Lawyerist Lab Coach and CEO Stephanie Everett ventured out of the lower 48 last week and headed to Anchorage, Alaska. Once there, she presented at the 2022 Alaska Bar Association Annual Convention. The conference took place on October 26–October 28, 2022, at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center. Stephanie facilitated two interactive sessions during the event.
Building a Healthy Practice
First, Stephanie led a discussion on Building a Healthy Practice: Considerations and Tools Lawyers Need to Build a Client-Centered, Future-Focused Firm. In this session, she explored how lawyers can compete in today’s market.
Clients expect a frictionless experience. And yet, the way most law firms have operated in recent memory didn’t prioritize their client’s needs. Stephanie asked the audience to recall times when they received excellent service. They then discussed how lawyers could borrow from those experiences to create memorable moments for their clients.
For example, one of Stephanie’s clients decorated their family law firm lobby to look, feel, and smell like a spa. This lawyer wanted to ease the burden her clients felt going through a divorce by offering her law office as a place of refuge and relaxation. This was one of many specific examples Stephanie shared about how lawyers are changing the way they approach their business to build a future-focused firm.
Defining Vision, Values, and Your Next Priorities to Ensure Success
Next, Stephanie facilitated a Strategic Planning Workshop: Defining Vision, Values, and Next Priorities as the Foundation for Success. In this session, Stephanie walked participants through a shortened strategic planning process. A solid law firm strategy should be the driver of many of the smaller decisions firm leaders make.
In this interactive workshop, participants completed a vision exercise where they answered a series of questions to better define the business they are building. One participant shared how excited he was thinking of the ways he could improve his business. Another participant was excited to realize that her firm could “grow” in other ways besides adding people to the payroll.
Next, Stephanie explained the importance of core values and how to use them in everyday firm life. With that backdrop, the group worked through an exercise to help them discover their firm’s core values. Stephanie took a few participants through shortened coaching sessions on narrowing and defining their values in front of the group. This allowed everyone to see how they started with one idea but eventually ended up with a more nuanced and compatible word that captured the spirit of their culture.
Finally, the group ended by focusing on strategic priorities to make their firm a reality. Stephanie gave the group time to process and prioritize the ideas they learned throughout the conference. In the end, the participants left with more than just ideas—they had started the first three essential steps needed for their firm’s strategic plan.
Stephanie shared, “One of my favorite parts of the job is seeing people’s eyes light up when they make the connections about the ideas I’m sharing and how it works in everyday firm life. I had a line of people connecting with me during and after the workshops excited to see the possibilities and know what they wanted to do next. These are wins in my book!”
Bonus: Moose Sightings!
Stephanie always loves connecting with new lawyers, but this trip for the Alaska Bar Association came with a bonus—Alaska! Stephanie brought her 11-year-old daughter along for the trip (yes, she was excited to miss 3 days of school). Abigail attended the conference as Stephanie’s official photographer and got to see her mom in action. After the conference, they enjoyed a little mother-daughter time exploring some of the amazing sights the area offers. Stephanie’s daughter was delighted to see fresh snow (she is from Georgia, after all), a moose, and the northern lights!
Last updated February 7th, 2023