Only you have all the answers to questionnaires

Edward Poll, The Daily Record Newswire

"Goals" is a topic that I've stressed repeatedly, but it bears repeating again. Without goals, you might go from day to day doing your job but gaining no real satisfaction from it and having no clear direction for a satisfying future.

Personal goals questions

In order to solidify your goals in your mind, you need to be self-reflective. The following questions will help you analyze your personal goals and put them into context with the goals of the firm. It would be helpful to share this process with your spouse or significant other.

What have been the most satisfying and the least satisfying work-related activities in your life?

What have been and what are the most satisfying and the least satisfying aspects of your personal life?

How does your work-related life currently impact your personal life?

Do you feel that you spend enough time with your family and friends?

Do you plan to retire? When?

How much money are you currently making? Do you want to make more? How much more?

What aspect of the practice of law has been the most satisfying to you?

What would you like to be doing in your work-related and non-work-related life in five years?

Why did you go to law school?

What percentage of the goals that you wanted to achieve by practicing law when you graduated from law school have you actually achieved?

Which field of law interests you or satisfies you the most? How much time (by percentage) do you spend in that field?

What part of your law practice do you love the most, and what part do you hate the most?

What other complaints do you have about your practice?

What one thing would you change to make your law practice more satisfying? Why haven't you changed it? How can you go about changing it?

Law firm goals questions

The following questions deal with your view of the activities and the performance of the firm. The purpose of answering these questions is to help determine problem areas and areas of opportunity for the practice. Share these answers with all in your firm involved in any planning process.

What is the image of this firm? Should the image be different? How?

What are three of the firm's strengths? Three weaknesses?

What are the major threats facing the firm?

What current and future trends are affecting or will affect the firm?

Where is the firm headed in the next five years? Where should it be headed? What changes within the firm will need to be made to accomplish this change in direction? Should the firm add/delete practice areas in the next five years?

How would you rate (good, average, bad) the firm in terms of each of the following?

- Personnel policies/procedures

- Financial performance

- Administration/management practices

- Clients

- Marketing activities

- Practice development

What improvements can you suggest for the firm in each of these same areas?

- Personnel policies/procedures

- Financial performance

- Administration/management practices

- Clients

- Marketing activities

- Practice development

By answering the above questions, you should be able to understand what you want personally and for your firm - and how those goals can meld together to create a solid, satisfying personal and professional life.


Edward Poll, J.D., M.B.A., CMC, is a law practice management thought leader and contributor to this publication. His website is at

Published: Mon, Feb 09, 2015