Every person has personal, professional, and financial goals they’re working toward. For some people, the path to achieving these goals may be clear, but others may find themselves discouraged if reaching goals feels difficult, complicated, or unattainable. Lawyers and law firms are no exception.
Lawyers may have broad goals to grow the practice, increase revenue, hire new partners, or work fewer hours, but many don’t know how to achieve those goals or evaluate progress toward them.
Setting SMART goals for lawyers can provide your firm with a clear plan to achieve goals and measure success. Keep reading to find out how to set SMART goals at your law firm—and actually achieve them.
What are SMART goals for lawyers?
SMART goals follow a clearly defined framework: they’re Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. To demonstrate, let’s look at how a goal like “increase revenue” could be transformed into an actionable SMART goal.
- Specific goals can be tangibly accomplished. In contrast to broad goals, like a goal to increase revenue, a specific goal might be to convert a higher percentage of leads to clients.
- For a goal to be measurable, you must be able to quantify success. In this example, the goal might be to improve your conversion rate by 20%. Law firms can then measure progress toward this goal monthly or quarterly and make changes to ensure achievement.
- Measurable goals must be reasonably achievable to have meaning. If the team senses a goals is unattainable, such as a goal to improve conversion rates by 300%, they’ll lack motivation to pursue it.
- Relevant goals allow a firm to make progress toward its overall vision. For example, increasing conversion rates is a relevant goal that fits within the overall plan to increase revenue. Taking more holidays, however, is not.
- Finally, goals must be time-bound. This means each goal has a deadline for achievement that firms are working toward. Without time-bound goals, measuring progress is impossible.
SMART goals for lawyers establish how goals will be met, and they give firms a way to measure progress toward them without complicated metrics or moving goal posts.
Why is establishing SMART goals for lawyers important?
Let’s face it, lawyers are busy—without a defined plan to reach goals, important progress vital to the growth and health of the firm may fall by the wayside.
Establishing SMART goals can help you ensure goals are achieved by defining deadlines, success, and actionable steps. SMART goals also help firms brainstorm new, creative solutions to problems. Additionally, they guarantee that each firm member understands the firm’s overall vision and has a role in reaching targets.
Practice management tools can make SMART goals achievable
If your firm is ready to implement SMART strategies and make tangible progress toward its goals, legal practice management software can help.
CosmoLex’s cloud-based practice management solution has benefits for firms of every size. As a central hub for matter documents, costs, and more, it automatically analyzes matter data and provides actionable insights, which can help firms set and track progress toward goals. CosmoLex’s intuitive time tracking tools ensure all billable work is properly measured and invoiced, so attorneys get paid for the work they do. Additionally, CosmoLex simplifies billing and accounting by pairing every document, expense, and time entry to the applicable matter. With online payment options and a dedicated client portal, CosmoLex is user-friendly for clients, increasing client conversion and collection rates.
Improve your practice with support from CosmoLex
Here’s a SMART goal: download CosmoLex’s practice management software in 2022. With simple time tracking, matter-based document management, and streamlined billing and accounting features, CosmoLex frees up time to focus on higher-level goals and provides you with tangible metrics to help you track progress and recognize areas of revenue leakage. Schedule a demo or start your free trial today!