Law Firms: Planning for a New Year

Strategic Planning Made Easy For Your Law Firm


Don’t Get Overwhelmed.

Overwhelm is the #1 reason I’ve seen law firms not have a strategic plan, or even think about developing a strategic plan. They don’t know where to start, so they don’t start at all.

I agree creating your first strategic plan can be a lot of work… but it doesn’t need to be. Here’s how I get my law firm clients, just like you, headed in the right direction without getting too complex.

Before getting started let’s discuss what a strategic plan is. It sounds fancy. Something only a big law firm would have, but that’s not the case. It is nothing more than deciding 1) What do you want your law firm to look like in 3-5 years, 2) What do you need to do to get there, and 3) What do you need to accomplish in this one year.

It’s a roadmap.

But I still come across law firms that aren’t ready to commit to a 3 or 5 year vision. That’s okay. What we do in the meantime is focus on the immediate future. We map out a 1 year goals roadmap. This is a simplified version of a strategic plan. It may not get you to your overall vision (because that vision is still unclear) but it will help you make significant process in building and improving and getting to the firm you dream of.

Step 1: Create An Issues List

Take 30 minutes of uninterrupted time, or 30 minutes with key team members, and make a list of all the things that aren’t going how you want right now.

Don’t worry if it’s too big or too small of an issue. Write it down.

If you’re having a problem coming up with issues, you’re either kidding yourself, or you need to be more in tune with your team and your clients. Think about:

  • Complaints you’ve had from clients

  • Reasons a prospect didn’t hire you

  • Why your employees aren’t getting their jobs done

  • How your employees could do a better job

  • Reasons employees have quit in the past

  • Why you’re always busy but not making enough money

  • How each day seems unproductive

All of these areas will give you insight to what you need to work on.

Step 2: Prioritize The Issues

Take all of the issues from Step 1 and prioritize them in the order that would give you the biggest impact.

What will move your firm forward the most? It doesn’t have to be in order of what will make you the most money right now, but think about what would reduce major headaches and bottlenecks. What would free up your time and enable you to be a better leader?

You’ll likely find that as one issue is solved, it solves other issues on your list.

Step 3: Focus On Top 3 For 90 Days

Now that you know your major issues, and you have them prioritized, focus on the top 3. Don’t even think about the other 10 or 20 you have on the list. Only 3.

Meet with your team again and make an action plan for each of the 3 issues.  Detail out what tasks need to get done to solve the issue. Attach a deadline and someone who is responsible for each task. Accountability is key!

Now take all of your tasks and map them in your calendar over the next 90 days.  What needs to happen when and by who? This is your Action Plan.

Over the next 90 days only work on these 3 issues.  Meet with your team weekly to discuss progress. Don’t get sidetracked and start working on a new project, new idea, or other shiny object. If something new comes up add it to your Issues List (Step 1). You’ll can come back to it in the second 90 days.

Being strategic means saying No.

Being strategic means staying Focused.

Focusing on very few issues is what will give you traction and give you the progress you want to see in your firm.

If you need help, or want to fully jump into strategic planning, we’d love to help you and be a resource to your law firm.

Aligned CPA helps solo and small law firms run better businesses. We’d love a chance to talk and see if we would be a good fit for your law firm.  Contact us for a consultation today.


I help solo and small law firms GROW by providing accounting and growth planning services that will take their business to the next level.

I promise you, working with a CPA can be much more exciting than crunching numbers and reviewing last year’s taxes. I look at the day-to-day of your business and help you find ways to perform better, grow bigger and generate revenue with greater ease.