I will be giving a keynote address on ‘small law firms as entrepreneurs’ at the Law Society (England & Wales) Small Firms Division annual conference 2015. This conference takes place in two locations on two dates: London – 24th September and Leeds – 6th October.
Here is a teaser of what I will be talking about:-
It has been said that the way lawyers “are taught to think, see the world and operate as a lawyer shuts down nearly every entrepreneurial instinct”. [Jonathan Fields – ‘Why most lawyers make terrible entrepreneurs‘]
So can small law firms be entrepreneurs? Well if you think and see the world differently and operate more like a business person than a lawyer you’ll have a chance!
In ‘The E-Myth Attorney: Why Most Legal Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It’ [Michael E. Gerber, Robert Armstrong and Sanford Fisch] it is pointed out that “many lawyers justify their evasion of their responsibility to run their practice as a business on the ground that to focus on “business” is somehow immoral or unethical for a lawyer. They tell themselves that there is something impure, inelegant, or even unprofessional about thinking of their practice in business terms.” [N.B. “attorney” has been changed to “lawyer” in that quote for the purposes of this blog post to make it read better to a British audience]
Brian Inkster, founder of Inksters Solicitors, in his keynote address to the Small Firms Division annual conference will give you an insight as to how he sees and operates his law firm very much as a business. You will hear real life examples of how Brian has grown Inksters over a 16 year period and his plans for future growth and expansion.
One theme that will run through Brian’s talk is that of improvement. Brian believes that you can make lots of little changes to improve many facets of a law practice and these will cumulatively reinvent it.
Brian will talk about identity, office environment, the internet, social media, marketing, geographical reach, the cloud, legal process engineering, service, KPIs, self employed consultants, corporate social responsibility and having fun.
You should, as a result, leave the Small Firms Division annual conference with more than an idea or two on how to make your law firm more entrepreneurial.