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There are two sorts of repeatable behavior in law firms: the good kind, and the bad kind. And, this article is about spotting the difference. With another new year just around the corner, it’s a good idea to review law firm processes with an eye to stopping or changing what needs to be revised, and solidifying or improving what is already being done well. Of course, many law firms don’t go through that review process. But, don’t let yourself be talked out of it just because you think there isn’t enough time left in the year to complete a substantive review. Let me tell you something: Ain’t never gonna be enough time.

Now, when you’re completing a review of your processes, whenever you do it, keep an eye out for the type of repetitive behavior that will keep you from innovating. Law firms, more than most businesses, are subject to stagnation. That’s partly because lawyers pride themselves on dragging their feet. They are late adopters of technology. They avoid “change for change’s sake”—mostly because they’re afraid to change, and that’s a convenient excuse. Lawyers love the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality, to the point that, if their businesses were cars, they would not take them into the shop until the engine literally fell out of the bottom of the vehicle. So, the repetitive behavior within your law firm that you first want to observe, and then root out, is the status quo. If your business is not growing, it’s failing. And, that term “growth” can be looked at in a number of ways. It does not only have to be about revenue; but, it can also reflect on the changes that need to be made to a growing practice to reflect the changes that come to your client base and the business world at large. You need to adjust with the times to remain relevant; and, lawyers are exceptionally bad at that. Remove the status quo as an excuse for your law firm, and you’ll be more successful, more broadly … and, that should lead to higher profits, as well.

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