Entrepreneurial lawyering has come of age. Not fiction. Fact. I’ve just come across LexisNexis’s Bellwether Report (2014), Brave New World, which focuses on sole practitioners, independent lawyers and small law firms and the extent to which they are rising to meet the industry, economic and business challenges in the present and future. The report identifies new working practices, increased optimism and the emergence of a new breed of entrepreneurial lawyers: “Practitioners are emerging business-savvy, resilient and fiercely independent, with more confidence in the future of their practice than ever before.
Rising above the pack, a new breed of entrepreneurial lawyers are embracing the emerging opportunities – and achieving impressive results.” In relation to performance, growth is higher (55%) amongst the “emerging breed of dynamic entrepreneurial lawyers with top tier pedigree” (13% more than the average respondent.)
It looks like the dynamic independent lawyers who are really shaking things up are focusing on building their business through the smart use of marketing, networking and technology: “These entrepreneurs are networked, dynamic and ambitious.
Often niche specialists with superb credentials, they’ve set up their businesses to compete directly with the major industry players, and they’re frequently winning due to their agility and top-class customer service. Always thinking at least one step ahead, they’re utilizing every tool at their disposal to hone their competitive edge—from strategic partnerships and gaining ABS status, to outsourcing for increased efficiency, to harnessing the latest technologies to run their firm and connect with new clients.”
IMHO Cloud-based Law Practice, Legal Case Management Software and CRM systems for Law Firms & Lawyers is one of the best innovations (and latest technologies) in recent years and the ideal choice for entrepreneurial lawyers. Clio and Kulahub are certainly worth a sneaky peek for the aspirant and established entrepreneurial lawyer and business of law.
My personal entrepreneurial lawyer journey began in 2008 when I devised the ROAR sales model befitting for an ambitious and dynamic lawyer in this digital age; it involved honing my niche, the creation of my personal brand (Chrissie lightfoot—The Entrepreneur Lawyer), building a referral network online and offline and delivering extraordinary customer service using technology and the internet. I danced into the offline and online legal and business worlds and online social network scene as an entrepreneurial lawyer serving the entrepreneur of tomorrow, today.
The activities I undertook resulted in a global sales success story. I quickly realised that I had to share the secret; the world (and not just the legal world), after all, in 2008 Q4, had just taken a nose dive off Mount Everest with no financial safety net. We were experiencing a global recession of the kind we’d never seen or felt before. And so, in 2009 I wrote a series of blog posts and articles suggesting that we lawyers need to become more entrepreneurial and to ‘get naked’.
The release of my best-seller book The Naked Lawyer in November 2010 covered exactly this; HOW we lawyers can become entrepreneurial with a step-by-step guide in how to get more clients (and more from existing clients) through mindset-shift, self-awareness (emotional intelligence), devising a niching, creating a personal branding, networking (by building a referral network and via social media and social networks), providing outstanding customer service, possessing business savvy, smart use of technology in the marketing and sales process and constantly innovating. I have been so very touched and feel hugely blessed and privileged to have received (and still continue to receive) many messages of appreciation, thanks and enquiries from a wide range of readers across the globe who expressed how The Naked Lawyer (together with my articles, blog posts, EntrepreneurLawyer website—and company, EntrepreneurLawyer Limited—and consultancy) has helped them.
Invariably it has culminated in prompting and influencing law schools, universities, associations, legal publishers, consultants, IT/Practice Management/CRM suppliers, law firms and lawyers around the globe to innovate in lots of areas; for example, legal entrepreneurship; legal education; law firm operations; marketing; sales; customer service, finance; pricing; business planning & strategy; legal IT; artificial intelligence and robotics in the legal world.
Want to learn more about the entrepreneurial lawyer? Read part 2 here.
About Chrissie Lightfoot
Chrissie Lightfoot has been involved in various entrepreneurial, innovative and commercial activity, experience and successes throughout her career to date, primarily in the Legal, New Media, Management Consultancy and Sport & Leisure (inc. health & fitness) sectors. As a serial entrepreneur, sales and innovation have been her forte and passion. Whilst training as a solicitor Chrissie was interested in the future of legal services, providing extraordinary client service and increasing sales. She was proactive in innovating the quality and delivery of legal advice and was the brainchild of the firm’s business start-up legal package, e-commerce proposition, in-house corporate knowledge hub and entrepreneur and employee share scheme niche focus. Chrissie was the first trainee solicitor in the UK and globally to devise a unique personal brand, Chrissie Lightfoot, The Entrepreneur Lawyer, which achieved impressive sales and marketing results. In 2013 she was nominated and honored as Legal Professional of the Year 2013 and a Top 100 International Executive; as published in the International Top 100 Business Magazine.