By michelle_pgs | August 17, 2022

If you’re a law firm owner, partner, or head of the department, then you already know you can’t do it all on your own – you need a team.

And you probably have one already.

But have you built the right team around you?

As lawyers, we often fall into the trap of thinking we can do everything – from fee-earning to business development, client care, accounts, office management, marketing, and so on. And then we hire people who we expect to do everything as well.

But the reality is most of us aren’t good at everything, and neither are our team members. This means we might end up asking our highest billing, technically minded, fee-earner to down tools and go out to networking events they don’t want to attend, and which won’t be the best use of their time. Or we ask our best business development lawyer to take on internal management tasks that keep them stuck in the office. Or we cut down on secretarial support and ask all our lawyers to do their own admin which cuts down the amount of time they can spend on fee-earning work and reduces the profits they can generate.

Football managers take a different approach to team management.

They have a clear idea of which ‘positions’ they need to fill within a team, and what skills are needed for that position. They give those positions to specific players in their team (or they bring in a new player if they don’t have the best person for that position), and they keep them there. They don’t ask their striker to play as a goalkeeper or vice versa.

In the football manager’s world, every player has a role to play, and everyone plays to their strengths.

Take action

Instead of building a team of lawyers and other team members who you expect to be ‘all-rounders’, put people in the right team positions based on their skills and interests. And keep them there.

And for you personally (as a law firm owner, partner, or head of the department) you’ll need to decide on your own role. Are you going to be a ‘player-manager’, on the pitch with your team (i.e. fee-earning as well) or are you going to be on the side of the pitch, managing your team without doing the fee-earning yourself?

If you’d like more in-depth help to increase the profitability of your law firm or legal practice, so you can recruit and retain the best team to work with you, come and spend a day with me and other small firm owners at my next online workshop ‘Profitable Practice Growth Secrets For Small Law Firms. At this workshop we’ll analyze your firm or practice to see what’s really possible in terms of getting new clients, increasing your profits, and reducing your working hours. See the full agenda for the workshop, read testimonials about real results other lawyers have had, and check ticket availability HERE.


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