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Question 1: It is not a good idea to spend out of office social time with your staff members.
Answer 1: FALSE! Done tastefully, this is a fantastic way to build rapport. Regular employee appreciation events – even semi annually – can help with morale and build loyalty. “Social time” shouldn’t include sloppy hour! Planned, professional events, with a few drinks involved, can be very fun and build team unity.
Question 2: The owner of every law firm should get paid a regular salary and be included in the firm’s payroll.
Answer 2: True-the owner should get paid a regular salary and be included in the firm’s payroll. At the very least, you started your firm to have a job, right? The firm must budget and regularly pay all of its employees; including you. As an owner, it took me a while to do this. But, assigning myself a regular salary and putting it in the payroll (even if small at first) made it a habit. This helped put the structure & practice in place so that when the firm starts to do better, you have a system to increase that salary to get up to a market comparable amount. Ask yourself, “How much would it cost to hire your replacement?” Probably more than the owner is paying him/herself. But at least assign something to a regular paycheck so you can incrementally increase it.
Question 3: Your office location should be located in an area that best serves your target clientele.
Answer 3: False. Your office location should be located in the best place to represent the status of your expertise. People purchase confidence first.
Question 4: Free attorney consultations are never a good idea because you should show the client from the onset of the engagement that they have to pay for your time.
Answer 4: False. Maybe it is the lawyer in me, but it seems that never statements are unlikely to be true. I do think that is it important to show the client from the outset that your time is valuable, but there are situations in which a lawyer could both teach the client to respect their time but also give a free consultation, or a free seminar, or a free report, or a free case analysis. I think it would depend on the practice area and demographic served. Ultimately, I think it’s important not to make assumptions about what works best in your business and test different approaches to finding your ideal clients.