5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Law Firm in 2023
9 minutes to read
Just like that, another year has come and gone — but that doesn’t mean it’s time to slow down. In fact, there’s no time like the present to get started on new ideas, new strategies, and new goals for 2023 and beyond.
That’s why we’ve compiled five of the most important resolutions your law firm should have in the new year. Are you willing to commit to your practice, your team, and yourself in order to make this your most successful year yet?
Prepare to focus on the following in the new year:
- Run Your Firm Like a CEO
- Develop a Strong Culture
- Hire the Best Team
- Create a Lasting Legacy
- Expect the Unexpected
Let’s do this.
1. Run Your Firm Like a CEO
You’re not just a lawyer. You own and operate a business. You are the CEO of your law firm, and that’s no small responsibility.
So why aren’t you running your firm like the CEO you are?
If you want to get ahead in 2023, you’ve got to become a leader worth following. People look up to and commit to someone that they respect, and if you’ve got your clients’ and teams’ respect, then there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.
Here are just a few of the telltale signs that you’re a good CEO:
- Your clients, team, and supporters are successful
- Your team meets their career goals and constantly grows within the law firm
- Your clients see the results they hope for
- Your team members take ownership for their work and lead themselves
One of the most important lessons to learn is that great CEOs run businesses that don’t require them to personally manage every minute task in your law firm every single day.
Truly great CEOs create leaders out of their team members, so they keep daily operations running so the leader can focus on important decisions and moving the business forward. They empower others to run with their vision, keep the organization on track, and lead in a way that’s not solely dependent on any one person. That’s how their organizations are able to scale so effectively.
If you’re able to approach everything you do with that mindset, there is nothing your firm, your team, and you can’t accomplish together.
2. Develop a Strong Culture
Culture is the character, personality, and values of your organization. It’s what makes your law firm unique and is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes. Culture sets your firm apart from all the rest.
In short, your law firm’s culture is how work gets done.
Your culture can be your organization’s ultimate competitive advantage — if you’ve got a good one. It’s the reason why people want to work with you, for you, and by your side.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at some of these shocking statistics surrounding company culture:
- Company culture is an important factor for 46% of job seekers.
- 94% of entrepreneurs and 88% of job seekers say that a healthy culture at work is vital for success.
- 86% of job seekers avoid companies with a bad reputation.
- Millennials prioritize “people and culture fit” above everything else.
Remember: If excellence is contagious, then mediocrity can be too.
It’s not enough to find talented people to work for your firm. If they don’t align with the culture you’ve intentionally built, they’re only going to bring your firm down.
Creating a strong culture is something that every law firm should strive for. Culture will help your law firm hire the best talent, retain that talent, and attract the best clients. The importance of your firm’s culture is something that can’t be overlooked.
If your law firm emphasizes accountability, growth, vision, and results, then you’re going to cultivate the best people who emulate those values in their everyday lives — and they’ll be thankful to work for an organization that values the same things.
Don’t think your firm’s culture is up to par? Make it one of your main focuses for 2023 and watch the number of potential clients and quality team members increase by the day.
3. Hire the Best Team
“People are not your greatest asset. The right people are.” — Jessica Mogill
As a law firm owner, you’re committed to finding, hiring, and retaining the best people to work for you. Without a dedicated team of talented individuals backing you, you won’t get far.
That’s why 2023 should be your year to prioritize making your team the best it’s ever been — and that could include letting go of the people who aren’t aligned with your overall goals and bringing on a new set of committed game changers.
When it comes to searching for the ultimate team members, it starts with creating a foolproof hiring process. This should be the same process that every potential candidate undergoes every single time, no matter what.
To give you an example, here’s what Crisp’s looks like:
Step 1: The Job Description
Step 2: Call the Number
Step 3: Submit Application
Step 4: Phone Interview
Step 5: Test Assignment (with a Firm Deadline)
Step 6: Assessments
Step 7: Final Interview
Step 8: References/Background Check
Step 9: Offer Letter
A strategic hiring process must be in-depth and extensive enough to ensure every candidate is absolutely ideal for their possible role. If you don’t, then you could be wasting your money and time on someone who was never a good fit to begin with.
Once you do find the right person you want to bring onto the team, you also must give them a compelling reason for them to want the same thing. To become a competitive employer in your marketplace, develop competitive pay and benefits, an intentional culture, and a meaningful vision to rally around. Then, clearly communicate how unique your firm is. Show potential new hires why your firm is the place to be over the thousands of other choices on the market.
Consider the following questions when deciding why your firm stands out from all the rest:
- What is the personality of your law firm’s brand, both externally in your marketing and internally for the people who work there?
- What are the perks and benefits your law firm’s team members can expect to enjoy?
- Are the compensation and benefits packages up to par?
- How will this role contribute to your long-term vision or big-picture mission?
- Why should potential team members want to work for your law firm over any others?
Takeaway for 2023: Create a structured hiring process that you’ll use for every potential hire, treat your hiring pipeline like marketing and sales, and commit to only bring on the best candidates rather than just the best available.
4. Create a Lasting Legacy
Great leaders don’t quit when faced with obstacles. They work even harder to overcome it and continue down the path to success.
Remember: You are never a failure until you quit.
Your team, clients, and community notices your habits, attitudes, and commitment to the longevity of your law firm.
Take a second to look around your office right now.
- Do you have a strong foundation of predictable, stable cash flow and management?
- Is your law firm known for frequent turnover?
- Can you trust that these people will carry on when you’re gone?
- If not, are their roles and responsibilities clearly outlined for the next person who comes in to take over their job smoothly and swiftly?
- Is there a consistent onboarding and training plan in place for every role?
Everyone on your team must be all-in and committed to achieving the overall goal of the company. If they aren’t, your law firm has no hope of survival — that’s because its legacy cannot be sustained if no one cares about it.
These are the things you need to think about when planning your firm’s legacy. Before you walk out of those doors for the last time — or even if you step out for a few short days — your team’s alignment needs to be on point, and they need to be able to lead themselves when you aren’t there to lead them.
If you’re afraid to imagine your law firm’s world without you in it, there’s still plenty of time in 2023 for you to get prepared, and that starts with empowering your team, delegating accountabilities, and aligning your people around a shared vision.
5. Expect the Unexpected
As we’ve seen over the past few years, the only thing that’s certain is uncertainty — and that’s exactly what you can continue to expect in 2023. The new year will undoubtedly come with challenges, successes, and everything in between, and the only way to get ahead is to start preparing for it all today.
One thing to be aware of is the major changes coming for Rule 5.4, and that likely signals big changes for your law firm and the legal industry in general.
Here’s the idea:
Rule 5.4: Professional Independence of a Lawyer prohibits non-lawyer ownership of law firms and fee-sharing by lawyers with non-lawyers. Under Rule 5.4, legal services must be provided solely by a law firm that is owned, managed, and financed exclusively by lawyers.
As it stands currently, only lawyers can own law firms and even compete with other lawyers.
But once non-lawyers can start owning, operating, and fee-sharing with law firms, seasoned business professionals — think Fortune 500 CEOs, venture capitalists, and hedge funds — will start entering the scene.
These are people who went to business school and are currently operating their organizations as CEOs. They’re experts at maximizing efficiency, gaining market share, and creating a competitive edge in the businesses they run, and that could mean your firm gets left behind.
This change will bring new threats to your market — but also new opportunities.
In 2023, challenge yourself to combat these incoming potential threats by:
- Being the first to innovate
- Differentiating with client experience
- Treating your law firm like a business
- Upping the ante in everything you do
Don’t fear the unknown. You know what you signed up for, and you can do this. 2023 is bound to be your best year ever.
2023 is here, and you must evolve with the times to survive and thrive — but you don’t have to do it alone.
Crisp will be here by your side every step of the way.
If you’re ready to get a head start on making this your most productive year yet, apply to become a part of Crisp Coach, the ultimate unfair advantage for your firm.
Join the industry’s top closed-door community of the highest-performing law firms, and set yourself up for unprecedented growth in 2023 and beyond.