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Law Firm Turnarounds, Referral Chains™ & Sales Training

Law Firm Turnaround Experts

Whether you are a solo practitioner, manage a handful of partners, associates, or a bigger law firm with dozens of associates and professional staff, sometimes a law firm can get into a rut. Your law firm used to thrive, but lately, things have been shaky. What you do know for sure is: you don’t have the business you used to. It may be time for a law firm turnaround. 


Sometimes, it's like Donald Rumsfeld said: "It's the unknown unknowns" that have the ability to blind-side you. This technique, called the Johari window, has been used by intelligence services worldwide since the 1950s.

Based on our experience of doing law firm turnarounds and transformations, law firm founders and managing partners often do not know for sure the source of the problem. We have done law firm turnarounds where the managing partner thought he knew what the real problem was, and once we began our work, we learned the problem was something completely different. 

The Legal A Team understands the legal profession—lawyers and their clients—from Toronto, to Ottawa, to Halifax, to Calgary, to Vancouver. And, we have a proven track record of success. 


The Legal A Team offers you valuable perspective from decades of working with many business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) law firms, using many different structures including: sole proprietorships; partnerships; LLPs; professional corporations; and the “in association” model.

We have done large-scale change management at McCarthy Tetrault, KPMG, Ontario's Hydro One, and Canadian National Railway in Montreal. These are only a few. 


Our Approach to Law Firm Turnarounds


The Legal A Team can help you with a law firm turnaround or transformation. Here are some of the functional areas we review with you:

  • Your billings, year-over-year, by practice area

  • Your current practice areas and how they are affected by current legal trends (self-represented litigants, or SRLs), Access to Justice (A2J), unbundling/limited scope retainers, artificial intelligence in the legal profession, etc. to determine if there are growth opportunities, or if you're leaving money on the table)

  • The abilities and performance of your associates, articling students, and law clerks/paralegals

  • Your current billing structure

  • Your current process for initial consultations (ICs)

  • Ratio of signed retainer agreements v. initial consults

  • Your current referral sources

  • Your current law firm marketing activities

  • Your law firm’s reputation and public perception

  • Your law firm’s website

  • Your social media presence


Evaluating Your Law Firm Marketing 


Next, we conduct interviews with your partners, associates, and support staff. These interviews are sometimes held individually and sometimes in small groups, depending on the law firm. In these interviews or meetings, our discussions focus on:

  • The lawyers’ skills and experience

  • The lawyers’ interests and ambitions

  • The lawyers’ self-image

  • Leveraging to advantage lawyers’ culture, background, and language if they are hyphenated-Canadians

  • Your law firm’s compensation model: are you incentivising the right behaviours?

  • Are your lawyers working as a team, or competing with each other?

We then have a full picture of your law firm and an understanding of where the pitfalls are—and how to fix them—for your firm transformation or turnaround. Read more about Law Firm Marketing, Business Development, and Branding.  


The Legal A Team has both strategic and boots-on-the-ground experience in change management at some of the biggest law firms and accounting firms in Canada, as well as Canada’s leading corporations and non-profits. Importantly, we know the change management techniques that work in law firms and with lawyers—and the ones that don’t. We know how to bring everyone along—the tide that lifts all boats. 


Referral Chains™ Expand Your Lawyer Network to Get Work

Having a robust network of lawyers who refer work to you is still an excellent way to ensure a regular flow of work. To be effective, referral chains need to be 2-way. In other words, they need to be beneficial to both sides.

We take both a broad and deep approach to creating the most effective Referral Chains of like-minded lawyers in complementary and non-competitive practice areas in your city, province, or across Canada—whatever makes the most sense for your law firm. 

We teach our law firm marketing clients to build effective Referral Chains that stand the test of time. Our law marketing specialist can help. 


Sales Training for Lawyers, Law Firms

We train lawyers what to say and what to do from the time the prospective client makes an appoinment for an initial consultation (IC) to the time they leave your office.


Our training is designed specifically to improve a lawyer's "close rate." How the prospect is spoken to, by whom, what is said, and how it is said, including body language, each have great bearing on a lawyer's close rate—will the prospective client sign a Retainer Agreement, accompanied by a cheque?


Our sales training for lawyers is based on best practices at the leading law firms on Toronto's Bay Street and successful small- and medium-sized law firms in all areas of law.  

The great news is that while some lawyers are natural-born "closers," all of the techniques we teach can be learned. They are not difficult but they are specific. They are 100 per cent repeatable and replicable by you and your associates. 

Where we have done sales training for lawyers and law firms, close rates improved as much as 25 per cent. That can make a huge improvement to your bottom line and is a great investment in training your associates to be better marketers. 

As we tell clients, it is better to close the leads you have, instead of looking for more leads. Like the saying goes: "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

Here is an article we wrote: 
Converting prospects to paying clients more important than generating leads. 

Free, 30-minute Phone Consultation


From our experience, we recommend that law firm transformations be done over a 6-month or 12-month term, depending on the number of lawyers, the amount of work to be done, and your budget. Give us a call, for a free, 30-minute phone consultation.



Hiring superstar lawyers part 1: Talent spotting

Law firms need to embrace millennial values

In smaller law firms, everybody sells

Converting prospects to paying clients more important than generating leads 

How a ‘Grandma’ receptionist can help increase billings at smaller law firms 


Bullying in the legal profession requires a culture fix

Avoid these traps that torpedo change management efforts

  • Have your initial consultations mysteriously dried up?
  • Prospective clients don't retain you after a meeting? 
  • Are you busy, but broke?
  • Do your associates keep leaving your law firm and setting up their own law firms?
  • Law firm marketing ineffective?
Time for a Law Firm Turnaround?
Email us or call (416) 831-9154

Relentless Results.™

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