Asked and AnsweredBy John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMCQ. We are a five attorney personal injury plaintiff firm in central Missouri. In the last few years we have gone through tort reform, increased competition from other law firms doing extensive advertising, and now trying to weather the recession. From a profitability standpoint - we are holding our own. However, we are concerned about the future. What are your thoughts for firm such as ours?A. We are hearing this question quite often and have provided some thoughts in past blogs and articles. The majority of our PI law firm clients are advising that they are having to work much harder at getting clients and investing more heavily in marketing - both time and money. PI firms were feeling the most of these challenges before the recession. However, the recession may accelerate the pace with which law firms re-evaluate existing processes and consider new business models. PI firms may want to begin by:1. Develop a firm strategic plan and individual attorney marketing plans which include aggressive network/contact plans for past clients, attorney referral sources (non PI attorneys), attorney referral sources (other PI attorneys), and other referral sources.2. Evaluate the feasibility of adding an additional practice segment to reduce the level of risk in the case portfolio and reduce cash flow variability.