Strategic planning is essential for all major law firms looking to achieve their long-term goals. Its success, however, depends on developing a plan that reflects the culture of the firm and an accurate understanding of the firm’s strengths and weaknesses. A “cookie-cutter” approach will not work, nor will a plan that is strictly aspirational but doesn’t take into account the current realities and challenges facing the firm.

Unlike many law firm clients, law firms don’t sell products; rather, they sell human capital, which, through the knowledge of the law and understanding of the client’s business, provides ideas and insights to solve complex legal issues. Too often I hear fellow lawyers dismiss the need for and importance of strategic planning, stating that the best way to generate new business or attract new clients is simply to be excellent attorneys.

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