The Mini-MBA for Lawyers

Focus on current law firm management principles and techniques applied to the particular demands of the legal practice

Course overview

The legal landscape is constantly changing and every day lawyers and managers within firms are facing dynamic new challenges to lead change, inspire innovation and manage increasingly complex business issues.

Firms that stay competitive over a long period of time are those which have developed a clear strategic vision, have the skills and techniques to turn strategy into reality and can adapt and endure both internal and external change.

With our presenters who have worked both within private practice and in-house departments, Falconbury have developed this intensive 3-day In-house training programme.

It will supercharge the teams key management skills and intellectual capital enabling them to integrate strategic, financial, people management and business development goals to achieve consistent success.

The key benefits your firm can gain through this In-house ‘Mini-MBA

  • Increased profitability
  • Better risk management
  • Improved management efficiency
  • Enhanced client care
  • Fewer mistakes
  • Support with compliance
  • More impactful marketing
  • Stronger client relationship management

What will this ‘Mini-MBA’ do for your firm?

You train to become a lawyer, yet management seems to be one of those things that people are just left to do. This In-house programme will provide you with a range of current management principles and techniques and apply them to the particular demands of the legal practice. The avoidance of pitfalls and exploitation of opportunities comes from business acumen which is fashioned not only by experience but also by the injection of ideas and techniques from external sources such as this programme.

What this ‘Mini-MBA’ will do for your firm

Investment in human capital and developing the individual delivers payback for all employers. A firm will only get effective business development from managers who tackle successfully the difficult issues that currently confront a firm. This 3-day intensive development programme will send you back to your firm with a dynamic and refreshed approach to management.

This programme is for the full senior team:

  • Managing partners requiring a refresher and update of key business and financial management and development techniques
  • Aspiring managing partners and senior partners who need to develop a broader strategic vision and skills
  • Senior partners with functional management responsibilities who wish to understand the interplay between different management disciplines
  • Senior law firm support staff who wish to broaden their understanding of law firm management i.e. marketing directors, HR directors, finance directors, etc.

Continuing professional development

This course is accredited for 18 CPD hours by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (CPD reference CSC/FALI). After successfully completing the course you will receive a certificate stating the amount of hours and type of training you have completed.

Programme - Day 1

Module 1: Strategic thinking, finance and business management in the legal landscape

In this module you will explore the classic elements of strategic thinking and the tools and techniques associated with strategic analysis in the legal sector. It will give you a clear understanding of the key financial management techniques you need and teach you to integrate both to achieve your goals.

Law Firm Strategy

  • Developing a strategy
    • The role of the partner
    • Understanding own firm and competitors better
    • Appreciating the likely changes to the legal landscape in the coming years following the recession and credit crunch
    • Understanding the changes to the provision of legal services – the opportunities and threats to the structure of law firms – LLPs, MDPs & ABSs
    • Gaining investment – making a firm attractive to investors
  • Implementing the strategy
    • The 5 most common strategy headings: profitability, cashflow, growth, people and productivity
    • Getting “buy in” – the communication process
  • Revising the strategy

Developing a challenging budget

  • Historical financial benchmarking models: domestic and global
  • Predicting fees in a sophisticated way
    • Trends
    • Economic trends
    • Ask clients
    • Fle counts
    • “Bottom up”, etc
  • Better approaches to departmental expenses and real control
  • Breaking the fees target into something manageable (benchmarks for all of the above will be provided for a range of practice areas so that delegates can identify how their area is currently performing)
    • Gearing
    • Hours
    • Rates
    • Recovery
    • Margin
  • The secrets of improved time recording and more client friendly narratives
  • Controlling work in capital
    • Work in progress – the required disciplines
    • Debtors – interim billing, money on account and better credit control

Using management information to run a profitable firm

  • Exactly what information needs to be distributed?
  • The importance of training fee earners to use this information
  • The monthly process to ensure the information is being managed
  • New types of predictive management information which focus more on profit

Programme - Day 2

Module 2: Business and relationship development

This module concentrates on the range of client relationship and business development activities a lawyer should undertake. These activities are all inter-connected and equally important to the growth and success of the firm. The level of understanding and type of skills required within each area will vary depending upon level of qualification, experience and position. Many lawyers and law firms over-complicate personal development plan. Essentially, it is about how lawyers interact, relate and communicate with their clients and prospective clients.

Introduction – getting some focus

  • The three elements of legal business development –marketing/awareness, developing existing client/referrer relationships and winning new clients
  • Forging the link between the firm’s business plan, your departmental marketing plan and your business development plan
  • Marketing basics – thinking about what you do (services) and who you do it for (markets) at what price and with what promotion and how these might need to change

Where am I now? Knowing your own and your clients’ business

  • Devising a sophisticated understanding of the marketplace in which you operate
  • Anticipating the future needs of your clients and structuring your service offering accordingly
  • Understanding clients’ legal needs, the channels through which they buy and emerging buying patterns
  • Gaining an in-depth knowledge of your competitors and substitutes to safeguard your position in the market

Where do I want to be? – Setting goals and developing bite-sized action plans

  • Developing long term financial and shorter term goals in terms of activity, awareness and contacts
  • Creating methods to monitor progress and maintain motivation

How will I get there?

** Reviewing the various marketing and selling tools to identify those most appropriate for you, your market and your clients
** Publicity and advertising
** Newsletters and alerts
** Thought leadership
** Seminars, events and networking
** Web sites, SEO and blogs
** Social marketing – LinkedIn, Twitter etc

  • Selecting winning strategies
  • Getting others to buy-in to your plan
  • Creating the time and motivation to just do it
Defining the key characteristics of a successful law firm/client relationship
  • Back-to-basics – information you need about your current clients and referrers
  • Do clients want a relationship with a lawyer or a law firm?
  • Showing commitment to your clients’ needs and devising a service strategy
  • Understanding CRM and why it’s your job and not the marketing department’s
Effective cross-selling in law firms
  • Is cross-selling an effective sales tool for law firms?
  • Defining the characteristics and barriers of cross-selling
  • When and how you should cross-sell within the context of a good relationship management
The client perspective: understanding the purchasing decisions of your clients
  • How different types of clients appoint law firms
  • The buying process – differences for commercial, not for profit, intermediary and private clients
  • What drives clients to switch law firms?
Identifying and winning new clients
  • Striking the right balance between client retention and acquisition
  • Targeting and making contact
  • Managing the sales process – the opportunity pipeline
  • Harnessing sales skills to win new business
  • The psychology of selling
  • Why clients conduct a beauty parade
  • How to win a beauty parade
Understanding the relationship: emotional intelligence for lawyers
  • The value of emotional intelligence
  • The consequences of personality and emotions in business
  • Developing empathy, rapport and trust
  • Promoting a client facing culture and motivating lawyers to market, sell and develop relationships

Programme - Day 3

Module 3: Developing the human capital of your firm

Talented employees want to work in firms with vision. Investment in your leadership is key in engaging and retaining talent. This module will explore how to make your firm a compelling employment proposition – therefore ensuring you and your firm maintain the competitive edge in an increasingly competitive market. It will look at your style as leader and manager, and help you to build and maintain an effective team. The module will also consider how you will find time to invest in your team.


  • Management and leadership – blending the two
  • What is leadership? – how can you get the most out of your team?
  • Are your teams properly structured?

Getting other people to do what you want them to do with enthusiasm

  • Understanding what makes staff tick and hence how to improve morale
  • Learning how to improve quality, reduce risk and increase efficiency with improved delegation
  • Mastering the art of giving clear instructions
  • Effective day-to-day supervision
  • Learning how to give feedback in a way, which will be received enthusiastically and lead to real step, changes in productivity

Finding time to manage the team more effectively

  • Taking control of the external environment
  • Better self-management
    • More use of routines
    • Protecting “prime” time
    • The link between time recording and time management
    • Allowing “personal treats”

Action planning and conclusions

  • Identification of key learning points from the programme
  • Finalisation of personal implementation plans
  • Conclusions

The expert faculty

Expert Training Faculty

The faculty combines in-depth knowledge of law firm management with significant business consultancy experience and expert facilitation skills.

ROBERT MOWBRAY is one of the longest standing and most widely known trainers of professionals having worked in and with law, accounting and other professional organisations for over 25 years. He is renowned as a trainer in things “financial” and has considerable experience of helping lawyers to read financial statements and in helping professional firms to increase profitability through more efficient and effective working practices. Robert was the author of Maximising the Profitability of Law Firms and has trained or consulted with over 500 firms in over 25 countries. He has been voted Trainer of the Year by the Legal Education & Training Group and was the author of the annual financial benchmarking survey organised by the Law Management Section of the Law Society from 2006-2009. Robert sits on a national advisory panel to Lloyds TSB advising the bank on its strategy in the legal sector. The unique experience that Robert has gained puts him in a position to independently and authoritatively help professional firms to develop their people and their business.

KIM TASSO is an independent strategic business development consultant, specialising in the professional services sector, with over 30 years’ experience. Qualified in psychology, management, marketing, coach/mentoring and NLP, Kim started her career in sales and marketing positions in the technology sector. She worked in-house at Deloittes and Nabarro (solicitors) and for over 300 clients including: Boodle Hatfield, Herbert Smith, Keating Chambers, Lester Aldridge, Mayer Brown, Olswang, Rix & Kay, Royds, Seddons, S J Berwin, Thomson Snell & Passmore, Veale Wasbrough and is a part-time lecturer on post-graduate marketing courses. Her first book Dynamic Practice Development – Selling skills and techniques for the professions was published in 2000 by Thorogood Publishing.

Case study

A central component of this In-house programme will be a law firm related business case study that will run throughout the three days. The case study will bring together many of the strategic and change management issues faced by professionals in their ‘real world’ law firm. Each day small teams will be given the opportunity to participate in Think-Tank sessions to address the case study issues. The team will be encouraged to combine their own practical experiences with the learning gained during the the programme to recommend strategies and solutions for the main issues arising from the case study. This will culminate on the final day with work teams presenting their outcomes to their colleagues.

Continuing professional development

This course qualifies for the following CPD programmes:

  • CPD certificate of attendance: 18.00 hours

Bespoke training

We can customise this course to meet the requirements of your organisation. Contact us to discuss your training requirements.

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Previous customers include...

  • AdvokatfirItan Noreidholm
  • Advokatfirman Vinge KB
  • Alem & Associates Barristers & Solicitor
  • Appleby Global
  • Attorney-at-Law Eva Berlaus Gulbe
  • Bech-Bruun Lawfirm
  • Bender von Haller Dragsted
  • Cripps Harries Hall LLP
  • DFMG Solicitors
  • DSTA
  • FIND - Consultadoria em Recursos Humanos, Lda
  • Forrester
  • GR J Timagenis
  • Hannes Snellman, St Petersburg office
  • Inksters - Solicitors
  • Kelemenis & Co
  • Lennon Heather & Company
  • Magnusson
  • Memery Crystal
  • Morton Fraser
  • Ozannes
  • Pannone LLP
  • Petroleum Company of Trinidad & Tobago Ltd
  • Simcocks
  • The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
  • Tollers Solicitors
  • UTC Ltd
  • Widman & Co Attorneys at Law Ltd