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Law firm value statements

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.

Relentless improvement

  • 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.

Greg McLawsen

I’m proud to be the founder of Sound Immigration. My job is to work behind the scenes to ensure our clients have an outstanding experience at our firm. I’m passionate about reinventing the practice of law to make it work better for those we serve. I work hard to identify the best available technology to make our firm convenient for clients. I look to other industries, like real estate and the restaurant business, to learn about practice that will help serve our clients better.

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