Capturing Your Practice’s Purpose

Capturing an authentic, purpose-driven mission statement can have surprising benefits for your entire law practice or law firm. While most people think of a mission as something you do for marketing, studies have shown that purpose-oriented organizations outperform the competition when it comes to engaging customers and employees alike.

Read on to learn how to craft purpose-driven mission statement that is succinct, authentic, and motivational. Or, if you prefer interactive learning, be sure to register for my upcoming webinar on the topic.

Why Did You Go To Law School?

One of my earliest memories from law school was my 1L Property Law professor (now the school’s Dean) asking the 80-some members of my class, “Who here is in law school because they want to make a lot of money?”

Several hands shot up. Others were raised tentatively, reflecting some internal conflict. Who wouldn’t want to make money? Most of us were going into debt to invest...
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HBR on Your Firm’s Purpose

When I ask law firm leaders about their mission, they often try to shake me off with something like “Oh, we already wrote up a mission statement as part of our marketing work.” News flash: If you think your mission is something that is only supposed to attract customers then (1) it probably isn’t working and (2) you’re missing the point.

A recent Harvard Business Review Article sums it up nicely:

As much as you may try to motivate employees with slogans or extrinsic rewards, you won’t achieve excellence if your people don’t know why they are coming to work every day at your firm. The clearer you can be about what value your company creates and for whom, the greater your ability to inspire your workers. And the more you align the right talent, operating model, and financial resources to support your purpose, the better able employees will be to deliver on it.

Why Are We Here?, Sally Blount & Paul Leinwand, Harvard Business Review

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Is Revenue Growth the Right Goal?

Quick Take:

Clio’s 2019 Legal Trends Report introduced their Law Firm Maturity Model, an interesting framework for evaluating a current state of your firm and how it might improve. Maturity models in general can be an effective tool for reinforcing strengths, illuminating shortcomings, and suggesting opportunities for improvement. But I wonder whether that the Clio model focuses too heavily on revenue growth instead of the business fundamentals and strategies that are needed to drive that growth.


Clio’s isn’t the first attempt at such a framework for small firms (see, e.g. the Lawyerist Small Firm Scorecard & associated pathways), and I think it will be interesting to see how Clio builds out tools and training to help firms advance along possible paths to maturity (in Clio’s parlance, becoming a “thriving” firm.)

My concern with the Law Firm Maturity Model—one that applies to other elements of the Legal Trends Report...

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