Unfortunately, many law firms are short on internal resources to teach lawyers how to manage or market more effectively. Furthermore, billable hours and marketing pressure have made senior partners less available to mentor up-and-coming associates. Those who work for small firms or practice as solo attorneys are largely on their own, with no idea where to get advice when issues arise.
Individual lawyers and law firms are now seeing a gradual improvement in the economy, but they are facing new challenges where the ability to generate work and do things better, faster, and cheaper has become even more essential. Continuing legal education programs and other outside training can provide some of the solution, but for most of us, attending a few seminars and reading a few books is not enough to help us through the various stages of our careers. Coaching is a way to bridge the gap.
Attorneys can use a Coach to work on a broad mix of professional issues at any stage of their career. Many attorneys choose to work on business development because selling is not a skill that comes naturally to many attorneys, and it is not a skill that is taught in law school. Other lawyers hire a coach because they need help with time management. Still others want to run their practice more efficiently or manage their support staff more effectively.
Attorneys are good candidates for coaching because they are results-oriented. As busy professionals, attorneys have difficulty focusing consistently on things that are important but not urgent. Billable work often becomes the only priority in a lawyer’s day. Important activities such as administrative tasks and marketing frequently get put off. In addition, although attorneys may get good training in law in the early years of practice, they are less likely to get career guidance or guidance in developing a book of business.