If you’re anything like me, you believe that September is an opportunity for a second reset during the year! As summer fades and the days grow shorter, the back-to-school season emerges with a sense of renewed purpose and anticipation. This annual ritual of students returning to their classrooms can also offer valuable insights for law firm owners like you to reevaluate and refocus their goals. Just as students prepare to hit the books and learn new skills, you too, can take advantage of the cooler temperatures this season to focus on your business and drive growth. Here are seven tips to get you across the finish line.
The back-to-school season is a time of transition. Whether you have been laid off, downsized, or your law firm is not where you had hoped it would be by this point in the year, embrace the change and adapt to evolving market trends and customer preferences. With four months left in the calendar year, this is an opportune time to assess your current marketing strategy and make any necessary adjustments so you can stay competitive!
Set Clear Objectives
For students to succeed, teachers have clear lesson plans. Law firm owners can take a cue by setting well-defined and measurable business and marketing goals. Set small but achievable goals for these last few months so you can feel you accomplished something. By planting seeds today, we can tend to the harvest in months to come. Get out and meet (in person!) three new contacts each month to help grow your network. Post on social media more consistently. Elevate your trademark knowledge. Host a webinar. Whatever it is, if you commit to a clear and specific objective, it will help you achieve your goals and keep you focused.
Students are encouraged to keep learning and improving their skills. In the legal world, the same is also true for lawyers. Not only because we are required to keep our licenses current by taking CLE credit, but also because as business owners (and even if you don’t work for yourself, you must have a business mindset!), we have to commit to lifelong learning to be at the top of our game. Make sure you invest in your employees’ development too, but more importantly, invest in your own development. When you and your workforce are well-trained, everything is easier, because you can be more efficient. A well-trained workforce can contribute significantly to achieving business goals. Trademarkabilities® can help get you and your staff trained in the substantive trademark area, and if you need resources to elevate your business knowledge, just ask us. We may have recommendations for that too!
Back-to-school season teaches students the importance of time management. Law firm business owners can apply this principle by optimizing their operations and processes. Efficient time management can lead to increased productivity and, ultimately, a better work-life balance.
Collaboration and Teamwork
Students often collaborate on projects and work in teams. In the corporate world, teamwork is the cornerstone of success. But lawyers aren’t often encourage or incentivized to work in teams. Law firm owners should encourage collaboration among their staff and associates and even with external vendors to achieve client goals efficiently.
Just as students receive grades and feedback on their performance, law firm owners should regularly assess their progress toward the goals they set. This evaluation process allows you to course correct and ensures that your are evaluating your firm’s success.
Innovation and Creativity
The back-to-school season sparks creativity as students explore new subjects and ideas. Similarly, law firm owners should foster a culture of innovation and creativity and encourage employees to think outside the box. By encouraging innovation and creativity, you will foster a culture where people want to work, leading to increased job satisfaction and happier clients. Let’s face it, delivering exceptional service can be a distinct competitive edge these days.
There are so many lessons we can learn from students going back to school. September doesn’t have to be a sad time to mark the end of summer; it can also be a time to take stock of how far we’ve come and the work that’s left to do to achieve our annual goals. Most importantly, September should serve as a reminder that even as adults, we need to commit to learning our craft to improve our law firms. If you want to learn more about elevating your trademark knowledge this year, Trademarkabilities® can help. The Trademarkabilities®Masterclass is a comprehensive course designed to teach attorneys and paralegals how to confidently practice trademark law at the USPTO. To learn more, check out our website here.
Stacey C. Kalamaras is the founder and lead instructor of Trademarkabilities®, an online trademark academy for lawyers, whose mission it is to prepare lawyers to be confident and effective practitioners before the USPTO. Stacey started Trademarkabilities to share her passion teaching the law with the next generation of lawyers and help them become practice ready lawyers. Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stacey is also a seasoned trademark attorney and currently works in-house as Senior Counsel for a multi-national candy company. She previously owned her own solo trademark practice, which she scaled and sold. She has been recognized by her peers for her outstanding knowledge and service in intellectual property law.