and target market. You can’t survive trying to sell everything to everyone.
8. Be highly visible and active in your own and your target market’s community. You won’t be found by prospects if you are hiding in your office.
9. Your worst enemy is inertia, not your competition.
10. Think beyond this month’s billings. Without a roadmap to tomorrow you are living in yesterday.