What does it take to double, triple...quadruple the size of a law firm? According to Chad Dudley of Dudley DeBosier, it requires having a growth mindset, trying new things, and always prioritizing the client experience.
Dudley joined Dudley DeBosier in 2007 as Chief Operating Officer. Within 10 years the firm grew from 30 employees to nearly 200. But despite that success, they aren't resting on their laurels. Dudley continues to look ahead and find new ways for his firm to stay relevant amid rapid technological changes. We spoke with him about the changes law firms need to make to be successful today and long into the future.
Litify: What advice do you have for law firms that want to scale, but their growth seems to have plateaued?
Dudley: Have a plan. Strategic planning matters. It makes a difference, but you must do it right.
There are very few firms that I have come across that can successfully do strategic planning without an outside facilitator. Bring someone in that knows what they are doing and knows the industry, and get them to challenge you to keep growing.
Litify: What is one area of marketing that you see personal injury law firms repeatedly struggle with?
Dudley: Client service. I think it is a key part of your marketing plan and it often gets overlooked.
You can drive more people to the restaurant, but if the food is not good, your business will suffer. Firms often fail to consider that part of their marketing plan, and do not spend enough time, effort, and energy on it.
Litify: In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge the legal industry will face in the future?
Dudley: I think that plaintiff personal injury firms will face increased competition. It is getting easier and easier to compete with established brands in new and creative ways that are not economically prohibitive. Firms that do not stay up to speed from a marketing standpoint and an operations standpoint are going to get left behind.
Litify: What changes have you made at Dudley DeBosier to future-proof your firm?
Dudley: We aren't complacent. Just because something works today doesn’t mean it is going to work tomorrow.
We have had a lot of success, but we have a mentality of always learning and never thinking that we have it all figured out. I think that is the only way you have a chance to adapt to the changes coming to our industry.
Litify: Outside the specific practice of law, which skills do you think lawyers need to develop to be successful now and in the future?
Dudley: I’m going to go back to client service. It matters. Building relationships, building trust, taking the time to show that you care, being responsive…those things will never go out of style. The firms that have a culture of practicing these things have been successful in the past and will continue to be successful in the future.
Litify: In what ways do you think technology has changed law for the better?
Dudley: It has made it easier to communicate with clients, to answer questions, to speed up the process without losing quality. I also think that it has allowed law firms to simply run better and more efficiently. That is a good thing for lawyers and a good thing for clients.
Next up: hear how to 4X your average fee with Chad Dudley!