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Why Now is the Right Time to Start a Law Firm

Daily thoughts on law firm success.

Why Now is the Right Time to Start a Law Firm

This post is from the first blog I started, called “How to Start a Law Firm.” Over the years I’ve moved to different sites a few times and wanted to catalog all of my content in one place. If an article refers to a link and there is no link, sorry, that’s consequence of the move. Enjoy!

Before I get too far, I want to tell you that we aren’t doing the Mastermind on here with Anonymous. There was simply far too much information and far too much to get into. I shared some private email exchanges with them and hopefully they’ll take the initiative to go out there and get a business coach (and if you don’t like RJon go find someone else – he’s not the only one out there).

Now, on to today’s topic, “Why Now is the Right Time to Start a Law Firm.” I’m going to let you in on a little secret, I do a lot of reading. Books and blogs are my two main vices. I read about all kinds of stuff. For example, right now I’m reading two books, one is about the formation and rise of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle club, and the other is a book mixed with Eastern philosophy and business advice. But the post today was sparked by a blog post I read. I’m going to give you most of it here.

The blog is called “A VC: musings of a VC in NYC.” In case you don’t know, VC stands for venture capital. This guy invests in businesses. Here’s his blog post, entitled “What’s Going On?

I talked to my mom yesterday. She was upset about the jobs situation and worried that Obama will not have any solutions when he addresses Congress on the issue this week. I’m worried about all of this too. But I have no illusions that Obama or anyone in government (including those who want Obama’s job) can do much about it.

The most interesting piece in the New York Times yesterday was not David Carr’s hatchet job on Mike Arrington. It was the piece about problems at the US Postal Service:

The post office’s problems stem from one hard reality: it is being squeezed on both revenue and costs. As any computer user knows, the Internet revolution has led to people and businesses sending far less conventional mail. At the same time, decades of contractual promises made to unionized workers, including no-layoff clauses, are increasing the post office’s costs. Labor represents 80 percent of the agency’s expenses, compared with 53 percent at United Parcel Service and 32 percent at FedEx, its two biggest private competitors. Postal workers also receive more generous health benefits than most other federal employees.

Right there you have in a microcosm the issue facing most developed economies, particularly western europe and the US. We are undergoing a big time technological revolution that is disrupting big industries and big companies all over the place. And many of these big companies (and societies) have in place huge entitlements that make it impossible to operate them profitably.

The US Postal Service story is not a unique situation. It is the situation. And we are going to be living with this situation for many years to come. We are crossing a huge chasm from an industrial society to an information society. And there is immense pain in that transformation. Obama can’t solve the problem nor can any of his opponents. Time will solve this problem as new industries get built, people learn new skills and new jobs, and we dismantle entitlement systems that are not sustainable.

That is what is going on. I’d love to hear Obama tell the country that. But I doubt he will. But someone should.

Here’s what I got out of this article, and why it’s a great time to start a law firm – the legal industry is one of those industries that’s being blown up by the switch from industrial society to information society. And you are here at the beginning to set your roots and take advantage of the opportunity.

When I think back to when I opened my firm, I see that I couldn’t have opened at a better time in my life. In the last ten years we’ve undergone a huge transformation. No one talks on the phone anymore. No one uses the yellow pages. Everyone goes to the internet. Everyone wants everything done now. And everyone wants everything done as economically as possible. Okay, maybe not everyone. But a lot of people.

What the transition from industry to information has done is give everyone the freedom to ask “can we do this differently?” And, typically, the answer is yes. And, if you get started right now, you can be the answer to this question.

Technology allows you to start a law firm that is more efficient, better organized, better staffed, better run, and that gets better results than the old, established firms. You’ve got managing partners in law firms that don’t even know how to use email!

Now is the time to take advantage of this great change. Now is the time to set your roots. Now is the time to take advantage of the opportunities out there so you can become the established presence in this new paradigm. All you have to do is get started.

Like Blockbuster and Borders, large law firms are going to start to go belly up. The infrastructure they’ve built and the traditions they live by don’t apply in the information age. Sit down tonight, think about how you can take advantage of this blossoming new society, and get to work.

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