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Lots of lawyers are joining Mastermind Groups these days, and with good reason. A genuine Mastermind Group that’s put together carefully and runs well yields an amazing ROI for law firm owners.

Being in a group with other successful law firm owners who are sharing their best strategies with each other and using their combined brain power to solve each other’s current challenges means each member can scale their law firm quicker and easier than any member could do on their own. It’s the definition of a genuine Legal Mastermind Group.

When it works, Mastermind Groups are a real secret weapon for law firm owners to leverage so they can dominate their markets, and score big when it comes to growth, and profits- while simultaneously avoiding loads of quick-sand mistakes and false starts that drain a lawyer’s time and resources and impede growth. But when you find yourself in the wrong kind of Mastermind group – it ends up being a glorified time taker and money waster.

With more and more “Mastermind Groups” forming these days, there’s never been an easier time to join a group. But how is a lawyer supposed to know whether he or she is joining the right group – one that will help them accelerate their firm’s growth trajectory, or one that is more of a bust than a boom?

Here are 5 Key Criteria to look for when joining a Mastermind Group to make sure you are going to get the most value out of the experience – and the highest ROI:


  • Market Exclusivity: Make sure that the group you join is market exclusive – meaning no other person in your group is a competitor or potential competitor. This is paramount, because no one is going to share their best strategies, or their mistakes, (that you can learn from) with their competition. That’s just basic human nature. Sure – they may share some general ideas or principles with the group. But never at the level they will when there is no fear that someone else in the group will use that knowledge to compete with them for clients in the same market. Also, getting into the details and sharing real numbers with each other is the key to being able to implement – and that level of sharing won’t happen in a group where members are potential competitors.
  • Similar Growth / Experience Levels: Each member of the group needs to be “equally yoked” in terms of size and experience. Otherwise, you end up with some members learning a great deal but other members getting very little out of the group. Plus, different sized firms have vastly different issues and concerns. For example, smaller firms may be focused on getting more cases and need discussions and strategies to help them bring in more leads, while larger firms may have mastered that aspect of their practice but are experiencing management and scaling challenges. To get the most out of a Mastermind group you need to be surrounded by lawyers who are dealing with the issues you are dealing with, and in an environment where every member is both giving and taking away valuable insights and ideas. If you are joining a group that lets any lawyer at any level of experience into the same group, there is a good chance you will never have the appropriate equilibrium that leads to the ROI that makes the experience worth it for you.
  • A Seasoned Facilitator Runs the Group but doesn’t Dominate the Discussions: Some Mastermind Groups are run by non-lawyers. While they may bring some legitimate value, it is not the same as groups run by lawyers who have built real law firms and have a deeper understanding of the litany of issues and ethical considerations unique to our profession. Think of it this way: If you are climbing a mountain, do you want a guide who has never climbed the mountain before, but can only share what others have told him about the art of climbing or the terrain? There just is no substitute for real life experience.

While who is running the group is critical, you also need to look at how the group is run. Ideally, in a legitimate and results driven Mastermind group the members are given ample opportunity to share with each other. If you are in a group where the person running the group does most of the talking in the meetings, then you are also missing out. You need to hear from all the other members – sharing their best and current strategies with you. You should be able to come to a mastermind meeting with one or two of your own solid strategies to share but leave the meeting with a dozen or more fresh strategies, and the inside info on how to implement them – including the mistakes to avoid, that others have shared. This kind of exchange is essential.

  • No Locked-In Long Term Contracts: If you are thinking of joining a group that is locking you into a one or two-year contract, then you need to think twice. A genuine Mastermind Group should give you value right from the first meeting. And if it isn’t a good fit, and you aren’t getting what you need out of the meetings, you need to be able to walk away. If the Group you are considering joining doesn’t offer that level of flexibility, they don’t really have confidence in the quality of their group and there is a good chance it will end up being a time waster rather than a money maker for you.
  • A Money-Back Guarantee: If you attend the first Mastermind meeting and realize the group isn’t right for you, you need to be able to walk away, and get a refund if you’ve paid up front for membership in the group. Any Mastermind group that isn’t willing to offer you this level of security is more concerned about the income they will receive from your membership than in making sure you are also getting value out of the experience.

Mastermind Groups can be a successful law firm owner’s Secret Weapon for exponential growth. When you are in the right kind of group you build quality relationships with other highly successful and motivated lawyers, and you learn from one another in a way that propels each member forward. It’s what I call The Mastermind Effect. But it doesn’t occur in every group that’s available to you in today’s market. And it isn’t determined by the price tag of the group, either! If you want to make sure that you are in the kind of group that will help you experience The Mastermind Effect, then make sure that any group you join meets the 5 criteria above, and don’t settle for less.

*** If you want learn more about PILMMA’s Mastermind Groups, or to see if we have spaces available in your market, click here.

*** If you want to learn more about the Mastermind Effect for Law Firm Owners, then click here to obtain your copy of  my latest book, The Mastermind Effect , or listen to it on Audible.

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