It’s going to be another exciting and challenging year for the legal profession in 2014, with continuing commoditisation of legal services, increasing client expectations and pricing pressures to contend with. To help you get off to a good start, we asked five legal industry experts to share their 2014 New Year’s resolutions on strategic planning, performance and growth for your law firm.
Sandy Mak: Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
The recent changes in the Australian legal market as a result of various law firm mergers and the emergence of international law firms have meant that, in the last few years, law firms have been busy either implementing such strategies or reacting to them.
In 2014, I believe law firms need to return to their core business of providing quality legal advice and being a trusted adviser to clients. The time and energy law firms spend on mergers and other strategic initiatives may often be better expended in the actual practice of law and the service of our clients.
The industry should not be afraid of doing less in order to achieve more.
Tony Bleasdale: ALPMA National President and chief executive at Makinson & D’Apice Lawyers
My resolution is engagement and time.
Make time to ensure you have a higher level of engagement with your staff to understand their career path, aims and ambitions.
Dr Justine Rogers: Lecturer, University of NSW Law
I recommend the following resolution for practitioners:
Recognising their connection, resolve to make the ethical competencies and wellbeing of yourself, your colleagues and clients a real priority in 2014, in your corporate strategy, training and daily behaviour, as well as how you talk to and select new lawyers.
Rob Knowsley: Principal, Knowsley Management Services
Review your 2013 business development efforts and, where necessary, improve or increase those efforts to create additional demand through 2014. Strong demand underpins confidence in pricing and maintains good options for client retention and selection.
Gavin Hanrahan: Managing Partner, Turnbull Hill Lawyers
My number one tip for 2014 is to protect your firm’s reputation by ensuring your offerings always have the right amount of information, innovation and service. A good reputation is hard to get and easy to lose.
Dramatic shifts are taking place in the profession so you’ll need to be ready to change and grow with the industry.
Whether it’s being involved in more business development, engaging with a wider client market via social media and targeted marketing campaigns, tapping into a growth area or investing in knowledge management and employee retention, take some time out to plan for what we all hope will a busy, exciting and prosperous 2014 for the profession.