Is Your Law Firm A Job Or A Business

Once the excitement of opening your own law firm is over… Once everybody has sent their congratulations… NOW the work begins.

And, whether you realize it or not, you have a choice to make:

  • Will this law firm be a job? or
  • Will it be a business?


In the beginning, when I had a solo practice, I treated it like a job and didn’t really think of it as anything else. It was really the same way when I was a partner in a small law firm.

Once I understood my law firm could be a business, and I could run it like a business, and if I chose that path – with me as the CEO of that business – then everything changed.

So what’s the difference between calling it a job or a business?

Whether or not you are calling what you do a job or a business, what you are in fact really doing is you are providing legal services to clients, and that is essentially what all law firms do.

There is however, a big difference between it being your job or business.

If you’ve decided your law firm is your business, then the difference between the two is:

  • How you THINK about your law firm; 
  • How you make your decisions; and 
  • What the end result is going to be for you down the road.

If you see your law firm as a job, you would handle it the same way as if you worked for another lawyer.

Your mindset is strictly on getting enough clients to make the payroll and meet the needs of your monthly bills to run the business. That’s a job, and that’s OK… if that is what you want.

If you look at your law firm as a business, then what is DIFFERENT?

It’s your business, and you are the CEO of that business.

That means you:

  • are fully responsible for the business’ success;
  • develop the vision of what the business should be; 
  • develop the strategic plan, as to how the business will get from where it is now, to where, as the CEO, have envisioned it should be. 

The CEO does not work alone. She puts together the best team that she can to make that vision happen, and to implement the strategies and plans that are important to achieving the business that she wants to have. 

The CEO is growth-minded. She tracks the performance of her business. She looks at what competitors are doing, she compares the two. She has goals in mind for her business, and she’s not afraid to look at the metrics to see how she’s doing. 

The CEO creates the work culture for the business. 

As a CEO you may only have one employee, or you may have a lot of independent contractors or even a Virtual Assistant. You may have no employees, and it’s all contractors; you could have 10 employees or more, you create the work culture, you will show people how you deal with them in good times and in bad times how you set your priorities, and they will respond accordingly. 

It’s up to you as a CEO, to set the culture

It took me a while to understand the difference between being a job owner and being a CEO,  but once I got that understanding, I changed my mindset about my own law firm, and I realized this really is a business. 

What do you want your law firm to be…  a job or a business? 

Watch the video for a few more tips and in the meantime, think about it and let me know what you decide. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

Here are a few free resources for you to try out…

Replace The Rat Race With A Bold, Thriving Law Business

With 16 years in a solo law practice, Sharon Christie discovered that the secret to thriving instead of merely surviving lies in the ability to land great clients…consistently. Sharon cracked the marketing code — catapulting her law practice clientele from ZERO to HUNDREDS in under 9 months — and now reveals her proven 3 step formula to other female lawyers who are ready to replace the rat race with a bold, thriving law business.

Part of her 3 step formula in action is frequent lecturing to professional and community groups, including NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore, the Brain Injury Association of Maryland, the Lupus Foundation, Let’s Talk Sarcoidosis and the Sinai Return to Work Program, and authoring books for her law practice clients such as the 2 books on Social Security Disability benefits, The Unofficial Guide to Social Security Disability Benefits and Can You Win Your Social Security Disability Case?: The Blueprint You Need to Get Social Security Disability.

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