Case study: 15 lawyer firm sets strategy but hesitates ..

EvolveLaw worked with a 15 lawyer Denver firm to set and execute strategy.  The client was struggling to find its value proposition in the New Normal legal market after the 2008 recession.  Its historical growth pattern was to add practices whenever there was a cultural fit and financial viability.  As a result, the client firm was a patchwork of practices and varying business models.  In the post-crisis legal market, this approach was not attracting the talent and clients the firm wanted to thrive.

EvolveLaw worked with the client’s leaders to build consensus around the need for change.  A few of the more experienced partners questioned whether the changes in the legal marketplace were permanent, and felt their trajectory remained solid.  EvolveLaw presented market research on trends among clients and law firms, as well as a thorough comparison of firm’s results and those of its peers.  The partners began to build consensus around a path forward.  Over time, the client agreed to focus on a particular industry vertical.

EvolveLaw helped the firm to understand the risk/benefit balance of adopting a vertical industry strategy in a diverse firm.  Leaders understood that an industry strategy would not play equally to all the firm’s diverse practice areas, and knew that some areas might not continue to be a fit.  EvolveLaw worked with leadership to plan industry integration carefully, allowing each practice area to find its value in the vertical, or not.  As part of that planning, EvolveLaw set a path to execute the industry vertical strategy in all the firm operating systems:  governance, compensation, talent acquisition and training, finance, and marketing/business development.  The client worked with EvolveLaw to stage implementation, beginning with compensation and business development as top priorities.

Ideally, the client firm could have executed the new strategy quickly and found industry-oriented value in all of its practice groups.  However, the firm met obstacles and some partners began to question how to proceed, slowing progress.  The core group of industry-focused lawyers remained true to the strategy.  Roxanne helped them to consider and choose a new platform at a strong regional firm to continue their work.  They’ve landed well and are growing their practices.