How to Manage a Small Law Firm And Optimize Time
Prioritizing and time management is key to making the most out of a small law firm. Here are a few smart tips on how to manage a small law firm and optimize your time.
Are you looking for ways to optimize your time as an attorney?
Time is money in the legal profession. Many lawyers earn money by billing their clients by the hour, but did you know the average lawyer performs only 2.3 billable hours of work per day?
Many lawyers at small and large firms alike would benefit from finding ways to make more efficient use of their time.
Read on to learn how to manage a small law firm to optimize your time!
Use a Timer
Lawyers at a small legal firm often work on numerous cases throughout any given day.
The need to switch gears and begin working on a new legal issue can make it challenging to keep track of time spent on a file.
Using a timer allows you to focus on the task at hand without having to think about the time you are spending to complete it.
For example, set your time for 25 minutes and challenge yourself to remain dedicated to that task until the timer goes off!
Focus on One Task at a Time
Small law firms can make it challenging to focus on one task at a time because lawyers and other employees may be wearing multiple different hats.
For example, in addition to your legal work, you may be responsible for processing invoices to send to clients or paying your firm’s monthly bills. Your staff may be responsible for answering the phone while assisting you with filing legal documents.
Learning to focus on one task at a time will help you produce better work while making better use of your time. Sometimes one of the frustrating things about working in a law firm is that you can be taken away from a task by a phone call or other interruption.
A way for you to avoid these unwanted conflicts is to set aside time on your calendar for certain tasks. During that period, your co-workers should know that you will not be taking any calls unless it is an emergency.
Hire A Live Answering Service
The decision to hire a live answering service is one that can change the day-to-day operations of your practice.
Instead of spending time speaking to existing or prospective clients on the phone, an answering service will do most of this work for you.
Reputable answering services have staff members with the proper training and experience to make their work seamless for your law firm.
The service will also give you and your staff more time to focus on other revenue-generating tasks during the workday.
Delegate Tasks to Others
Delegating tasks to others can be a challenge for lawyers because of the unique nature of their work.
Learning to delegate tasks to an associate attorney or another staff member can make your firm more efficient.
The focus on a lawyer’s time should be performing tasks that are billable to a client. The time spent on non-billable tasks is time a lawyer can’t recapture.
For example, instead of calling a court to learn about court procedures with a certain judge, ask a staff member to research this issue for you. This gives you more time to perform legal work and stay focused on the task at hand.
Use Smartphone Applications for Legal Research
Despite today’s digital age, lawyers can often overlook the importance of using smartphone applications to perform legal research.
Smartphone apps like TrialPad and Fastcase can help you perform tasks in a more efficient way.
TrialPad is an app that allows you to prepare a paperless trial and hearing documents for use in court. Fastcase places an emphasis on being a fast legal research tool on your cell phone.
Using these apps on your smartphone is a convenient alternative to traditional paper documents and legal search engines.
Silence Your Cell Phone
A smartphone is arguably one of the most valuable tools for a lawyer and their staff.
It often contains a lawyer’s phone book, calendar, and email, while also serving as a phone, a computer, and more.
Although it’s a versatile tool for professionals across the world, it can also be one of the biggest distractions!
Did you know that the average adult checks their smartphone 52 times each day?
If you are sleeping an average of eight hours each night, this means you are checking your phone more than three times each hour you’re awake.
Looking at your phone can be a welcome departure from your usual workday but checking your phone takes away your focus and can be a big distraction.
Silence your phone and turn it over to avoid looking at it for an extended period of time while you get your work done.
Make a To-Do List Each Day
As an attorney, you’ve likely got no shortage of tasks to perform each week.
Sometimes a lawyer’s schedule can be particularly hectic and stressful. This can be overwhelming and create unwanted anxiety. These feelings can be harmful to your productivity and mental health.
By making a to-do list each day, you can prioritize the tasks for each day and budget your time more wisely.
Final Tips on How to Manage a Small Law Firm
Learning how to manage a small law firm can be one of the biggest challenges as a practicing attorney and entrepreneur.
Budgeting your time so that you maximize your productivity can be what makes the difference in running a successful business.
When you’re managing your time better, you will find that you seemingly have more of it. This can help you increase your revenues while also giving you the opportunity to network and develop your client base.
At Best Live Answering Service, we are a team of trained professionals prepared to help take your law firm to the next level. We work with small and large law firms to provide solutions you can trust starting at only $39 per month!
Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can assist your firm!
Author: Michael C
Michael has over 30 years of executive call center and answering service experience. He is a successful business owner and lead generation expert and shares tips to help other entrepreneurs build and grow their business through leads generation and lead capture solutions. His mission is to share carefully guarded marketing tips that will help small-medium business compete on a smaller budget.