How to Grow My Law Practice: Tips for Success
By Morgan Martinez
If you’ve ever Googled “How to grow my law practice,” you’re not alone. According to the ABA, there are 1.3 million lawyers in the U.S., presumably searching for ways to beat the competition.
Transforming your aspirations into reality doesn’t have to include rigorous change or daunting overhauls. Rather, calculated, intentional shifts and improvements can revitalize your firm without resulting in any major upset. We’ll explore the strategy of growing your law practice, backed by notable statistics from the 2022 MyCase Legal Industry Report and the 2023 MyCase Benchmark Reports Part 1-3: Law Firm Productivity, Getting Paid, and Getting Clients.
What Does Law Firm Growth Mean?
At the most basic level, growing your law firm comes down to increasing revenue and profits. This can take several forms, such as:
- Closing more cases
- Closing the same number of cases but increasing the average case value
- Acquiring or merging with another firm
Positive financial growth, in turn, can lead to greater profits per partner, expanding into new and scalable practice areas and serving additional demographics and locations.
How to Determine if It’s Time to Grow Your Law Practice
Before we discuss how to grow your law practice, let’s talk about whether that’s the right choice. After all, attempting to scale at an inopportune time can do more harm than good. If you’re unsure whether to grow your law firm, ask yourself the following questions:
Do I Know How to Track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?
Knowing how to track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is crucial for lawyers aiming to scale their practice. With it, you can comprehensively evaluate your firm’s growth and progress, including the baseline metrics and the conversion rate of leads into cases. Fortunately, with the right tools, tracking KPIs and gaining data-driven insights doesn’t have to be a draining process.
Is There Enough Demand for My Services?
The last thing you want is to spend time trying to grow your firm only to realize that your client base doesn’t exist or the landscape is too competitive. Conduct a market analysis before allocating resources like budget and staff to expand your law practice. Take the time to learn as much as you can about the specifics of law firm marketing to identify realistic growth opportunities.
Am I Scaling Too Quickly?
Rapidly scaling your law firm may reap some initial benefits, such as increased client intake, but later become an issue if you aren’t adequately prepared.
Scaling quickly can lead to adverse effects, such as cash flow issues, bottlenecks in workflows, and reduction of service quality. Properly scaling your practice should happen in intentional, incremental steps over time that don’t break down systems but rather support them.
If you’re finding that there isn’t enough staff to cover cases or budget to keep things running, you might be scaling too quickly.
Envision Your Firm’s Opportunity for Expansion
Before embarking on the journey towards expanding your law practice, conduct an honest audit of your firm to reveal areas that require improvement and unveil growth opportunities. In the analysis, consider the three following critical aspects:
An internal evaluation of your firm’s processes, including case management, document handling, and client communication, can unveil inefficiencies that can be remedied with the right tools. In response to the effects of the pandemic, 57% of survey respondents reported that their firms invested in cloud computing tools during 2022. A staggering 73% reported implementing cloud software even before the pandemic, and that number rose to 81% by August 2022.
Streamlining your client intake process for user-friendliness and efficiency can pave the way for enhanced customer experience and staff morale. 54% of legal professionals reported that their firms captured increased leads using online intake forms.
Billing and Accounting
A review of billing and accounting practices is necessary to ensure transparency and efficiency in financial transactions. A resounding 84% of respondents revealed that their firms now accept credit cards and ACH payments from clients using online payment tools. Interestingly, 75% of firms opted for legal-specific payment processing tools over consumer tools.
What Steps Should You Take for Growing Your Law Practice?
Are you ready to take your law firm to the next level? Below we’ve outlined how to grow a law firm in seven simple steps.
1. Decide Which Tasks Can Be Delegated
If you have a full plate, odds are you’re tackling tasks that could be delegated to someone else. Shifting work elsewhere allows you more time to focus on highly impactful priorities that generate growth. Tasks like document management, data entry, and managing email can all be delegated to staff and streamlined through legal management software, giving you more time to focus on the high complexity needs. Our data reveals that 50% of respondents reported saving more than 10 minutes on each document using document automation software, and 67% reported that e-signature tools increased efficiency by simplifying the process of handling legal documents.
2. Hire the Right People at the Right Time
Your growing law firm needs a capable team to succeed. The key is to hire proactively—before you get too busy. If you wait until your team is overworked, you’re likely to burn out existing employees. Our guide to managing your legal professional team can help you build a productive workgroup and keep them engaged and supported for maximum productivity.
3. Develop Systems for Increasing Efficiency
Organized systems promote efficiency and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. If firm growth is on the horizon, formalize workflows that team members use every day. For example, create a systemized client intake process for every new lead, or streamline client communication with a dedicated client portal.
4. Adapt to New Technology
Technology services can help you grow your law firm quickly and with fewer employees. Tools like payment processing, workflow automation, and time-tracking software minimize administrative work for greater productivity.
5. Invest in Law Firm Marketing
The finest attorneys and systems are useless without a steady stream of clients, whether from a personalized website, advertisements, or social media. Law firm marketing is the best way to reach the prospects that can grow your firm’s book of business. Our guide, Marketing for Lawyers 101, showcases how to create a comprehensive legal marketing strategy—that includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO) (for your online presence).
6. Leverage Blogging
Create engaging content for prospects and clients with content marketing. This strategy enables your firm to become a thought leader. It can also increase brand recognition, generate website traffic, and build trust with prospects and clients
7. Try Social Media Marketing
Nearly 4.5 billion people use social media around the world, according to Backlinko, a website that provides SEO training. That’s a lot of potential clients ready and waiting to hear from you. If you’re willing to set aside a social media budget, your firm can also take advantage of paid advertising to reach targeted audiences.
Set Yourself Up for Success
For your law firm growth strategies to yield the desired results, you need to ensure that you’re well-prepared and equipped with the right support. To this end, here are six ways to make sure you’re set up for ultimate success:
1. Team Structure: Ensuring your team is structured for success is the foundation of your plan.
2. Employee Needs: Identifying whether you need to add employees before or after implementing your law firm growth plan is crucial.
3. Client and Team Feedback: Listening to feedback from both clients and your team will pinpoint areas requiring improvement or additional staff to address pain points and fill gaps.
4. Effective Delegation: Being ready to delegate tasks efficiently is key.
5. Areas of Employment to Explore Before Execution: Considering hiring legal staff, non-legal staff, office managers, HR managers, outside freelance workers, legal accounting staff, and marketing and web department staff can enhance your capabilities.
6. Evaluate Office Space: Assess whether you need to downsize, reorganize, or transition to remote work to reduce costs, improve productivity, and meet your financial goals.
Feeling Overwhelmed? Seek Guidance and Business Training
If the growth process feels overwhelming, seeking guidance and training can make it more manageable.
Training and Seminars: Attending training courses and seminars to enhance your knowledge and skills is beneficial.
In-House Training and Consultants: Consider in-house training and external consultants who can offer fresh perspectives and innovative solutions. Expanding your network beyond your industry can lead to unique insights.
Open the Door to Success
Growing your law practice is not merely an aspiration; it’s a tangible reality waiting to be realized. The data from the 2022 Legal Industry Report and the 2023 MyCase Benchmark Reports Part 1-3: Law Firm Productivity, Getting Paid, and Getting Clients, underscores the transformative potential of embracing technology, optimizing financial processes, and streamlining operations. By staying informed and making data-driven decisions, you can unlock your firm’s growth potential and turn your professional aspirations into tangible success. Embrace change, implement these strategies, and watch your law practice thrive in an ever-evolving legal landscape.
Grow Your Law Practice Today
Now you know how to grow a law firm. What if we told you that you could increase your caseload by 38% and gain at least three billable hours per day?
Get your 10-day free trial of MyCase now. There’s no need to provide a credit card or commit to a contract.