Have you ever heard of a company’s core values? These straightforward definitions of corporate culture serve as guidelines for how companies should conduct themselves. Your law firm’s culture and behaviors should align with its core values if you want to develop your brand and accomplish your long-term goal in the United States.
The company core values are frequently made public as part of the company’s corporate identity for many large firms. Other organizations might decide to internalize their company values. Whether an organization chooses to make its core values public or promotes them in another way, they are essential components of its marketing and business strategy. They must be represented in all of the organization’s actions and messages.
This also applies to law firms. Having distinct core values can aid in creating a team with a cohesive vision for the future. Core values can be useful if you aspire to develop methods for your practice that are in line with the mission of your company. By creating a positive perception of your company in the community, core values can aid in efficiently attracting the proper kind of clients to your firm.
What is a Core Value?
The overall vision of a law firm frequently includes its core values. In a nutshell, these are the essential concepts, values, and beliefs that guide your profession. They permeate your legal firm, your judgments, policies, and activities. They also aid in forming a united firm culture, developing trust among external and internal stakeholders, and, eventually, improving the public’s opinion of your business.
For example, the core values of Facebook are to “be bold, focus on impact, move fast, be open, and build social value.” Microsoft’s core values are respect, integrity, and accountability, and the company also upholds other values, including innovation, diversity, inclusion, corporate social responsibility, and trustworthy computing, to carry out its purpose. Sony’s core values are dreams and curiosity, integrity and sincerity, diversity, and sustainability.
Your firm’s vision comprises interconnected pieces representing your core values, purpose, and mission. You need the right elements to plot the right direction for your future. You are laying the foundation for your legal firm to grow into its ideal self. The foundation of your legal firm’s vision is its core values.
Before building your law firm’s vision, you should identify your completed core values. Your core values are the essential building blocks of your law firm’s vision and will direct you toward your firm’s purpose, mission, and big goals.
Identifying Core Values for You
When you are prepared to begin, brainstorming will be the first stage of listing your core values. You want to write down all the potential core values that might apply to your company during the brainstorming phase. The list may grow quite lengthy. That’s alright. Avoid eliminating ideas too quickly.
During the brainstorming stage, use the following techniques as your assistance in putting your possible values on paper:
Think about your typical day
Consider how interactions at your firm go every day. Do you value client meetings that help you create relationships? Do you prioritize acknowledging employees? Do you define success in revenue, results, or customer satisfaction? What are the requirements for billable hours? Do you offer a program for professional growth?
The answers to such questions may also provide insight into potential values for your company. Volunteer work or community service may be valued for your firm if you routinely work pro bono and support a local charity. If your firm prioritizes measured productivity, it may have strict criteria for billable hours and strong profits.
Consult your team
Ask your team to discuss the values that your firm holds to be most important. If you’re short on time, you may still ask them for feedback by email or an online survey.
Ask your close friends or colleagues to participate in a more informal survey about you and your legal services if you are a solo lawyer with no staff member.
Think about how you want the public to perceive you. What information do you like aspiring customers to know about you? What do you want the public to believe about your law firm? Will your dedication to your clients be recalled? As you work to accomplish your firm’s goals, consider how you want people to perceive your firm and yourself.
Think about your competitors
It may seem strange but consider your law firm’s closest competitor while coming up with ideas. Who was that? What distinguishes your two firms from one another? The responses to these inquiries most likely serve as an excellent starting point for developing your firm’s core values.
This more cooperative attitude to conflicts could be valuable for your firm if your top competitor has a reputation for taking an extremely aggressive strategy.
It’s time to begin narrowing down your list of values after you’ve done your brainstorming to find your essential core values. If your list is lengthy, you could see this step as challenging. You must rely on these values to achieve your vision-mission and ensure you have a coordinated strategy with consistent standards for the future.
You should consider the following during this exercise:
Be Authentic and Passionate
Your firm and all of its employees must uphold these values daily. This exercise will be worthless if you merely give a few ideas that sound admirable lip service without incorporating them fundamentally into your company culture. Therefore, you should show them your enthusiasm about the values and be prepared to incorporate them into your firm’s operations.
Select Timeless Values
Your core values don’t have to stay constant, but you also don’t want to alter them each week, month, or year. While social media difficulties or fashion trends may come and go, you want your core values to endure for many years.
Avoid using General or Broad Values.
You don’t want to select values that are too generic. This will have no bearing on what makes your firm unique or lack substance and fail to make a clear relationship to the firm’s objectives.
Avoid the “Too Many” Problem
There is no restriction on how many values you may select for your law firm. If you attempt to incorporate too many values, you may unintentionally cause issues.
Your team could find it challenging to remember them. Without good communication, it will be more difficult to assimilate them into your firm culture. You could unintentionally select values that are at odds with one another.
How Creating Core Values for Your Law Firm Can Transform Your Practice
Building your brand will be much simpler once you have identified the core values since you know what to convey to your target audience. Moreover, your core values will aid in giving many of your marketing initiatives structure.
Your firm’s core values will explain what it stands for to clients and potential referral resources. They’re more likely to approach you for collaboration if you have shared values.
For instance, research reveals that feeling in line with a company’s core values is the primary factor in customers’ perceptions of their relationship with it. As their brand, solo lawyers must develop core values that appeal to and connect with their target clients.
Your law firm’s core values will remind you and your staff of what is most important for your brand. According to research, companies with a strong sense of purpose outperform competitors by 400%. Your core values will guide many decisions, including who to hire, your services, and which clients to engage with.
Communicating Your Values
It’s time to share your law firm’s values after you’ve finalized them. Make an effort to limit the values to single words or brief phrases. If you feel it is vital to comment on what a particular value means for your organization, you can add one or two descriptive sentences following each of your values to give them additional context.
You can decide how to share the values once you’ve finalized the list. For the benefit of your entire staff, you must formally introduce them. You can accomplish this by holding a team meeting or using another internal communication tool. After that, you must make sure to reiterate these values.
Consider putting decorations or signs that highlight your core values in crucial positions in your office. Perhaps you might institute rewards for workers who exhibit the values. Include them in your employee handbooks and handouts for new hires.
Here, it’s crucial to ensure staff members are aware of and uphold your core values. They must blend into your firm’s culture and values to serve as a compass for your company. Do not give up if it takes some time for this process. Rome was not built in a day, as the saying goes.
Decide if you will openly communicate your firm’s values to audiences outside your organization next. If so, you should include a section describing your mission, vision, purpose, and values on your law firm website’s “About” page. You may want your core values in your email signatures if they can be summed up in a few sentences.
You still need to consider the audience you are not currently targetting. It may affect your future marketing campaigns and promotional materials. For instance, if your law firm has a tagline, it must encompass the ideas that form the basis of your core values.
Create Your Core Values and Become the Best Firm You Can Be!
Every firm should have a set of core values that define who they are as a whole. It makes no difference if you own a legal firm or a frozen yogurt store. It makes no difference if you are a sole practitioner or a household name with more than 100 attorneys. You need to construct a list of at least five core values, to seven, that you, your company, and your staff will live by if you aspire to have the ability to make decisions efficiently.
Your core values will guide your hiring and firing decisions, marketing strategies, and law firm strategies. It will determine how you progress, what people think of you, and how you make decisions under pressure.
Richard James, Your Practice Mastered, believes that when done correctly, developing and implementing core values can change how you manage your practice of law and have clarity when making decisions for you and your employees. We have helped many attorneys find solutions for their firm’s problems and avoid common marketing mistakes.
Give our Gilbert market firm a call immediately to collaborate with us and grow into the best law firm you can be.