If Charles Darwin managed your law firm


Some cynics contend that lawyers aren’t human. They say we are a different species who kill and eat our young and should not be allowed to mate and reproduce.

If Charles Darwin were around, he might point out that the traits that make us good at our jobs, i.e., skepticism, competitiveness, toughness, argumentativeness, etc., allow us to survive and thrive as a species. If that wasn’t true, we would have died out a long time ago.

So there.

There are parallels between Darwin’s theories and the management of a law practice. Darwin concluded that the species that fights for survival, or is adept at avoiding it, is the species that has the best chance of survival. In the food chain, there are those who eat and those who are eaten.

Lawyers aren’t allowed to flee. We have to stay and fight for our clients. By helping them survive, our practice survives. Our clients have more work for us. Other clients are attracted to the strongest lawyers.

Does that mean lawyers must be cutthroat? In the big firm world, I think it does. There are too few clients and too much jungle to cut through. For solos and small firms, there are more options, particularly for those lawyers who embrace Darwin’s other hypotheses.

Darwin said that the species with the best chance of survival are the species that have learned to specialize. There is less competition when you’re the only one with a long snout that can find ants buried deep in the ground. If Darwin were managing your firm, he would tell you to differentiate yourself from other lawyers and look for gaps in the market that you can exploit and dominate.

Sound advice, but advice few lawyers follow. Most lawyers follow the herd and thus, earn average incomes. Skepticism and risk adverseness may make a lawyer good, but it doesn’t make a lawyer wealthy.

Darwin’s theory of adaptation is another area where lawyers are weak. The theory says that to survive in a world of changing demands and conditions requires a species to adapt to those changes and evolve. Lawyers are famously not comfortable with change, however, and often find themselves playing catch up.

Change doesn’t mean recklessness. It means staying informed, being open minded, and willing to try. Lawyers who don’t have a robust Internet presence, for example, are clearly falling behind.

Darwin told us it is, “the survival of the fittest.” If he was managing your firm, he might say that while you may be ready for the competition, if you don’t specialize and you don’t adapt, you may still find yourself on the endangered species list.

If you want to learn how to differentiate yourself from the competition and not get eaten alive, get The Attorney Marketing Formula today.