Managing your law practice, while very rewarding, also comes with important tasks that don’t fall into the area of “practicing law.” Administrative tasks are a key example. Because these necessary tasks take away from your ability to actually practice law, where your skill set obviously lies, it is important to take stock and determine which tasks can be delegated (or automated) to maximize your productivity in the long run. Taking some time at the beginning of each year to identify the tasks/areas that are not the best use of your time will release you to work within your skill set and allow your practice to thrive as it should.
Here are some tips to help get you started:
Review Your Daily Work
Make a list of everything you do related to your business within a day. Take a look at this list and determine:
- What tasks are taking up most of your time.
- What tasks are the ones you really don’t enjoy doing.
- What tasks are more admin oriented.
Out of the tasks that fall into the above three categories, are there any that you could outsource to someone else? If you don’t currently have help in the office, consider hiring someone to start out with some small projects and tasks. This will free you up to do the work you love and are good at and may make you more efficient in the process!
Use Technology Wherever Possible
There are a lot of great programs and apps available to help you in the office. When you take a look at your daily work list from above, see if there are tasks that can be accomplished by a technology system rather than a person.
This could be something as simple as a utilizing a content management system to resolve the issue of locating client information easily. Are you overwhelmed by the creation and maintenance of too many paper files? Consider moving towards a paperless office that frees up employee time (and yours as well!). Keep the human touch in the areas that are most important such as customer service, and find ways to insert efficient tech options for others.
Here are some easy areas to start with:
- Digital dictation
- A mobility app
- Speech recognition
- Document creation
- Document formatting
- Lead follow up (where most lawyers are missing the boat with their marketing)
- Client engagement (another place most lawyers are leaking time and money)
Create Systems and Processes
It’s easy to continually “reinvent the wheel” with certain systems in your law practice. Take for example, engaging new prospects and the information provided to them. Having a set process in place for something so routine cuts the time spent on it down to half (if not more) and provides more consistent results in terms of the number of prospects that you can serve. Take a good look at how your practice is operating. Are there any areas that can be systematized or that you can create a standard process for? Highlight at least two of these and you’ll see results almost instantly in both your productivity and that of your practice.
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