Allison Shields has a great article about the importance of mission statements in the February 2006 issue of GP Solo. Allison explains why you should have a mission statement and sets out steps on how to write one. She adds that everything you do in your practice must be based on and measured against the mission statement.
For me, the mission statement is not just a proclamation to the public of who you are. More importantly, the mission statement is a beacon, the light that guides you through the dark spots, the dull work, the annoying clients, the nasty judges and other hazards of the practice of law that might make you want to hang up your shingle. The day I opened my law firm, I was determined to provide high quality legal services at reasonable rates to give all clients, deep pocket or not, a competitive alternative and in so doing, improve the quality of the legal profession. I know that if I leave the law or put myself out of business by handling too many pro bono matters that a real alternative to the $600/hour biglaw firms will disappear and the needs of some clients will go unmet. May not be the flashiest mission but it’s worked for me for thirteen years.
Meanwhile readers, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to define your mission!