The 60 Essentials to being a Successful Lawyer

1. Be remarkable.

2. Cherish your clients.

3. Cherish your clients some more.

4. Pick some edges: Easy ~ Difficult.

5. Don’t accept mediocrity.

6. Fail faster.

7. Embrace your positive deviants.

8. Bring some passion to work.

9. Embrace change.

10. Kill all your sacred cows.

11. Increase your IT investment by 50%.

12. Hire artists.

13. Hire those people who smile – all the time.

14. Don’t accept the words being spoken: “It’s the way we have always done things”.

15. Send a Thank You note and a gift to one employee every day.

16. Send 10 Thank You notes to 10 clients every day.

17. Call an old client first thing Morning and say “Hi, how are you?”.

18. Do it on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and for every day thereafter until you run out of clients.

19. Say good morning to everyone within the firm with the biggest, cheesiest smile you can muster.

20. Only talk about your colleagues as if they were in front of you. In other words don’t bad mouth anybody in the firm.

21. If you don’t like what you are doing then do something else.

22. Think about the value in your dealings with all clients and not just how much you can bill.

23. Get comfortable with the idea of doing more for less.

24. Get comfortable with clients that expect more for less.

25. Stop thinking like a lawyer and start thinking like Richard Branson or any other Stellar business person your admire.

26. Cherish the fact that you have a secretary.

27. Treat your secretary as your best friend.

28. Go to lunch with your secretary each week (and you buy lunch even if it is just a sandwich).

29. Get used to asking people for their opinions. Stop thinking you know the answers.

30. Adopt the 4 words “What do you think” as your touchstone for management.

31. Listen.

32. Listen.

33. Listen.

34. Stop trying to climb the ladder of success until you have worked out which wall you want to lean it against.

35. Move away from a mindset of chargeable hours but the amount of value you have provided in any one day.

36. Count the number of clients who say thank you. If you don’t get at least 1 a day go back to point 1 above and start again.

37. Start to think that you only get something by giving something first.

38. Start working on yourself – what is the one thing that you would change? Study it aggressively in the same way you studied for law. Come on no one’s perfect!

39. Think Excellence in everything thing you do. If you don’t like the term then use one that you do.

40. Take exceptional pride in your personal appearance.

41. Stop living up to the Grinder label that has been affixed to you.

42. Confront your fears. If you need a good book to read then try the 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.

43. Stop moaning.

44. Cherish your clients some more.

45. Ask for feedback.

46. Think at the limits of the box. No there is no non-chargeable code for this.

47. Before you commit the next 40 years of your life to the profession make sure you understand your raison detre.

48. Do you exist to serve your clients? If not then you are in the wrong job.

49. Would you hire yourself?

50. Stop breaking appointments with yourself. If you say you are going to do something then do it.

51. Radiate a positive connection with your role. If you hate your job get out of the profession.

52. Don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do.

53. Don’t make enemies of your colleagues.

54. Cross-departmental working is your sole objective to grow your practice until you have run out of service lines.

55. Clients don’t always know they have a legal need. Make it your mission to provide the database of needs that they can access.

56. Learn to type.

57. Don’t think it is someone else’s job.

58. Stop moaning. Every time you find yourself complaining pay £1/$1 to your favourite charity.

58A. As Dale Carnergie said in his seminal work “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, Don’t complain, criticise or condemn.

59. Get comfortable with the proposition that someone else may be better than you.

60. Read a book in the management section of the library. Any of Peter Drucker’s books will serve you well.

Contact me

For more on developing profitable business, innovating in professional practice and implementing social media, subscribe to the RSS Feed of my Blog. Follow me on Twitter at @0neLife, or @Ju_Summerhayes connect to me on LinkedIn or friend me on Facebook. If I can help you or your practice, check out my coaching and consulting firm via LinkedIn, email me on or call me on 075888 15384.

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