Seven New Year's Resolutions for Canadian Law Firms

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something.1

Stephen Mabey Author

For some firms, 2017 was a banner year. Unfortunately, the membership in this club continues to decline. It was a year in which some long-standing members dropped out (or were self-forced out), and some new upstarts were admitted. Some of the challenges that served to limit or reduce membership included:

  • Clients continuing to replace law firms' value proposition with their own;
  • Continued growth in the number of lawyers (supply) in the face of a flat or declining legal market (demand);
  • Millennial lawyers prepared to act upon their needs if law firms do not;
  • Competitive disruptors in both low and mid-market legal work;
  • Technology disruptors focused both on law firm's and client's processes; and
  • Increased consolidation in the number of law firms and practices.

...we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”2

In looking back over the past year if there is one concept that is associated with the year, it is “Innovation.” The new phrases include — innovative services; an innovative approach to the practice of law; innovation, etc. Unfortunately, buy-in to the suggestion that law firms are embracing the concept is not widespread amongst the clients.

That was then, and this is now! As Alexander Graham Bell pointed out “when one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”2 In keeping with this wisdom, we have developed seven new resolutions that firms should make and stick to in 2018 to make it their banner year. The Table below includes both this year's and last year's resolutions:

The rest of this article is available in Stephen Mabey's new Book

Book Cover - Leading and Managing a Sustainable Law Firm - Tactics & Strategies for a Rapidly Changing Profession by Stephen Mabey

Available for purchase on BookBaby.



1 "Neil Gaiman Quotes - Brainyquote". N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Dec. 2017
2 Collins, Alicia. "Limbo: Straddling the Present and Future." Journal of Environmental Health, vol. 76, no. 6, National Environmental Health Association, Jan. 2014, p. 6.
3 "Legal Innovation Zone - Ai Legal Challenge." N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Dec. 2017
4 "Quotes About Millennials (45 Quotes) - Goodreads." N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Dec. 2017
5 "Ransomware Attack On DLA Piper Puts Law Firms, Clients On ..." N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Dec. 2017
6 "Law Firm Succession Planning: Do One Simple Thing By Alan ..." N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Dec. 2017

7 "Law Firm Survival And Succession Planning - 3 Steps ..." N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Dec. 2017



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