If you’re a lawyer, you’ve done something many of us would never do: you’ve graduated from a law school. Long hours, tough exams, lots of learning, and all of this at a very high cost. And after you’re done with law school, you still have to gain hands-on experience before you can start your own practice.
Yet, the payoff for all this effort is somewhat mediocre. According to The Bureau of Labor statistics from 2018, the yearly income for a us-based attorney is about $120,000, which is decent, but not great.
And let’s take a moment to consider a typical attorney work week.
Most lawyers are self-employed. Even if you work for a firm, you’re still expected to go out there and bring business in, which, to me, is the definition of self-employed — you eat what you kill.
Between looking for clients and answering phone calls; and working on actual cases, you usually spend anywhere from 40 to 60, or even 70 hours working. You’re never sure whether next month you’ll have new clients or not, and how to find new clients when you don’t get referrals.
Basically what you’ve created for yourself is a risky, frustrating, demanding job with a better than average, but, ultimately, an OK pay (no one is getting rich off $120,000/year).
I’m sure you’ve met or heard of lawyers who do what you do but make $500,000 per year or more. What’s the difference between you and them? Are they 4X smarter? 4X more experienced? Work 4X harder or 4X as many hours?
None of that, right?!
So, you have the potential of earning $500,000 per year, or more, although these numbers may sound unimaginable to you right now. And you don’t have to be a big shot in corporate law either. You could be a personal injury attorney, a bankruptcy attorney or anything else, to make that kind of income.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Peter Francis Geraci, a bankruptcy attorney who – we assume – is generating huge revenues from his 17 locations in Chicago and Northwest Indiana. I believe that he and other lawyers like him are very intentional about what type of business and income level they want to achieve. They don’t see their careers as legal practices, but as successful businesses, and they learn to be business owners, not just lawyers.
A successful business is based on two factors: getting clients and delivering quality service (for which you need a quality team to support you and your business). In law firms, these look like:
Most lawyers know how to do great work and win cases, but getting new clients month after month (marketing) is something else. If you want a truly successful business, you have to learn more about marketing, and have an expert marketing agency to create a constant stream of new leads (essentially, although you don’t own the agency, they become part of your team).
With the right mindset, not anyone, but many can do that. Yes, it’s an investment, but if you clearly see just how important it is for your future as a business owner, making the investment into the right team is a no-brainer. And, you’d find the money, because having the right team deliver clients to you makes the difference between running a business and making substantial profits, and working a job and getting a decent salary.
Even if you’re not hungry for money, you must be hungry for something: better lifestyle, a charity or a cause you want to support, sending your kids to college, building a more secure future. Whatever is your destiny, it is closely aligned with the fortune of your law firm.
Be intentional about your success, build the team that builds your business, and reap the rewards.
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