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Growth strategies are vital to the ongoing success of your law firm, especially when you run a small law firm or medium-size law firm. However, most law schools don’t focus on the business of law, and it’s likely that you’ve never considered your approach to growth. After all, you’re busy practicing law and representing your clients.

There are several organic growth strategies and leadership strategies out there that can help you effectively evaluate your business. While many of them can help you grow your business, I would like to introduce you to the STARS model.

As a management leadership strategy, it helps lawyers determine their best course of action to move their firms forward, empowering them to align and realign their priorities and tactics. It is an incredibly flexible and powerful organic growth strategy that gives you the ability to make decisions based on the actual needs of your law firm and the goals you set.

What Is the STARS Framework?

First introduced in Michael D. Watkins’ best-selling book, The First 90 Days, Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, the STARS model helps law firms and other businesses assess moments of transition and build practical, customized solutions and strategies. In recent years, it has become one of the most powerful and popular growth strategy models and has been touted in the Harvard Business Review and The Economist. The STARS framework breaks down into five specific areas:

  • Start-up
  • Turnaround
  • Accelerated growth
  • Realignment
  • Sustaining success

The framework can be used at every stage of establishing, running, growing, and maintaining a law firm.

The 5 Phases of the STARS Framework

Whether you think that your practice has faltered or you’re joining a new firm as a partner, you can use the STARS model as a law firm growth strategy. Let’s look a little closer at each of the five phases of the STAR model.