We live in an intensely capitalistic society—but for some reason, if a lawyer talks about maximizing the profit of his practice, he's more likely to be criticized than praised by his peers. This is because, in law school, we all learned that the rule of law benefits the common good, and lawyers are the first line of defense for otherwise helpless citizens. If you seek to extract the “maximum profit” from helpless citizens, doesn't that make you a heartless monster?
Always Remember: The Profit Motive Is a Good Thing
No one criticizes the manager of a clothing store for seeking to extract the maximum profit from his business, and restaurant owners get the same indulgence. So why aren't lawyers allowed to talk about the profit motive? The fact is, if your practice turns a healthy profit, that will allow you to:
- Hire more lawyers (and paralegals, and support staff) so you can help a larger number of clients.
- Give 100 percent of your attention to the case you're working on, rather than worrying about making your mortgage payment.
- Work pro bono for truly needy clients, since you have enough of a profit cushion to absorb the financial impact.
- Take the occasional vacation with your family, so you can clear your mind and come back to work with a refreshed attitude.
- Invest more money in advertising and marketing, so you can expand your practice even further and help even more clients.
A Needy Lawyer Is an Ineffective Lawyer
The bottom line is, if you're living from day-to-day on the revenues you generate from your law practice, you're not giving your full attention to the people who need it most—your clients. A healthy profit will allow you the peace of mind necessary to do what you went to law school to do: become a successful lawyer and help the greatest number of people.