Building a vision for your practice – the starting point

Last Updated at: March 10, 2020
699

What is the vision? Why should a firm or an individual have it? How should the vision be written down? What constitutes a good company vision? Should there be a long-term and a short-term vision? These are some of the commonly asked questions that are answered in this post.

It is definitely possible to build a great law practice without having a vision, just like it is possible to stumble on a fortune on the road. Unfortunately, those who do not know what to look for rarely recognize it even when they stumble onto a great opportunity. If you are interested in rapidly growing your practice, and double your profits as we promised, and spend less time doing grunge work, the first place to start at is building a vision for your practice. It is critical that you engage with this chapter and define your vision for your practice. In simpler words, what is it going to look like when you have done what you have set out to do?

Below you’ll find the list of services that will walk you through the need for the service, the eligibility, documentation procedure and benefits. Our experienced team members are there to guide you and complete the process at ease.

 

What is ‘vision’?

Having a vision essentially means having clarity on what you want from your practice and career in general – it is nothing but the goal of your career. When you start thinking about your vision, don’t limit yourself.

A long-term vision is the larger purpose and overall goal of your career, and short-term vision is something you want to achieve in a much shorter time (1 year or 3 years).

Don’t make your vision small. It is difficult to work for a vision where you can’t see yourself truly successful and rewarded. It is difficult to work for an ordinary vision. Target something big, something you are passionate about that will hold your interest over the years, something that you will be inspired to work for.

At a minimum, set a vision to double the revenues from your law practice over the next one year and set up a system so that you have to work less. In this Legal Practice Management Course, we will then guide you how to make this seemingly high target achievable through the best practices and tools available to today’s lawyers.

Ask a Free Legal advice

Why should you have a vision for your practice?

In order to be successful, you need to make success more convenient than any distractions that may come up. This is exactly what a vision will enable you to do. It requires a certain amount of introspection to arrive at a vision, but once you do, you are rewarded with clarity on exactly how to move forward.

Having a long-term vision will help you understand what the larger goal of your practice is, and short-term vision will help you stay on course for the long-term vision.  Short-term vision will also help you stay inspired and motivated from time to time.

Once you know the purpose of your practice, prioritization and decision making becomes remarkably easier. Working hard without a goal in mind is like groping in the dark – you don’t know what you are looking for. The long-term vision will give you the “why” of what you are doing and the short-term vision will provide the “how”. Having a vision will also help you to understand what kind of cases and clients and actions will lead to your satisfaction.

Firms:

For a firm, writing down a vision statement and short-term vision will help the employees, juniors and even clients to reinforce the purpose of the firm. It helps the creator and the whole firm to stay on course and always evaluate whether decisions are consistent with the short-term and long-term vision.

In order to create effective and inspiring vision statements, it is crucial to ensure that the firm leaders are in agreement. Do they all agree with the vision? Do the partners agree on the direction of the firm, the types of clients the firm does and will represent, and the manner in which the clients are serviced? Can all partners articulate and agree upon what sets your firm apart from the competition?

The vision will help your organization attract the right employees, the right clients and constantly provide direction, inspiration, and motivation to meet short-term goals.

Why should you write it down?

  • It will force you to clarify what you want. Writing something down compels you to choose something specific and decide what you want. It’s like picking a destination to travel to rather than just getting into your car and driving – you’ll get somewhere, but probably not where you wanted.

 

  • It will motivate you to act. Writing down your goals and reviewing them regularly goads you into action by reinforcing your commitment.
  • It will help you filter and prioritize. With success come opportunities, some of which may quickly turn into distractions. Evaluating these against your list of goals will keep you on track.
  • It will help you defeat resistance. Every dream has some resistance – the key is to focus on the goal rather than the resistance. Frequently looking at your goals will help you maintain the focus.
  • You will be able to see—and celebrate—your progress. Success is the biggest motivator. When you set achievable goals and then succeed in achieving them, you’re even more motivated to attain the next goal too. Make sure you celebrate (even in a small way) each success you achieve.

 

Crafting your vision

A vision statement is putting down in writing where you want your practice to be over a period of time and what goals you want to achieve in a certain time frame. The vision statement is ideally a few sentences on what the purpose of your practice is and how you will go about achieving that purpose.

When you set out to write down your vision practice, start by visualizing your dream for your career and work backward. Ask yourself: What is it that you really want to create for yourself? Don’t be afraid to think big; don’t limit yourself by focusing on whether something is possible or not. Try and think about what gives you satisfaction and fulfillment.

How to write your vision statement?

Step 1: Wish-list

Once you know what you want for yourself, write it down in the form of a wish-list. Be sure to make note of the details.

Step 2: Review

Look at each item on the wish-list and evaluate the kind of benefit you (and/or your practice) would gain from it. Next, look at each item on the list and evaluate whether it would have a negative effect on yourself, your practice or even your family. Eliminate or modify the goals to make a concrete list of goals.

Step 3: Setting Timelines

Next, choose an achievable time frame to achieve those goals – make sure that these are measurable so you know exactly when you have achieved them (normally, number goals are easiest to measure).

Step 4: Final elimination and prioritization

Now, look at the list of goals and evaluate the achievability of each one within the time-frame. Eliminate or modify the list to ensure that the remaining goals are realistic and achievable, so you are setting yourself up for success instead of failure. Finally, prioritize the goals in the order of importance to you.

Keep in mind:

  • You should ideally take several hours off your work and other commitments to work on this without any distraction. Postponing this work will lead to procrastination.
  • The long-term vision would change as your practice grows, so it’s a constantly evolving statement. If your immediate goals or vision are not consistent with the long-term vision, then the immediate vision or the long-term vision must be changed.
  • The vision (long-term or short-term) should be specific and include both intangible and tangible aspects – for instance, the kind of cases, quality of arguments and number of clients, revenue, number of cases, etc.
  • For a firm, vision would include the culture and atmosphere of the firm, client service as well as profits, number of employees, number of clients, number of offices, number of practice areas, etc.    

Some questions to think about while crafting your long-term vision:

For an individual:

  1. What is your purpose in life as it relates to your profession?
  2. What attracted you to the study of law?
  3. Why do you want to litigate?
  4. What kind of work do you want to take up?
  5. Who are your role models?
  6. Who would you like to work with?
  7. Who do you consider competition?
  8. What kind of clients would you want to work with?
  9. What are your long-term financial goals?
  10. What do you want to accomplish in five (or ten) years?

For a firm:

  1. Why did you start the firm?
  2. Why did you choose a particular practice area?
  1. What practice areas do you want to deal in, in the future?
  2. Who do you consider competition?
  3. How many employees do you want to have in 5 years?
  4. Is there any recognition you want to achieve in 5 years?
  5. What is your annual revenue target in 5 years?
  6. How many clients do you want to be servicing in 5 years?

Short-term vision:

  1. What are your short-term financial goals for the year?
  2. How can you track and monitor your financial goals?
  3. How can you use technology to track revenues and increase productivity?
  4. How many new clients do you want to service this year?
  5. How can you manage your time better, are there any tools to help you?
  6. How can you make your written submissions and other drafts better?
  7. How can you make your oral arguments better?
  8. What are the new skills you want to acquire this year?
  9. How many people do you need to hire this year?
  10. What technology can you use to reduce manual work?
  11. How can your office be more efficient this year with respect to administrative work?
  12. How can you reduce your expenses this year?
  13. What are the things you need to accomplish this year to be on track for your long-term goal?

Reviewing progress

Reviewing your progress regularly is as important as setting the goals itself. This will act as a constant reminder to follow the vision. Reward yourself (or key persons in your office) every time you achieve an important milestone – this will keep you and your team motivated.

For instance, once you have identified a short-term goal, say billing Rs. 1,200 for the year; then each month you have to review your performance to ensure you are on track by billing Rs. 100 per month, on average.

Generally, it is good to review your performance mid-way through the timeline you have decided to see what needs to be done for the remainder of the time. This is the time to also modify the goal if necessary.

How regularly you have to review your performance would depend on the timeline you have set for the goal.

To summarise, a vision gives clarity on what you want from your practice and career in general. Both long-term and short-term vision should be created and written down to be shared with all employees. Follow the four-step process to pen the vision for a larger goal and the course that takes you there

0

Building a vision for your practice – the starting point

699

What is the vision? Why should a firm or an individual have it? How should the vision be written down? What constitutes a good company vision? Should there be a long-term and a short-term vision? These are some of the commonly asked questions that are answered in this post.

It is definitely possible to build a great law practice without having a vision, just like it is possible to stumble on a fortune on the road. Unfortunately, those who do not know what to look for rarely recognize it even when they stumble onto a great opportunity. If you are interested in rapidly growing your practice, and double your profits as we promised, and spend less time doing grunge work, the first place to start at is building a vision for your practice. It is critical that you engage with this chapter and define your vision for your practice. In simpler words, what is it going to look like when you have done what you have set out to do?

Below you’ll find the list of services that will walk you through the need for the service, the eligibility, documentation procedure and benefits. Our experienced team members are there to guide you and complete the process at ease.

 

What is ‘vision’?

Having a vision essentially means having clarity on what you want from your practice and career in general – it is nothing but the goal of your career. When you start thinking about your vision, don’t limit yourself.

A long-term vision is the larger purpose and overall goal of your career, and short-term vision is something you want to achieve in a much shorter time (1 year or 3 years).

Don’t make your vision small. It is difficult to work for a vision where you can’t see yourself truly successful and rewarded. It is difficult to work for an ordinary vision. Target something big, something you are passionate about that will hold your interest over the years, something that you will be inspired to work for.

At a minimum, set a vision to double the revenues from your law practice over the next one year and set up a system so that you have to work less. In this Legal Practice Management Course, we will then guide you how to make this seemingly high target achievable through the best practices and tools available to today’s lawyers.

Ask a Free Legal advice

Why should you have a vision for your practice?

In order to be successful, you need to make success more convenient than any distractions that may come up. This is exactly what a vision will enable you to do. It requires a certain amount of introspection to arrive at a vision, but once you do, you are rewarded with clarity on exactly how to move forward.

Having a long-term vision will help you understand what the larger goal of your practice is, and short-term vision will help you stay on course for the long-term vision.  Short-term vision will also help you stay inspired and motivated from time to time.

Once you know the purpose of your practice, prioritization and decision making becomes remarkably easier. Working hard without a goal in mind is like groping in the dark – you don’t know what you are looking for. The long-term vision will give you the “why” of what you are doing and the short-term vision will provide the “how”. Having a vision will also help you to understand what kind of cases and clients and actions will lead to your satisfaction.

Firms:

For a firm, writing down a vision statement and short-term vision will help the employees, juniors and even clients to reinforce the purpose of the firm. It helps the creator and the whole firm to stay on course and always evaluate whether decisions are consistent with the short-term and long-term vision.

In order to create effective and inspiring vision statements, it is crucial to ensure that the firm leaders are in agreement. Do they all agree with the vision? Do the partners agree on the direction of the firm, the types of clients the firm does and will represent, and the manner in which the clients are serviced? Can all partners articulate and agree upon what sets your firm apart from the competition?

The vision will help your organization attract the right employees, the right clients and constantly provide direction, inspiration, and motivation to meet short-term goals.

Why should you write it down?

  • It will force you to clarify what you want. Writing something down compels you to choose something specific and decide what you want. It’s like picking a destination to travel to rather than just getting into your car and driving – you’ll get somewhere, but probably not where you wanted.

 

  • It will motivate you to act. Writing down your goals and reviewing them regularly goads you into action by reinforcing your commitment.
  • It will help you filter and prioritize. With success come opportunities, some of which may quickly turn into distractions. Evaluating these against your list of goals will keep you on track.
  • It will help you defeat resistance. Every dream has some resistance – the key is to focus on the goal rather than the resistance. Frequently looking at your goals will help you maintain the focus.
  • You will be able to see—and celebrate—your progress. Success is the biggest motivator. When you set achievable goals and then succeed in achieving them, you’re even more motivated to attain the next goal too. Make sure you celebrate (even in a small way) each success you achieve.

 

Crafting your vision

A vision statement is putting down in writing where you want your practice to be over a period of time and what goals you want to achieve in a certain time frame. The vision statement is ideally a few sentences on what the purpose of your practice is and how you will go about achieving that purpose.

When you set out to write down your vision practice, start by visualizing your dream for your career and work backward. Ask yourself: What is it that you really want to create for yourself? Don’t be afraid to think big; don’t limit yourself by focusing on whether something is possible or not. Try and think about what gives you satisfaction and fulfillment.

How to write your vision statement?

Step 1: Wish-list

Once you know what you want for yourself, write it down in the form of a wish-list. Be sure to make note of the details.

Step 2: Review

Look at each item on the wish-list and evaluate the kind of benefit you (and/or your practice) would gain from it. Next, look at each item on the list and evaluate whether it would have a negative effect on yourself, your practice or even your family. Eliminate or modify the goals to make a concrete list of goals.

Step 3: Setting Timelines

Next, choose an achievable time frame to achieve those goals – make sure that these are measurable so you know exactly when you have achieved them (normally, number goals are easiest to measure).

Step 4: Final elimination and prioritization

Now, look at the list of goals and evaluate the achievability of each one within the time-frame. Eliminate or modify the list to ensure that the remaining goals are realistic and achievable, so you are setting yourself up for success instead of failure. Finally, prioritize the goals in the order of importance to you.

Keep in mind:

  • You should ideally take several hours off your work and other commitments to work on this without any distraction. Postponing this work will lead to procrastination.
  • The long-term vision would change as your practice grows, so it’s a constantly evolving statement. If your immediate goals or vision are not consistent with the long-term vision, then the immediate vision or the long-term vision must be changed.
  • The vision (long-term or short-term) should be specific and include both intangible and tangible aspects – for instance, the kind of cases, quality of arguments and number of clients, revenue, number of cases, etc.
  • For a firm, vision would include the culture and atmosphere of the firm, client service as well as profits, number of employees, number of clients, number of offices, number of practice areas, etc.    

Some questions to think about while crafting your long-term vision:

For an individual:

  1. What is your purpose in life as it relates to your profession?
  2. What attracted you to the study of law?
  3. Why do you want to litigate?
  4. What kind of work do you want to take up?
  5. Who are your role models?
  6. Who would you like to work with?
  7. Who do you consider competition?
  8. What kind of clients would you want to work with?
  9. What are your long-term financial goals?
  10. What do you want to accomplish in five (or ten) years?

For a firm:

  1. Why did you start the firm?
  2. Why did you choose a particular practice area?
  1. What practice areas do you want to deal in, in the future?
  2. Who do you consider competition?
  3. How many employees do you want to have in 5 years?
  4. Is there any recognition you want to achieve in 5 years?
  5. What is your annual revenue target in 5 years?
  6. How many clients do you want to be servicing in 5 years?

Short-term vision:

  1. What are your short-term financial goals for the year?
  2. How can you track and monitor your financial goals?
  3. How can you use technology to track revenues and increase productivity?
  4. How many new clients do you want to service this year?
  5. How can you manage your time better, are there any tools to help you?
  6. How can you make your written submissions and other drafts better?
  7. How can you make your oral arguments better?
  8. What are the new skills you want to acquire this year?
  9. How many people do you need to hire this year?
  10. What technology can you use to reduce manual work?
  11. How can your office be more efficient this year with respect to administrative work?
  12. How can you reduce your expenses this year?
  13. What are the things you need to accomplish this year to be on track for your long-term goal?

Reviewing progress

Reviewing your progress regularly is as important as setting the goals itself. This will act as a constant reminder to follow the vision. Reward yourself (or key persons in your office) every time you achieve an important milestone – this will keep you and your team motivated.

For instance, once you have identified a short-term goal, say billing Rs. 1,200 for the year; then each month you have to review your performance to ensure you are on track by billing Rs. 100 per month, on average.

Generally, it is good to review your performance mid-way through the timeline you have decided to see what needs to be done for the remainder of the time. This is the time to also modify the goal if necessary.

How regularly you have to review your performance would depend on the timeline you have set for the goal.

To summarise, a vision gives clarity on what you want from your practice and career in general. Both long-term and short-term vision should be created and written down to be shared with all employees. Follow the four-step process to pen the vision for a larger goal and the course that takes you there

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Avani Mishra is a graduate in law from the National Law Institute University, Bhopal. She qualified the Company Secretary course with an All India Rank 1 and is a recipient of the President’s Gold Medal for her academic distinctions. She also holds a B.Com degree with a specialization in Corporate Affairs and Administration.