Nearly every working professional realizes there is a huge difference between studying for a profession and actually doing it. It’s no different in the field of law. There are many great law schools out there, and they do what they can to prepare us, but until we get out there in the “real world,” we don’t know what it means to practice law. How many times do we say or hear the words, “They never taught me that in law school”?
That said, there’s one subject in particular that I truly wish law schools would add to their curricula—one that would go a long way to bridge the gap between the theoretical world of law and the real one. If you know me, you can probably guess what it is:
More specifically, I think an appropriate name for the course would be “How to Start and Run Your Own Law Firm.”
Many attorneys I encounter in my business have a fairly decent working knowledge of the law, but they have almost no concept about operating a business. That’s a huge problem because every law firm is a business first.
Here’s a secret: You don’t make your money from practicing law. You make your money from business. This statement is true whether you own a law firm or just work in one. Without the business structure in place and running successfully, you would have no income as a lawyer. Period.
So why don’t law schools teach lawyers about running a business? Doesn’t it make sense they should?
In my view, every attorney should know and understand the basic tenets of entrepreneurship, sales, marketing, money management and so on. You don’t need to become bogged down with these functions—in fact, part of what I do involves helping attorneys automate these processes to free up their time for their clients and themselves—but without a good working knowledge of how business works, your firm will likely experience one of two things, and maybe both, you’ll either:
- Get bogged down with more business than you can handle, never having time for yourself; or
- You’ll starve from lack of clients.
Paradoxically, no lawyer I know has ever become successful by thinking like a lawyer. You can be a great attorney, but if you’re going to succeed, you’ll have to think like an entrepreneur. Make it your aim to master the concepts of business and marketing, and watch your law firm soar.
Of course, I should be careful what I wish for. If every law school taught its students how to run successful businesses, I guess I’d be out of a job.
If you need help bridging this gap and want to strengthen your law firm as a business, we’re here to help. Give us a call today at 888-907-9958.