How to Run a Law Firm: 4 Management Structures

legal team sitting around a table

A lot of business advice about how to run a law firm from gurus and coaches focuses on scaling and becoming the CEO of your firm. There’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s what you want to do.  But the reality is there is no universal, objectively correct way to run your firm. You can run it in any way that works for you, and there are multiple models out there:

  1. There’s the pure CEO model where the owner doesn’t practice law at all and just runs a legal business.
  2. There’s the pure lawyer model where the lawyer just practices law almost full time and stays small with low overhead and a small staff.
  3. There’s the partnership model where different lawyers form a partnership and practice together (and within this model there are multiple categories–for example, some are just overhead sharing arrangements, while others operate more as a unified business operation).
  4. Then there’s the hybrid models that are a combination of one or more of these models.

When it comes to how I run my law firm, I fall into the hybrid category. I don’t want to be a pure CEO because I really like working on cases. At the same time, I do enjoy many of the business aspects and understand my firm needs to run like a business. I’ve tried to structure my firm in a way that allows me to focus on the things I like to doboth on the client/case side and the business side.

When you’re deciding how to structure your firm, don’t follow somebody else’s script.

You do what fits your personality, your strengths, and your preferences. Life is too short to live somebody else’s definition of success.

What do you think? Join the conversation with me on LinkedIn here.

About the Author

Darl Champion is an award-winning personal injury lawyer serving the greater Metro Atlanta area. He is passionate about ensuring his clients are fully compensated when they are harmed by someone’s negligence. Learn more about Darl here.