Strategic Planning for Law Firms: A Practical Roadmap

Develop an easy-to-follow framework for strategy development and implementation.

Additional taxes may be applicable



We don’t have to tell you that strategy is critical if you want to achieve differentiation, competitive advantage and sustained financial success in today’s legal market. But without a clear framework in place that engages key stakeholders at each stage of the planning process, things can quickly go awry – leading to expensive mistakes that erode firm profits, client base, talent pool and reputation.   

Written by respected strategy expert and consultant, John Sterling, Strategic Planning for Law Firms provides a comprehensive roadmap, guidance, checklists, tools and steps on all phases of a strategic planning process to ensure readers are able to: 

  • Develop an easy-to-follow framework for strategy development and implementation;
  • Provide an objective, factual assessment of the internal and external environment facing the firm (survey included); 
  • Clearly define and communicate the firm’s strategic direction;Focus firm resources to achieve short and long-term aspirations and a strong market position; 
  • Define roles and responsibilities in delivering the strategic plan; and
  • Ensure strategies are implemented and followed on a day-to-day basis.

This report is broken down into three clearly defined parts. 

Part one introduces readers to the four-phase strategic planning roadmap catering specifically to a law firm environment: 

  • Situation analysis
  • Setting strategic direction
  • Strategy development
  • Implementation 

Part two then provides an in-depth look at how to exploit the key strategic planning tools and principles available to you, such as:

  • Portfolio analysis;
  • Product life cycle management;
  • Competitive intensity – Five forces analysis;
  • Scenario-based planning; and 
  • Balanced scorecards.

The specific strategic issues and challenges law firms face with strategic planning are covered in detail in part three. These include:

  • People management;
  • Succession planning;
  • Client expectations;
  • Knowledge management;
  • Legal process outsourcing;
  • Business development and marketing; and
  • Profit growth and financial management.

Insightful case studies

Strategic Planning for Law Firms features real-life case studies from a range of firms varying from mid-sized practices to large boutique and global firms, including Clarke Hill, Bryan Cave and Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox. By following this guide all firms will be able to craft and implement strategic plans to gain competitive advantage, improve firm sustainability and foster greater growth. 


Chapter 1: Introduction to the strategic planning process

Chapter 2: Phase one – Situation analysis

Chapter 3: Phase two – Setting strategic direction

Chapter 4: Phase three – Strategy development

Chapter 5: Phase four – Implementation planning

Chapter 6: Portfolio analysis

Chapter 7: Product life cycle management

Chapter 8: Competitive intensity – Five forces analysis

Chapter 9: Scenario-based planning

Chapter 10: Disruptive innovation

Chapter 11: Co-creating unique value with customers

Chapter 12: Balanced scorecards

Chapter 13: Strategic issues – Section one

Chapter 14: Strategic issues – Section two

Chapter 15: Strategic issues – Section three

Case study 1: Efficient director involvement at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox

Case study 2: A governance-driven process at Clark Hill

Case study 3: Broad involvement at Bryan Cave

Check our Executive Summary and full table of contents here


John Sterling
John Sterling is Chief Marketing Officer at Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox, a leading IP specialty firm based in Washington, DC. He is also the Founding Partner of Sterling Strategies, LLC. Prior to founding Sterling Strategies, John was a founding partner at Smock Sterling Strategic Management Consultants. He has over 30 years of experience in strategic management and market research. John has worked extensively with law and other professional service firms, as well as with industrial and consumer product companies and not-for-profit organisations. His work with TimeLine Theatre Company in Chicago won the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award for excellence in strategic planning from the Association for Strategic Planning. John is past president of the Strategic Management Association in Chicago and is a contributing editor to the business journal Strategy & Leadership.

You may also be interested in..

Think about attending..