If you follow my blog with any regularity, you know that my passion revolves around the changing face of the legal profession. As with any altered landscape, there are benefits and challenges, pros and cons, but one thing remains steady, and that is change.
It’s been more than six months since I blogged about identifying a law practice strategy using alternative fee agreements, educational marketing, and web 2.0 technology, primarily virtual law office platforms, in Law Firms in 2010: 5 Pillars of Change. As I wrote that post, I knew my own direction had to change as well; not the direction of my interest, but of my business. And as anyone who has gone through such a metamorphosis will know, this is both an exciting and scary proposition.
In his post “Build Bridges Between Aspiration and Realization,” Brian Solis says:
Understanding how we got to this place at this time is predicated by our actions as they were influenced by the events that touched us. Ergo, our aspiration is a deliberate state of intention and the distance defining our journey is measured by the actions that move hope and vision toward existence and propelled by conscious activity and purpose. It’s the difference between dreaming. . .and bringing dreams to life.
So, after six months of thinking and dreaming and plotting and scheming, I am REALLY excited to announce that my new venture, Law Practice Strategy, will officially launch on Friday, July 2, and the new site, LawPracticeStrategy.com, will go live on that day.
I’ve designed Law Practice Strategy to be a resource center and consulting service for new, unemployed or dissatisfied lawyers seeking to establish a solo or small firm, and for lawyers currently practicing who want to take their practices into the 21st Century. The strategy revolves around the concept that solos and small firms can become competitive and successful by:
- Offering clients Alternative Fee Agreements
- Establishing a virtual-based law practice, or elawyering
- Using Educational Marketing Techniques
- Using Legal Technology Applications for efficiency
None of these solutions is a novel idea. Each has been explored and advocated or denounced by professionals in all forms of media, and many of us have read about or investigated them to one degree or another.
But the key to using each of these systems to create a successful practice is perspective. Viewing each one separately may stimulate interest and a certain amount of enthusiasm. But by integrating them into a functional circle, where each is seen as enabling the other, their synergy to create a successful practice begins to emerge. Law Practice Strategy will offer information, materials and training in the integrated use of these concepts as a viable means to start and maintain a successful law practice.
The site will be a hub for resources, tools and links related to alternative fee agreements, VLO technology and issues, content and educational blogging and syndication and web 2.0 technology for lawyers. It will track the course as these practice management changes take us into the future of our profession, including how the theories behind these systems change not only how we do law, but why we do law.
It will house my blog (all of the old posts are being transferred) as well as the increasingly popular free webinars page. Along that line, I’ve designed a “What’s New” page that will highlight updated information and links on topical areas, and will be updated each week as well. The site will host webinars and other forms of audio/video materials, and will evolve to include discussion groups and other activities as it’s community expands.
Over the next few months, I will also develop practical course content to guide you through the step-by-step process of creating your practice based on these principles, and offer low-cost consulting and assistance in getting up and running. And I have no idea what else might come into my mind or across my plate to embellish this project, but I’m sure there will be more!
For me, and I hope for you, there is even more to this venture than helping lawyers become entrepreneurs. At a recent conference, I had the privilege of sitting across the table from Ralph Baxter of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in San Francisco, recently named innovative managing partner by law360.com. Baxter has turned Orrick from a 200-lawyer local firm to a 1,100-lawyer global firm, instituting innovation all along the way. As our group discussed the use of alternative fee agreements, Baxter commented: “This [the inability of consumers to afford legal representation] is about access to justice. It’s a public policy issue.”
I look forward to contributing to the solution to that problem in some small way, and to helping lawyers find a new way to forge their future. Please join me there next week.