Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday to hear Jenny Anderson and I speak at Seattle University School of Law. In her portion of the talk on building a law firm, Jenny spoke about the importance of articulating a law firm’s internal values. I agree with her 100% on that point.
Why worry about articulating a law firm’s “values?” Isn’t that just a bunch of corporate double-talk garbage? I don’t think so.
There are only so many hours in a day. So how do you choose to use those hours? There are only so many resources – capital, attention, energy – at your firm. How are you going to deploy them? Whether articulated or not, decisions at law firms are going to be based on a prioritization of what is important. Forcing yourself to articulate a values statement makes this process intentional. That’s a good thing. We want to make deliberate choices about out life’s work – right?
Jack Newton, the CEO of the Themis Solutions – which makes law practice management platform Clio – spoke about the importance of value statements at the Cloud Nine conference in Chicago this year. His company, Themis Solutions, went through a multi-month process to distill an articulation of the company’s values.
Jack smartly described value statements this way: as a way to resolve decisional disputes within an organization. Let’s say you and your partner have a disupute about whether to engage a client. Or you’re a solo and deciding whether to volunteer for a bar association project. A values statement can be a tie-breaker to resolve which path you take.
After hearing Jack speak, I was inspired to do the same for Sound Immigration. Unlike Themis Solutions, Sound Immigration isn’t a multi-million dollar company. But like Themis, we’re very serious about being being a particular type of law firm. Here is our current values statement (or download it here).
Sound Immigration’s values.
Client success comes first
- We deliver the single best client experience of any immigration firm in the country.
- Our clients are amazed by their experience with us.
- We are uncompromising experts in our area or law.
- We earn the love and trust of our clients and never take them for granted.
- We reinvent what it means to practice law.
- We never ever accept “the way things are done.”
- We look everywhere – to any field – for ideas on how to improve.
- We constantly learn about our community’s needs and how to better serve them.
We live full lives
- We run a flexible law practice so our team can have maximum freedom for their own pursuits.
- We find value in our legal work and safeguard our freedom to do the other things that make life awesome.
- We promote our team’s physical and personal health.