Over the years, I have had many discussions with partners about law firm practice area support. Through these discussions, I have learned that it is common for law firms to change the focus of their core practices. These changes can have a monumental impact on the affected leader and his or her team.
This is especially true if the firm decides to eliminate the practice area altogether. Maybe the firm letting you know that they will be eliminating that area of service is a good thing. On the other hand, they can make the decision without telling you. For example, they could just quietly stop supporting your practice area. In this scenario, you would be the last to know.
The first thing to do is to understand where your practice area fits in to the firm’s overall plans. This understanding should highlight any red flags. Obviously, the largest red flag would be if they simply told you that they have no use for your specialty area. However, if it not so clear, ask some questions. Potential questions may include:
- What percentage of firm revenue does my practice area represent?
- Can we add additional associate attorneys to my team?
- How much of a marketing budget can I have?
- Get right to the point – how important is my practice area to the future of this firm?
Now, you realize that support for your group is nonexistent. Staying at your current firm is not a realistic choice. It is time to move on. That is where we come in. It is our job to find a law firm that will embrace your practice area. There are several options:
- A law firm that already has your specialty. You can become just another member of an established team. In this scenario, the firm probably already has a practice leader. This may not be an option for you if you wish to be that leader.
- A law firm that does not have your practice area but wants it. This may be a great solution if you have a team that you can bring with you. Many law firms are looking to grow by bringing in established specialty teams.
- A boutique law firm that only focuses on your specialty. A well-known boutique firm in your area has many advantages. They have name recognition and probably an established client base. Folding your practice into it would benefit you and your clients.
- A law firm that has a succession plan opportunity in your practice area. Perhaps the practice head is retiring soon.
- Hang your own shingle. This option is not for everyone, you would have to want to run your own business.
If law firm practice area support is an issue for you, don’t fret. There are plenty of options. You do not have to settle as we can find you the perfect law firm match. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or join me on my monthly confidential Q&A webinar http://gillmanstrategicgroup.info/monthlyqa if any of these issues resonate with you.