We are headed to The Summit 2018 this week and are looking forward to an energizing and inspiring conference for solo and small law firms from around the country. Day 1 is all about inspiration, with an amazing group of keynote speakers. Day 2 is all about innovations, featuring game-changer speakers, whose quantum leap thinking produces results, followed by Day 3, when attendees will learn how to implement what they learned from the game changer sessions.
I am honored to be included as a game-changer speaker on Day 2, at 2:00 PM. My firm has dedicated itself to creating a client care program that succeeds brilliantly on two levels: it does the right thing for clients and it generates recurring revenues. If you’re at the Summit, I hope you’ll come see us – at my presentation on December 13 at 2:00 PM or at our booth in the tradeshow.
Building recurring revenues is something that we don’t talk about much in law school. We don’t talk about it much when we are new associates starting our careers either. But how do you run a successful law firm without recurring revenues? For many attorneys, cash flow is a roller coaster ride, one that they start on January 1 of every year, and then hang on until December 31. Every year. Year in, year out. Until the attorney and their team are burnt out.
We turned the client-attorney relationship upside down, gave it a few good thumps, and created a new structure that has transformed how attorneys care for their clients and run their practices. We teach it through the Client Care Academy, through my book, “How an Ordinary Lawyer Creates and Sustains an Extraordinary Client Care Program,” and at private law firm retreats.
When we talk with attorneys about our client care program for the first time, they are very often relieved. It’s the first time that many of them have heard another attorney come out with the honest truth that many law firms just aren’t profitable. Or they are nowhere near as profitable as they should be for the amount of time and energy the attorneys expend.
We’ve found the way that works, we embraced the changes and we have been teaching it to other law firms now for long enough that we are completely confident that our client care program works for many different types of law firms.
Here’s what else we’ve learned:
A real estate law firm and an estate planning law firm both overserve their clients. There is always one last document, one more detail, and the attorneys often hear themselves telling clients that they don’t have to worry about another bill, because it’s “my pleasure to help you.”
Which means that they are operating a non-profit, not a business.
Of course we all want happy clients, and we love helping clients achieve their goals, whether it’s getting their affairs in order, buying a home or making a child support arrangement work. But we deserve to be paid for our experience, our knowledge and our effectiveness.
Teaching attorneys to think differently about how we practice law and bill our clients is the cornerstone of the Client Care Academy.
If you aren’t coming to the Summit, but you’d like to learn more, please visit our website, check out my book, and think about making 2019 your best year ever by joining us in late March for the next Foundations Workshop.