"Everything you've been told about building
an injury law practice is wrong"

Creating the Law Firm of Your Dreams

Picture this scene: A young lawyer is starting a new law firm and he doesn’t know where to start. The young lawyer is full of enthusiasm, but he’s got a limited budget and even less help. The young lawyer begs for help and wants to know, “What should I do first?”

An experienced, highly successful lawyer returns the young lawyer’s question with his own question:

“What is the vision of your perfect law firm?”

The answer is not “boatloads of cash” and a fancy new office. The young lawyer is encouraged to think deeper. The perfect law firm is not only about money; it’s about the lifestyle that you dream of.

But to get started, the young lawyer must begin with basics:

  • How many employees do you want?
  • Do you want to work evenings and weekends?
  • How many cases do you want?
  • What does a perfect workday look like?

Once you have some basic answers, get as granular as possible and document your perfect law firm.

What is Your Ideal Law Firm?

Here’s what our ideal law firm looks like:

  • An autonomous law firm that functions in my absence
  • Only work consists of marketing, client meetings and trials (no paperwork and depositions only of target defendants)
  • Spend more than half of my time on marketing
  • No work on weekends (except for trial preparation)
  • 3 new catastrophic personal injury cases (non-medical malpractice) a year
  • A national medical malpractice law firm with an active presence in warm weather climates, e.g., Hawaii and Florida
  • Bimonthly public speaking about law firm management and marketing
  • The best and most respected mastermind for lawyers
  • 20 active lawsuits with a minimum value of $500k per case
  • No more than 5 employees
  • Annual Income of $2.5 million
  • Low overhead, high profit
  • The #1 law firm for lawyers referring medical malpractice cases in upstate New York

What is Your Dream Life?

Don’t stop there! Create a vision of your perfect lifestyle. What do you want your life to look like in 5-10 years? Write it down.

Here’s a look at my ideal lifestyle:

  • Buy a catamaran and sail the world with my wife
  • Independent, self-sustaining children who practice their faith
  • Spend winter months in Florida (except for trials)
  • No personal or professional debt
  • Maintain ideal weight of 169 lbs.
  • Live in a seaside villa in Greece or Croatia for 3 weeks every summer
  • Travel to 100 countries in the world
  • Teach law practice management at Notre Dame Law School

How Miracles Happen

Once you’ve written down your perfect law firm and ideal lifestyle, share them with your friends and peers and let them hold you accountable. Even better, have a graphic designer create a pretty picture of your ideal law firm and post it in your conference room (now, everyone knows what your biggest dreams are).

Dreams and aspirations are meaningless unless you have a plan for making them come true. Hire an accountability partner and have them call you every day at 9 p.m. to assess your progress on a specific goal. Grade your progress on a scale of 1-10 according to your effort—not the results—and the results will exceed your wildest dreams.


photo credit: Phuketian.S Sunset with yachts at Nai Harn beach, Phuket via photopin (license)

Leave a comment below telling me what surprised, inspired or taught you the most (I personally respond to every comment). And if you disagree with my take on running a personal injury law firm, or have a specific, actionable tip, I’d love to hear from you.