A just cause answers the question, what’s this all for? Your cause must be durable, resilient and timeless and provide the context for all decisions that you make.
Many plaintiff’s law firm’s promote a just cause of fighting for the most money for their clients. Highways in the southern part of our country are littered with law firm billboards with one bold statement after the next: “Fred got me $850k!” Being the best is not a just cause and will do nothing to inspire your team members. This is not much of a rallying cry.
“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor kind of business.”
Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Corporation
Jim Hacking, Esq., an immigration lawyer in St. Louis, stands for “We Fight for Immigrants Every Day”. This is the north star that guides the team members at Jim’s law firm every day.
Matt Wetherington, Esq., a plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia, created the Tire Safety Group, a nonprofit with the mission of preventing wrecks caused by defective and negligently maintained tires. Matt personally created and maintains the largest database of recalled tires in the world through a website and free mobile app.
Matt lives by the higher purpose of “Causes, not cases”. Matt explains that his passion for causes “naturally repels clients who are only looking for a payday” and this serves him well because “I don’t want to work for them anyway.”
“A just cause serves as an invitation to join others in a cause bigger than ourselves.”
Simon Sinek, Esq., “The Infinite Game”
Our firm’s purpose is “Stopping Medical Injustice”. It’s simple, clear and will serve as our just cause for as long as we exist. Our purpose is set forth on our business cards and there are framed pictures of our purpose, values and mission in our law firm’s lobby and conference room.
A Just Cause for Your Law Firm that is Completely Unique
Your higher purpose must be completely unique to you and your practice area. Here are a few of lawyers who have given serious thought to their higher purpose:
“We give brands power”
Joey Vitale, Esq., an attorney for thriving small businesses in Chicago
“Guardians of your legacy”
Elizabeth Pickle, Esq., estate planning lawyer in Scottsdale, Arizona
“Helping you transition to a brighter future”
Matt Ludt, Esq., family law attorney in Minnesota
Instead of bragging about your settlements and verdicts, why not post your purpose and core values on the homepage of your website?
“The responsibility of business is to use its will and resources to advance a cause greater than itself.”
Simon Sinek, “The Infinite Game”
What is the higher purpose that you stand for? If you don’t have a just cause for your law firm, now is a great time to give this some serious thought.
What Will Be Your Legacy?
If you died today, would your law firm thrive after your death? For most lawyers, the answer is “hell, no!” Your team would not know what to do next, other than close your law firm.
Do you want to have a more enduring legacy than simply making money? Of course, you do. What can you do to impact future generations for those who you serve?
“We have to start thinking about how to build organizations that are strong enough and healthy enough to stay in the game for many generations to come.”
Simon Sinek, “The Infinite Game”
I would like my legacy to be based upon serving others in our profession.
“To give lawyers the skills, knowledge and resources to own and
operate their own law firm.”
When it comes time to leave the game, I want to be able to look back and say, “I’ve lived a life worth living.”
Are You Up for a Challenge?
What will your legacy be? If you send an email in response to this question to firstname.lastname@example.org, I will mail a signed copy of my new book, The Law Firm of Your Dreams.