Seven Reasons Why Practice Coaching Is a Good Idea for Your Law Firm

Practice coaching can be viewed as an expense for a small law firm and in tough times, the last thing you need is to add to expenses.

Like any practice improvement process however, I strongly suggest that you view it as an investment. As with any investment you may consider, you will want to get a return on your investment.

Here are seven reasons why practice coaching may be worthwhile considering for your law firm.

1) Provide accountability

In a law firm, the principal are generally focused on the clients. While you may want to work “ON” the business, those pesky clients take up all of your time, so that it never happens. Time however is the only thing that is the same for all of us. If improving your practice is important, practice coaching may help give you the accountability to ensure that you do find the time to devote to the legal practice management tasks you have agreed to.

2) Keep you focused

When you are swamped with seemingly hundreds of competing demands for your time, it is easy to lose focus on what is important to you as you try to keep everyone else happy. Practice coaching can help you refocus regularly to ensure that your needs are being met as well.

3) Bring an outsiders perspective

That saying “Can’t see the forest for the trees”, is so true for business owners, isn’t it. A strategy can seem like a great idea when you are in the middle of it, until someone from outside, like your practice coach, points out some issues that should have been obvious, but weren’t until pointed out. A law firm client of mine was asked by a major referrer is it was OK to refer some specific matters to another law firm, because at the time they didn’t quite have the skills to undertake it (though they were working on them). As it was a particularly busy time, they agreed, until I pointed out that this work would result in the absolute best clients in the region being referred to another law firm. They quickly got their skills up to date and kept the referrals.

4) Brings industry experience of other similar practices

Practice coaching in a niche like law firms, can allow your practice coach to bring his or her experience with legal practice management issues or legal marketing strategies in similar law firms to bear on issues that you are experiencing. He may have already seem a solution to a problem you are experiencing, or may be able to allow you to avoid you making an expensive mistake based on results of a similar experience at another firm.

5) Be a sounding board for new ideas

Large companies generally have a board of directors who would be involved in major decisions. Smaller law firms generally don’t have that luxury, but a practice coach, who understands your practice well, but is not in it day to day, can be that sounding board when exploring new ideas, making major investment decisions or just dealing with legal practice management issues.

6) Challenge you

It can be all too easy to get to a certain level and not progress. This can apply to your practice’s financial performance or indeed, many other aspects of the practice.

I am constantly amazed at principals of practices who are making poor financial returns from their practice, because they have assumed that that is as good as the practice can perform.

Sometimes it needs a practice coach to challenge your accepted view, to make your consider other possibilities.

7) Get you results

If all of the previous points sounded a bit “touchy feely”, at the end of the day, practice coaching can get you results. My personal view is that I don’t care how it happens, as long as it happens. Was it the accountability? Was it the improved focus? Was it a particular good idea? Whose idea was it? I don’t care. If you are getting a great return on your practice coaching investment, compared to your previous performance, that has got to be good, hasn’t it?