There are three roles lawyers play in a law firm. Each of these roles has separate and distinct responsibilities. Unfortunately, in a small law firm the attorney generally plays all three roles.
This is the role you went to law school to learn how to play. This is where you get to be a lawyer. This is where you get to help people. This is where you get to do what you do best.
This is the role that pays the bills. It keeps the copier and fax machine fill of paper and toner. IT negotiates the office lease. It balances the checkbook and collect from the past due accounts.
The Business Owner
This is the strategist. This is the role that helps acquire the new clients. This is the role that makes certain everyone knows who you are and what you do.
Dividing your time among these three roles is one of the greatest challenges you will face as a law firm owner. Most of attorneys spend 75% of their time as the professional, 30% of their time as an administrator and 5% of their time as a business owner.
This is bad for a few reasons:
They feel compelled to take every case that comes along because they are doing little to no marketing.
Their firm has no direction because they are too busy working on the day-to-day needs of the clients to set the strategy.
Their livelihood is completely dependent upon them. If something happens and they cannot work, there is no money.
If your goal for your law firm is to grow a business and have an appreciable asset that you can sell, you must find a way to change this mix.