This post kicks off a new series on the current state of the legal profession and what you must do to be successful in 2015. It’s no secret that there are many challenges facing those with a law license. While most law firms are full of those complaining about the current state of things, the fact is that there’s a big issue which many aren’t even realizing – things are about to get a lot worse for most attorneys! The good news is that, if you choose to do things right, then you’ll wind up being successful to a point at which most in the profession can only dream of being. In other words, if you recognize the state of legal practice in 2015 and make the right changes then you can wind up looking like this ol’ boy:

Happy lawyer cartoon

If, on the other hand, you choose to not break from the traditional attorney model then, rest assured, that you’ll wind up looking this poor sap:

Crying business person

I’m assuming that you would rather look like the former. If, on the other hand, you like the way law firms have traditionally done things, and you refuse to change, then, well………….good luck.

I’m writing this series because the profession is changing more rapidly than many realize. As a result, many attorneys and law firms will be going out of business in the next few years. Many of these failing lawyers will not even understand the reason for which they failed and, instead, will manage to pass the blame off on someone else. There will be a second group of lawyers who will stay in the profession and scrape by on a modest (and I do mean modest) income. There will be a third group of attorneys. This third group will “get it” and will be profitable to a point at which most lawyers have only dreamed of being. There interesting thing is that there’s no reason why a particular lawyer has to be in one of the first two groups; most will simply not be willing to do what’s necessary to be successful.

I’ll be covering a variety of topics over my coming posts. Topics I’m diving into will include:

  • The current, and sad, state of the legal profession as well as how things go to this point
  • Why things are going to get much, much, much, much (much) worse for lawyers in the next few years
  • What a law firm needs to do, from a business management standpoint, to be successful
  • What attorneys need to do, from a marketing/public relations standpoint, to be successful

The first two of these topics are just as important as the last two for anyone serious about growing their practice. The reason for this importance is simple – you need to keep track of what’s going on in your industry. Attorneys, for reasons beyond my understanding, are notorious for operating as if they are in a vacuum and do not need to pay attention to business related developments in their field. Here’s a news flash – such is no way to run a business! Can you imagine if General Motors tried to function on an ongoing basis without paying any attention to the trends in vehicle purchasing habits? Or, ask yourself if Google and Apple could go on for a prolonged period without paying attention to changing consumer preferences in term of smart phone design. Every business must pay attention to its surrounding circumstances and the legal profession is no different. This is why gaining a broader understanding of the profession’s current state is just as important to your business as are tips on how to function in today’s environment.

One of the big things to take away from this series is that you need to start doing things in a way that is very different from the ways in which a law firm is traditionally run. Ready to make a change and be successful? If the answer is yes then read the upcoming posts. If you’re content to fail then, well, you really don’t need to read any further.