When you have been in an industry and is trying to be the best, there must be a certain benchmark that you wanted to attain. Either, if like me, you wanted to specialised in certain type of lawyering or you want to own the biggest legal firm, which have your name on it's nameplate and do all sort of legal works, you will want to look at those before you who have done it before. There are so many legal firm in Malaysia before I started my business in 2000.
I was as clueless in managing a legal firm as any fresh graduate would although I had joined a partnership earlier before in 1999 which specialised in criminal law. That firm was run by an ex-deputy public prosecutor who wanted me to help him manage the firm but resulted on me relying on him more while I was trying to even understand what to do.
When I relocate to Kuala Lumpur to open up with my own where other partner is someone my own age and we did not have a customer base, we never really believe we would amount to anything. We thought we will always be a small firm with two of us there and we would always need to scrap for whatever file that we can find. We managed to strike a goldmine in which we were appointed as one of the panel of lawyers for a developer. We then dared to dream of having a legal firm with all the trimmings and with all the departments that a legal firm should have.
I have seen a few of legal firm who has been like an institution in the legal fratenity that people have forgotten who have founded the firm in the first place. The firm has investments in various places like they have all the money in the world. They are like a corporation and their partners are never in one place as they had to attend to their clients around the world. They even advise Malaysian government on certain matters and the biggest of them had been given the task of advising another government on certain field which Malaysia seems to be good at.
These legal firms are a benchmark to us and we would like to consider we are halfway there with our office looking like a miniature of them when we managed to move to a real office with a reception, an office for each partner and even a pantry. If you had seen us when we had to walk two doors down to reach our other unit as we didn't have enough for a proper office to put everyone in. Or when we started the firm when we were squatting in a client's office. We may have come a long way from a small legal firm with two partners but we are not within striking distance of our benchmark legal firm yet. Give us another 5 to 10 years especially with a few amendments on how legal firm can be registered in this one two years.
Does your industry has a benchmark?