Our country has a mission statement. It’s called the U.S Constitution, and it’s a written document that lays out the fundamental principles and values of the country. When we stray from that document we are going off course, much like a ship that begins to leave its charted waters, and each organization should have its own constitution to keep it in line. In fact, most do. They call them mission statements.
My firm’s mission statement reads as follows:
This law firm is dedicated to helping clients achieve a just and fair resolution of their legal problem, by holding ourselves to the highest ethical and professional standards. We will be diligent and reliable, and we will be courteous to our clients and all others with whom we come in contact. We will be honest, compassionate and tolerant. Integrity will be our guiding star. We will work as a team for the benefit of our clients and will exhibit consideration and respect for the well being of all persons. We are also committed to making contributions to our society and profession, and through continuing legal education and study we will maintain our knowledge of the law.
At the same time we are also dedicated to providing a stable economic and pleasant environment for all employees. We will keep ourselves mentally and physically healthy, maintain a sense of humor, and develop our unique gifts and creative talents.
We strive to conduct ourselves according to that document, and when we review cases and the activity we take in those cases, we bring ourselves back to the basic question: “Are we living and practicing law within the guidelines of that mission statement?” If not, we need to change course and comply. It sets boundaries. It sets goals. It provides meaning and purpose. All law firms should have these mission statements so they know what the purpose of the law firm is, and so the public knows as well. So, the next time you review a law firm’s website, look for the mission statement and see what it says. Hopefully, you will agree with the mission. If not, move on.