To prosper and grow, law firms of all sizes must create strategic business plans for their individual practice groups. A good strategic plan may be as simple as three to five goals with action plans designed to implement them.

Business Planning for Practice Groups


The keys to developing and implementing a successful plan are to keep the plan relatively short and to the point, verify that all members understand the plan and their role in achieving it, and update the plan semi-annually to annually.

To focus members of a practice group on strategic needs and plans, firms should conduct a Practice Group Assessment and evaluate the practice group's current position.

A Practice Group Assessment consists of a practice group analysis, a market/client profile, a performance profile, a competitive analysis, an internal analysis and identification of key trends. The assessment is best done in a group meeting to discuss these issues. The practice group can then establish its goals and develop a corresponding business and marketing action plan.

Practice Group Analysis

The practice group analysis is the identification of practice areas and specialties the group offers including the range and depth of capacity in each area. To develop this analysis, the members need to look at such matters as:
 
  • the practice's strengths and weaknesses
  • those areas which are highly developed
  • what areas are missing
  • which areas are provided by other firms and therefore cause price competition
  • the type of expertise missing among associates
  • any age or experience gaps that may hurt the group's ability to service clients in the future
  • how the group will gain required expertise in the future
  • retirement of key members
  • the changes or additions required in the professional staffing