Why are some practitioners successfully building their family law practice while other practitioners struggle to attract desirable clients and are frequently concerned about, “where the next case will come from?” I have been coaching and working with family lawyers, mediators and collaborative practitioners across North America and Europe for the past 8 years and have observed the characteristics of highly successful practitioners . Here are the five characteristics that I’ve found that work for practitioners who have succeeded in building a family law practice.
#1 Successful practitioners know what they want, believe in their vision and are committed to achieving their vision.
Another way to describe this characteristic is through commitment, which is defined as “The state of being bound emotionally or intellectually to a course of action.” The first step in building a strong practice is having a clear idea of what you want, internalizing the value for achieving this goal and committing to the “action” to realize your goal.
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.”
-Peter F. Drucker
#2 Successful practitioners have a relentless pursuit for competence.
What every successful practitioner has in common is they consistently work towards mastering the underlying skills necessary for delivering exceptional client value. With increased skill comes confidence, allowing practitioners to internalize the value of their service and communicate this value to clients and referral sources.
“Without passion, all the skill in the world won’t lift you above craft. Without skill, all the passion in the world will leave you eager but floundering. Combining the two is the essence of the creative life.”
#3 Successful practitioners contribute to building their community
Participation in your professional community is essential to growing a strong family law practice. One of the critical requirements for consistent referrals is establishing a foundation of trust among professionals. The number one way to build trust is to spend time making a contribution to your community and showing an interest in others.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
-Sir Winston Churchill
#4 Successful practitioners effectively communicate what they do, who they do it for and the value of their service.
In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell describes a “sticky message” as one of the rules for creating a tipping point. Stickiness is a message that makes an impact, is easily understood and is repeatable. Successful practitioners consistently communicate a clear message about their practice so everyone knows what they do, the value they provide and who can benefit from their service.
#5 Successful practitioners have a “client- centric” practice.
Creating and maintaining a client-centered practice is essential for growing a successful practice. A client- centered approach requires the practitioner to deliver superior service and value to clients. This means knowing the needs, interests and goals of your clients and delivering exceptional results. The fastest way to grow a practice is through word-of-mouth marketing. This will happen if clients have a positive experience with your service.
“The only way to grow a business is through remarkable service.”
-Seth Godin, Purple Cow
In summary, the five “C’s” for growing a successful family law practice include:
Review the above characteristics and conduct a self-assessment of your strengths and weakness. In what areas are you strong and which areas can you improve? Create a plan today for making these characteristics an integral part of your practice. By mastering these characteristics, you will be taking essential steps toward growing your matrimonial law practice and creating “the practice” you want, a practice that brings value to your clients and fulfillment to your work.
© 2005 Elizabeth Ferris, All rights reserved. You are free to use material in whole or in part, as long as you include complete attribution, including live web site link. Please also notify me where the material will appear.
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