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Your Own Law Practice:  Ways You Can Make It Thrive Starting Right Now

Your own law practice is something you have some control over.  This is true whether you are a sole practitioner or someone who works in a large firm. 

Regardless of the size of your practice and how long you have been doing it, it is up to you to run it well isn’t it? Running your own law practice means that you are working with clients, doing research (or instructing others to do it), dealing with staff members, developing your own reputation, networking with others, preparing for and doing your cases etc. 

The point is to make your family law practice thrive and be the best it can be. Before we look at how to build such a thriving practice, we have to look at what constitutes a thriving practice. 

For many divorce lawyers, a thriving law practice will mean different things. 

What is a thriving law practice?

Many would say a thriving law practice is one where: 

  • Clients are served in a way that makes them feel that their cases are moving forward;
  • Clients feel that their needs are served;
  • Clients will tell others what a great job their divorce lawyer did and is doing for them;
  • The clients believe the fees they have paid are worth it and the value they received from their lawyer;
  • The divorce law practitioner feels rejuvenated after a workday rather than spent;
  • The divorce lawyer is known in their community (or developing a reputation) for success with their clients’ cases; and
  • The divorce lawyer earns sufficient revenue to make it worthwhile for them to continue operating their law practice.

On top of everything else, in order to develop a thriving law practice, we have to do an outstanding job all the time. In life and in the legal profession, doing a poor job does not result in poor results. It results in no results. Doing a good job will get us okay results from time to time. It does not, however, in any way, get us good results. If we want good or great results we have to do an outstanding job and we have to do an outstanding job consistently. 

Delivering the bests results will mean different things for each client. It could mean: 

  • Ensuring our client has a meaningful and ongoing relationship with their kids post-separation;
  • Successfully obtaining an order for support on an interim court application;
  • Successfully resolving all outstanding matters after a day or two of mediation;
  • Getting an order that protects the client and their children from potential family violence.
  • Negotiating a fair settlement and avoiding trial in the first place; or
  • Winning at trial. 

We know clients want the above stuff. Yet, for all of us, not every day at the office is a day where we are sharp, focused, and “on fire.” What we can’t do as divorce lawyers is simply rely on our brains and energy each and every day to make our legal practice awesome. We have to prepare and be ready to run things in an awesome way regardless of what mood we are in, whether or not we have boundless energy, or whether or not we are feeling particularly sharp or focused. 

Life does get in the way. We may have problems at home, we may be tired because our kid was up all night with an illness, or we may be struggling with feelings of depression etc. 

This is why, when you develop your own law practice, that you build right into it systems, checklists, and templates to ensure that your clients’ needs are met each time you service them regardless of how you are feeling. 

Our office, the Hemminger Law Group, uses templates for settlement offers, mediation briefs, separation agreements, and specific types of letters that we may write to a client or opposing party. 

These checklists and templates have been developed over time and we are continuously revising them and reworking them. Although working on these checklists and templates take time, they save us loads of time and energy in the long run. The biggest thing to remember is that you have to spend time working on your own law practice rather than just in it. 

The substantive learning curve in any area of law is steep and this is certainly true of family law. What is important to remember is that while you are engaging in this learning curve, you also build right into your legal practice a successful mindset, professionalism, relationship building, templates and step-by-step checklists to ensure your clients are represented well each and every time. 

In a nutshell, developing your own law practice in a thriving way is relatively simple 3-step process.

Your own law practice:  Ways you can make it thrive starting now:

A thriving law practice does not happen by accident. There is a relatively simple (but not necessarily easy) method to making your own law practice the best it can be. 

First Way To Making It The Best: 

First of all, use checklists. Use checklists for interviewing a potential client, for doing research, doing a court application etc. If it is something that you can see yourself doing more than once, make a checklist and continue developing it. 

Second Way To Making It The Best: 

Secondly, use templates for your letters and other documents. This way you can revise what you have already created to suit each separate client matter. You do not have to reinvent the wheel each and every time you are writing a letter or creating a document. 

Third Way To Making It The Best: 

Finally, continuously pay attention to the development of your law practice itself. Develop a personal mindset of being successful. Focus on being an awesome professional and building relationships. Finally, think of networking as a way to continuously build and develop your practice.

So, there it is.

By Val Hemminger, Divorce Lawyer

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Val has created this website to share with her colleagues. She  is not suggesting, by any means, that she is the best divorce lawyer out there. She is, however, suggesting that she is the best divorce lawyer that she herself can be. Feel free to share anything you find useful.