The thing that kind of sucks about being a lawyer trying to open a law firm is that you don’t really get any training for opening and running a successful law firm. In law school there are no or few classes targeted specifically to opening a successful law firm, and most of the classes that are offered focus on things like what type of business you should form and whether or not you should have an actual office or a virtual office. The fact of the matter is, if you want to open a successful law firm, you’re going to have to learn how to do it on your own.
I know this because I’ve done it. Only a few short years ago I was just a Salt Lake City DUI lawyer. Now I’m a law firm owner. And there’s a big difference in that – and that is what this article is about.
What we’re talking about here, as the name of the article implies, is the mindset you must take to have a successful law firm. The mindset, by the way, is not the same as that of just an attorney. It’s, in fact, much different.
To illustrate the point, just think about this – what is your main concern when you are a lawyer, DUI lawyer or otherwise? It’s doing legal work, right? Someone places a problem in front of you and you work to get the best resolution you can. The better resolutions you get, the better people think you are as a lawyer. Knowing that, do you think that is the same mindset a law firm owner has? I’d say no, not even close.
Where I think a lot of people get in trouble is they don’t go into law firm ownership with an entrepreneurial mindset. You can’t think like an attorney – you’ve got to think like a business person. Most attorneys just think “if I do good work, I’ll get more business.” It’s sad to say, but that’s the dumbest thing you could think if you were a business owner.
When I opened my law firm I had to switch gears from DUI attorney to businessman. I had to think not, how can I be a good attorney, I had to start thinking if I were someone that needed a Salt lake City DUI attorney where would I go to find one and what would I be looking for? When I started answering those questions I started going down paths that I never would have gone down as just a lawyer.
Bottom line, if you’re opening a law firm or you already own one, the faster you can get out of the lawyer mindset and into the entrepreneur mindset the better. That’s the key to success.