Strategies for Taking Charge of Your Law Practice

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Strategies for Taking Charge of Your Law Practice

  1. 1. Presented by Cynthia Sharp • Professional CLE Speaker • Attorney Business Coach 1Friday, June 28, 2013
  2. 2. 2 STRATEGIES FOR TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR LAW PRACTICE Event Sponsor: June 21, 2013 2Friday, June 28, 2013
  3. 3. Preliminary Thoughts 3 3Friday, June 28, 2013
  4. 4. Preliminary Thoughts • I would be really happy if we could cover the following: 3 3Friday, June 28, 2013
  5. 5. Preliminary Thoughts • I would be really happy if we could cover the following: • I decided to attend “Take Charge” because: 3 3Friday, June 28, 2013
  6. 6. Strategic Skills 4 • Manage client expectations • Create a culture of client communication • Deliver top notch client service • Develop a powerful & loyal staff • Stay on top of pending cases • Minimize daily stress & irritation 4Friday, June 28, 2013
  7. 7. Johari Window What You Know About Yourself And Everyone Else Knows Too What You Know About Yourself But Nobody Else Knows What Everyone Else Knows About You But You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know About Yourself And Nobody Else Knows Either 5 5Friday, June 28, 2013
  8. 8. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” - Albert Einstein 6 6Friday, June 28, 2013
  9. 9. Goal Setting Tips 7 • Aim high! • Set specific goals • Firm deadline • Don’t allow current results to control • Know that you are worthy! • Take action even if you don’t know all steps 7Friday, June 28, 2013
  10. 10. Diligence provides: “A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.” Rule 1.3 8 8Friday, June 28, 2013
  11. 11. Symptoms of Lack of Diligence • Failure to timely file pleadings • Missed court appearances/meetings • Files have grown mold • Numerous requests for extension 9 9Friday, June 28, 2013
  12. 12. Causes of Lack of Diligence • Too much work • Procrastination • Disorganization • Incompetency • Personal issues 10 10Friday, June 28, 2013
  13. 13. “Procrastination is a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision.” - Neil Fiore, Ph.D. 11 11Friday, June 28, 2013
  14. 14. 12 12Friday, June 28, 2013
  15. 15. Activity Management Concept - Covey Quadrant I. Urgent/Important II. Not Urgent/Important III. Urgent/Not Important IV. Not Urgent/Not Important 13 13Friday, June 28, 2013
  16. 16. The Ideal Week 14 14Friday, June 28, 2013
  17. 17. The Ideal Week 15 15Friday, June 28, 2013
  18. 18. The Ideal Week 16 16Friday, June 28, 2013
  19. 19. The One Year Challenge 17 17Friday, June 28, 2013
  20. 20. The One Year Challenge 18 18Friday, June 28, 2013
  21. 21. 19 19Friday, June 28, 2013
  22. 22. Rule 1.4  (a) A lawyer shall:    (1) promptly inform the client of any decision or circumstance with respect to which the client's informed consent, as defined in Rule 1.0(e), is required by these Rules;    (2) reasonably consult with the client about the means by which the client's objectives are to be accomplished;    (3) keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter;    (4) promptly comply with reasonable requests for information; and    (5) consult with the client about any relevant limitation on the lawyer's conduct when the lawyer knows that the client expects assistance not permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.    (b) A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation. 20 20Friday, June 28, 2013
  23. 23. COMMUNICATION WITH PERSON REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL In representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate about the subject of the representation with a person the lawyer knows to be represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the lawyer has the consent of the other lawyer or is authorized to do so by law or a court order. Rule 4.2 21 21Friday, June 28, 2013
  24. 24. 22 22Friday, June 28, 2013
  25. 25. Strong Case Management System 23 23Friday, June 28, 2013
  26. 26. Develop Rapport 24 24Friday, June 28, 2013
  27. 27. 25 Ask Open Ended Questions 25Friday, June 28, 2013
  28. 28. Listen Actively 26 26Friday, June 28, 2013
  29. 29. Keep Client Informed 27 27Friday, June 28, 2013
  30. 30. Defining The Terms of Client Service • Retainer Agreement • Non-engagement Letter • Termination Letter 28 28Friday, June 28, 2013
  31. 31. Retainer Agreement • Responsibilities of Lawyer • Obligations of Client • Scope of Representation • Lay Out Stages of Case • Payment of Costs • Retainer Policy • Billing and Payment Policies 29 29Friday, June 28, 2013
  32. 32. Retainer Agreement • Grounds for Withdrawal • Nonpayment • Client Misrepresentation • Failure to Cooperate • Client Requests Unethical Behavior • Include Sunset Provision • New Agreement for Each Matter 30 30Friday, June 28, 2013
  33. 33. Non-Engagement Letter • Anytime You Don’t Accept Matter • Recommend Second Opinion • Be Brief and Polite • Record of Transmittal 31 31Friday, June 28, 2013
  34. 34. Termination Letter 32 • Reason for Termination • Conclusion • Nonpayment • Conflict Discovery • Client Terminates • Failure to Cooperate 32Friday, June 28, 2013
  35. 35. 33 Termination Letter • How to Obtain File • Status of Fees • Client Satisfaction Survey • Ask for Referral • Ask for Testimonial 33Friday, June 28, 2013
  36. 36. 34 Client Relations • Welcome Letter • Client Satisfaction Survey • Phone Appointments 34Friday, June 28, 2013
  37. 37. Attorney Competence Rule 1.1 provides that “A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.” 35 35Friday, June 28, 2013
  38. 38. Business Expertise • Business Creator • Business Operator • Business Innovator • People Developer 36 36Friday, June 28, 2013
  39. 39. Leverage Yourself 37 37Friday, June 28, 2013
  40. 40. MEMOS • In Ray James Madison • In Ray John Smith • In Ray Millicent Daniels • In Ray Tammy Curry 38Friday, June 28, 2013
  41. 41. “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” Dwight D. Eisenhower 34th President of the United States 39 39Friday, June 28, 2013
  42. 42. “The Buck Stops Here” Popularized by Harry S Truman 40 40Friday, June 28, 2013
  43. 43. Delegation Dynamics 41 41Friday, June 28, 2013
  44. 44. Delegation Dynamics •The Fundamental Process 41 41Friday, June 28, 2013
  45. 45. Delegation Dynamics •The Fundamental Process •Delegation Reluctance 41 41Friday, June 28, 2013
  46. 46. Delegation Dynamics •The Fundamental Process •Delegation Reluctance •Problematic Delegation Problems 41 41Friday, June 28, 2013
  47. 47. Delegation Dynamics •The Fundamental Process •Delegation Reluctance •Problematic Delegation Problems •Action Plan - Moving Forward 41 41Friday, June 28, 2013
  48. 48. Setting the Stage • Organization Chart • Regular Staff Meetings • SOP Manual • Culture of Trust The Fundamental Process 42 42Friday, June 28, 2013
  49. 49. Types of Delegation • BASIC: Expectation is to follow instructions explicitly • CHALLENGING: Responsibility for an outcome The Fundamental Process What can I delegate? 43 43Friday, June 28, 2013
  50. 50. The Responsibility Shift 44 44Friday, June 28, 2013
  51. 51. The Responsibility Shift 45 45Friday, June 28, 2013
  52. 52. • Review the assignment. Loose ends? • Clearly define the responsibility to be assigned • Who is right for the job? • Team Attitude The Fundamental Process The Preparation Phase 46 46Friday, June 28, 2013
  53. 53. •Specificity as to end result • Explicit authority (or lack thereof) • Available resources • Set specific deadlines The Fundamental Process The Explanation Phase 47 47Friday, June 28, 2013
  54. 54. • Confirm understanding of assignment • Encourage Questions • Support and Communicate • Give Feedback The Fundamental Process The Conversation Phase 48 48Friday, June 28, 2013
  55. 55. • Discourage Upward Delegation • Watch Out for Re-delegation The Fundamental Process 49 49Friday, June 28, 2013
  56. 56. Delegation Reluctance “Old habits die hard.” ~ English Proverb 50 50Friday, June 28, 2013
  57. 57. • Nobody does it better • Not enough time • Fear of Resentment • Unclear as to Authority Delegation Reluctance 51 51Friday, June 28, 2013
  58. 58. Problematic Delegation Styles Procrastination 52 52Friday, June 28, 2013
  59. 59. Problematic Delegation Styles Micromanagement 53 53Friday, June 28, 2013
  60. 60. Problematic Delegation Styles Dump and Run 54 54Friday, June 28, 2013
  61. 61. The Mistake Process “Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.” ~ Al Franken, "Oh, the Things I Know", 2002 55 55Friday, June 28, 2013
  62. 62. The Mistake Process Delegator • Private Discussions • Support with Corrective Measures • What is the “Learning”? 56 56Friday, June 28, 2013
  63. 63. The Mistake Process Delegatee • Confess quickly (if you find the mistake) • Ask for support where needed • Create process to avoid similar errors 57 57Friday, June 28, 2013
  64. 64. MRPC 5.1 Responsibilities Of Partners,Managers, And Supervisory Lawyers MRPC 5.2 Responsibilities Of A Subordinate Lawyer MRPC 5.3 Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistants 58 58Friday, June 28, 2013
  65. 65. The Reality Focus Self Assessment Tool 59 59Friday, June 28, 2013
  66. 66. Moving Forward • Did you learn anything new today? • Did you gain any insight into yourself or someone else? • Do you plan to change any of your behaviors as a result of today’s session? 60Friday, June 28, 2013
  67. 67. Work/Life Balance 61 61Friday, June 28, 2013
  68. 68. Take Charge Plan 62 62Friday, June 28, 2013
  69. 69. Four Decisions • Decide what you want • Decide what you will give up to get what you want • Decide to take personal responsibility • Decide what value and service you are going to offer 63 63Friday, June 28, 2013
  70. 70. Evaluations 64 64Friday, June 28, 2013
  71. 71. 65Friday, June 28, 2013
  72. 72. Connect with Cindy like us follow us follow us share with us The Sharper Lawyer connect with us 66Friday, June 28, 2013
  73. 73. The Sharper Lawyer now offers a complimentary half hour coaching session. Email Cindy for more details! cindy@thesharperlawyer.com 67Friday, June 28, 2013
  74. 74. Thank You The Sharper Lawyer www.thesharperlawyer.com 68Friday, June 28, 2013

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