In this week’s installment of Things I Wish I Knew, Joleena Louis gives us an update on her solo attorney goals for 2015 and what she plans to do better for her practice.
Autumn in New York is upon us which means we are in the last quarter of 2015.
While I feel like I accomplished a lot this year, I didn’t quite accomplish all of the goals I had set for myself this year.
With a few months left to go, I feel now is a great time to review, revise and focus on the goals I didn’t reach while I still have time.
Here are my goals for 2015:
1. Increase my solo law practice’s profits by 50%.
So far this year, I have increased my practice profits by 25%. While this is good, it’s not exactly where I wanted to be and I’m not sure if I will be able to reach my goal by the end of the year.
Typically, my divorce work slows down considerably during the holidays so I need to focus on adoptions and family court work in the short term and networking for the rise in divorce work after the new year.
2. Network more strategically.
In 2015 my networking decreased in volume but increased in quality. I only attended events where I was sure to meet my top referral sources: lawyers, accountants, therapists and entrepreneurs.
I also attended smaller events where it was easier to talk to everyone in attendance instead of a few people out of several hundred.
I plan to spend the last few months of the year cultivating relationships by spending one to one time with people I feel I can have a mutually beneficial relationship with by having one or two networking lunches a week.
3. Attract higher net worth clients.
So far this year I have been retained by fewer clients, but the retainers have been larger and the clients have had higher net worths.
Narrowing down my ideal client has been immensely helpful to me in 2015. It’s easier for me to articulate the type of client I want to represent and that’s exactly who my referral sources are sending me.
4. Hire a paralegal.
This is the goal that I’ve had the most trouble with. I considered hiring an intern or virtual assistant but ultimately I keep putting it off.
I’m finding it very difficult to give up any control when it comes to my practice. I know how I want things to be done and I think it’s easier if I just do it myself. I realize this is not sustainable and is unrealistic, but I think I need a little more time to achieve this goal.
My plan in the next few months is to sit down and decide what things I feel comfortable letting someone else do, then I’ll take it from there.
5. Focus more on work/life balance.
I definitely achieved this goal by focusing on work/life integration.
When I started my divorce proceedings earlier this year I was concerned about overcompensating with work, but to my surprise I’ve been able to maintain an active personal life. I feel like I can manage my work and personal life fluidly and in a way that works for me.
I find it easier to disconnect from work when I need to and I no longer feel guilty when I think about work during my personal time.
Overall I believe 2015 has been really good for my practice. I’m more sure of myself and the direction I want my practice to go.
While i haven’t accomplished all of my goals yet, I still have time to make it happen and hope to close out 2015 as strong as I started.
Have any thoughts on Joleena’s goal update? Comment below and give us your thoughts!