How Much Time Should Lawyers Spend Marketing?

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Time For Lawyer MarketingOne of the questions lawyers ask me most often is:

How much time should I spend on law firm marketing?

The answer depends upon any number of factors including your financial resources and available time but I can give you a broad sense for the breakdown in your allocation of your time.
There are three areas where attorneys spend their working time:

Practicing Law: This is what you went to law school to learn to do.  This is everything you have trained and prepared for during your entire career.

Handling Administrative Tasks:  These are the mundane yet necessary activities you get sucked into on a day-to-day basis.  Activities like fixing the computer system, reviewing and verifying invoices, chasing down clients who don’t pay, fall into this category.

Business Owner Activities:  Marketing and business strategy fit in here.

Most attorneys who own their law firms spend about 75% of their time practicing law, about 20% of their time handling administrative activities and about 5% of their time being a business owner.  While this mix works for people who have an endless stream of business, I know of few attorneys who fall into that category.

A better mix for attorneys who are in a solo practice (or a small law firm) is:  60% practicing law, 10% administrative activity and 30% focus on the business ownership activities that require your attention.

Determining this mix is an imperfect process because each attorney has different goals for his/her law firm.  For example:  If you want to fully develop the value of your law firm as an asset that you can sell when you retire, the mix should be more like:  30% practicing law, 10% administrative activity and 60% business owner activities.

You action item from this article should be to determine what you want from your law firm.  What do you want now?  What do you want from it when you retire?

Those goals should dictate how you will spend your time as a law firm owner.