Lawyers are creatures of precedent. We're told from the first day of law school that everything we do, every argument we make and every brief we file must be based upon something that's happened before. Unfortunately, we use our reliance on precedent to justify why our offices, our rates and even our business cards look just like those of our competitor down the street.
I'm challenging you resolve in 2010 to ignore your peers when it comes to changing your practice. Don't worry about what they're doing, and don't ask for their advice.
[A] big idea will change you. Your friends may love you, but they may not want you to change. If you change, then their dynamic with you also changes…. With business colleagues it's even worse. They're used to dealing with you in a certain way…. If your idea is so good that it changes your dynamic enough to where you need them less or, God forbid, the market needs them less, then they're going to resist your idea every chance they can.
So, in 2010 resolve to stop being a sheep. Do something different. Surprise your clients with tremendous service. Dump the billable hour. Offer a guarantee. Just don't expect your peers to understand why you're challenging their status quo. And remember, while the practice of law requires precedents, the business of law does not. Knowing that your competitors aren't doing what you are isn't cause for concern, it's cause for celebration.