Page 22 - NC Triangle Vol 7 No 6
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Lawyers Mutual Consulting & Services Support for Solo and Small Law Firms
“I’m a fan of the concept of stra- tegic marketing,” said Camille Stell, President of just-founded Lawyers Mutual Consulting &
Services. “ e relationships that you build with your fellow lawyers, with the people in your community and with other business folks, is critical to getting the right people in the door who need your service or they know someone who needs your service.”
Lawyers Mutual Consulting & Services was spun o  from Lawyers Mutual in October. Camille Stell has been named president. She was with Lawyers Mutual for ten years and has extensive experience working with solo and small law  rms.  e compa- ny will work with small and solo  rms to improve their pro tability, make better use of their dollars and create a succession or exit strategy years in advance.
“We’re going to work with lawyers to help them build their client bases,” said Stell. “ ey’re already spending marketing dollars on bar dues and membership dues, they are sponsor- ing events in their local community. We’re going to talk about how to make the most of those dollars, how to de- velop plans around organizations and associations and industry groups.”
When solo and small  rms are launched, in order to create cash  ow, they frequently handle matters across a broad spectrum, from family to es- tate planning to personal injury. Stell will help  rms hit  nancial targets so they can narrow their practices.
“Learning how to be a better busi-
ness person is key to any lawyer’s suc- cess. If you don’t have a really good understanding of how to price your services and use technology better, how to become more e ective and ef-  cient, it’s kind of for naught.
“I’m a  rm believer that a niche law practice is both a safe law prac- tice from a malpractice and grievance perspective, said Stell. “I believe it a more pro table law practice. And it provides more passion for the lawyers in that practice.
“I understand you’ve got to pay your bills, but if you can identify a niche practice, and you can  gure out where your clients are you’ll do so much better being able to advertise to them, reach them, communicate with them, develop messages that resonate with them and sharpen your skills so you can serve them better.”
 e kinds of small and solo  rms that need consulting help are most likely strapped for cash and can’t af- ford it.
“Solo and small  rms would love to take advantage of coaching or consulting, but don’t o en  nd those services priced for their needs and  rm size. Lawyers Mutual’ s mission has always been to serve the solo and small  rms in our state,” said Stell. “I plan to utilize technology to develop online communities for group coach- ing, especially in the area of business development and marketing.”
“From the time lawyers open their solo or small  rms they should be thinking about a transition or exit
strategy,” said Tom Lenfestey, Presi- dent of Law Practice Exchange, a law  rm brokerage company that is part- nering with Lawyers Mutual Consult- ing.
“To maximize the value of your  rm, you need to start planning right now.  e goal is to know what your options are when you are ready to re- tire,” said Lenfestey. If you are trying to time out retirement or sale and say, ‘well I want to do that in three years, and I’m going to wait to talk to a con- sultant for another two years then I’ll  nd a buyer in six months ...’ that’s not always the timeline. It’s unpredict- able,” said Lenfestey.
“First and foremost, understand your personal  nancial needs and have a retirement plan. Second, build a  rm that is ready for transition. Timing it for your exit is not always as easy as’s the time for you personally. Your  rm may not be ready. Your successor may not be ready.”
“Don’t start slowing down or tim- ing your exit based on the  rm’s rev- enues. A er you have a great year you shouldn’t decide in January it’s time to sell your practice.  e next year may not be as good and you will be on a downward trend which will reduce the value of the practice,” said Len- festey. “It’s not about stopping your individual practice of law. It’s about an ownership plan and a legacy for the rm.”
(800) 662-8843

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