We often have clients ask us if law firm retreats are valuable. Our answer? A resounding “yes”! A law firm retreat allows you to set aside dedicated time and space once a year (or more often) to focus on the vision and goals for the firm and develop a plan to support meeting these goals. This dedicated time – without interruptions – allows your brain to let go of day-to-day matters and really think about vision and planning.
How do we plan a retreat?
Here are a few suggestions to make your law firm retreat successful:
- Do not hold it at your office! It’s important to focus on planning and not be easily available to interrupt. I prefer an out-of-town retreat but a local hotel is fine.
- Decide who will attend the retreat. If you are worried about sharing certain details or plans with the staff, you may want to do a full-day retreat with the partners and invite the remaining staff members to come for several hours at the end. If all team members will attend, either change your voice mail and out of office email responders to indicate you are out for the day or hire a temp to answer the phones. Know this: If your people buy into your vision they will help you go forward.
- Put together an agenda to keep the retreat on track. Define the purpose of your retreat and what objectives you are committed to meet by the end of the session. At the end of the session, you should have goals and a task list to work toward. Good firms hold retreats every year with a theme based upon their past year plus the vision down the road.
- Hire an independent facilitator. While it is possible to run the retreat with in-house staff, an objective third-party can help you keep on task and focused on the longer-term vision.
- Don’t have money? Trust me if you have a good retreat you will make up the cost of the retreat in an increase in the firm’s revenue next year. Forward motion…any change for that matter…almost always results in increased revenue.
Now is the time of year to plan your retreat. Do not let another year go by! And if you are the sole practitioner, then go off by yourself for 2 days and dream, believe, dare and remember the most important part…make sure you ‘do’ that which you plan! For more information or just to ask a question, email Cheryl.