Today I’m going to be a bit presumptuous. I’m going to strongly suggest that your law firm needs a retreat to better focus on changes in the legal service marketplace and how law firms should be using their technology today. This is presumptuous to some because many forward thinking lawyers who follow my blog have already made some important decisions and are undergoing some significant changes. But we know many law firms are still reacting to the need for changes very slowly.
This is also presumptuous because I’m going to hand you an agenda for your law firm retreat, complete with suggested reading material. My generic agenda cannot cover all of the specific needs of your firm. You will have to add in items for estimated growth and facilities need, budgeting, strategic direction and the like. And my agenda is directed towards the needs of a medium-sized or small law firm rather than a very large one, which already has administrative personnel collecting agenda items for the next retreat or partner's meeting.
Many solo and small firm lawyers have not taken the time to systematically draft a business plan for the next five years because they are so busy taking care of their clients’ needs. But, it is well past time to take off your lawyer hat and put on your “CEO of an ongoing business” hat to do some long-term and short-term strategic planning.
So here’s a good chance to start looking at your immediate future. There are many other articles on the topics besides the ones I have written and suggested. But as I’ve noted before, I think converting to digital client files is critical and many law firms could use a client communications upgrade. Here are some great starting places for these issues and others.
Your attention is directed to my column in the Oklahoma Bar Journal, Proposed Agenda for Your Law Office Retreat. I hope you find it useful and it spurs you to actually have a law firm retreat even if it is only a closed-door meeting with all of the decision-makers for a couple of hours.