Lawyers, Your Law Practice Isn’t Your Hobby

by Nancy Myrland
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Lawyers, Your Law Practice Is Not Your Hobby

There are things you do because they are fun to do when you aren’t doing anything else. You enjoy them. They are a form of release or pleasure. Those are hobbies, right?

For me, those are:

  • Working out
  • Spending time with my husband and 2 adorable Yellow Labs
  • Riding my new bike, and
  • …traveling if I had more time, and my pups would stop having knee surgeries (5 this year, but who’s counting?).

There are also things you do when you are doing something else. That something else is work. It is your job. More importantly, it is your career. It is the practice of law. It is the skilled, intelligent, important work you do every day to help protect your clients.

You Own and Operate A Business

It is a business that runs every second of every day. Whether you are actively working in or on your business, and whether you are in your office, on your phone, on your laptop, when you are physically at your firm, or sneaking in a few hours of rest overnight, it goes on with or without you until the day you retire.

Whether you are part of a firm of other attorneys and legal professionals, or you are a one-person band, you still own and operate a business that you are responsible for.

Your Clients’ Shoes

Putting yourself in your clients’ shoes can help put things in perspective. Because it is a business they are running, they need to get serious and treat it that way. How do you and others advise your clients to help them run the most profitable, secure, protected businesses they can?

Do you think about ways to help keep them in business? Do you suggest actions that need to be performed to make sure they are there tomorrow, in 3 months, or in 3 years? I’ll bet you do.

You Are Like Your Clients, Aren’t You?

Your clients’ businesses are either shrinking, growing, or standing still. The same is true for yours.

Do you:

  1. Show up, letting others know you exist?
  2. Communicate what kind of law you practice, and what that means?
  3. Listen to your clients and potential clients, constantly learning what is on their minds, both good and bad?
  4. Connect with others who share your passion for your area of expertise?
  5. Do anything to stand out from your competitors when it comes to the way you communicate?
  6. Do any planning that will help match your skills with your clients’ needs?

It’s Not Fair

I know, time is in short supply. Trust me, I run my own business, too, so I completely understand where you are coming from. Because of that, number 6 above is critical in order to accomplish numbers 1 through 5. I don’t want you to spend any more time treating your business like a hobby that you only have time to do when you aren’t working. That’s not fair to you, and it’s not fair to those you could be serving with your knowledge.

I want you:

  • To figure out who your potential clients are
  • To identify where your clients are
  • To send the right messages to the right people
  • To help them understand how you can help them
  • To stand out from the sea of lawyers that allegedly do what you do for a living

I Want You To Succeed

Hobbies are important. They are probably critical for your relaxation and sanity in the midst of practicing law. Running your business, your practice, in ways that will help you thrive tomorrow, in 3 months, or in 3 years, is also critical. I want you to succeed, and I know you want that, too.

Take the time. Your clients and your business are worth it. Who knows? You might even find a way to incorporate your hobby into your business. Now we’re talking, right?!

Written by:

Nancy Myrland
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