Solo and Small Firm

The Practitioner Fall 2015, Volume 21, Issue 3

Specializing Law Practice: Excellent Service, Efficiently Delivered – Part I

By J. Christopher Toews

Chris Toews is a partner in Toews & Murphy, Inc., a San Luis Obispo law firm specializing in trusts, estates and closely held businesses, and has been in practice in California since 1984. He holds specialty certificates in tax and in trust, estate and probate law. He was formerly an associate at Donovan Leisure Newton & Irvine in New York City and later a Vice President of Citibank, N.A. He can be reached at

The core mission of every successful service business, including law firms, is to achieve excellence by providing a service that solves important problems for its customers1—and to provide that service in a different way that is superior to anyone else. As two business writers aptly put it, "in business there’s no place to finish except first."2

The other component of success is to deliver customer service in a way that yields adequate financial returns for the owners—to be efficient enough to provide services at competitive rates, while paying the owners more for their time than the owners of competing firms.

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