Finding new methods of completing daily tasks is an essential aspect of successful law firm management. This will make your lives easier and streamline necessary facets of keeping your firm afloat, such as legal billing and legal document organization. However, this will require putting forth the time and effort, invested in the future success of you and the rest of the attorneys at your firm.
With that said, here are five ways that you can be more effective at law firm management.
1. Upgrading legal case management software
Your choice in legal case management software should have the necessary capabilities of streamlining daily tasks. It should be able to foster a more beneficial attorney-client relationship that assists in both the scheduling process and the case management process.
The legal software that your law firm utilizes also should be integrated into your legal billing and accounting capabilities, offering payment history and invoice-sending capabilities.
For law firms already using legal case management software, it is a necessary part of an annual review to analyze the effectiveness and efficiency of your current choice. This requires understanding the market more thoroughly and not being married to your current choice.
Your choice in legal software needs to reflect the best option for your law firm, and that can mean making a necessary change.
For law firms that currently do not utilize the comprehensive assistance of a legal case management software, an investment in legal technology is an investment in the future of your law firm. By utilizing its features to streamline processes and assist clients, you are creating a pathway to a better legal experience for all parties involved.
2. Keeping legal documents organized
Organization is key in maintaining a functioning law firm management style, and finding new ways of maintaining an organized day-to-day is essential in keeping appointments, promoting functional workflow, and managing client interactions.
As a part of an annual review of your law firm, you should look into your organizational practices and determine whether or not you are keeping organized. If you are not, it is imperative that you make changes, especially if the disorganization pertains to legal documents.
Legal documents need to be accessible to attorneys and clients alike. There needs to be a management system that allows your firm to securely share documents with legal clients and third parties, as well as allows them to share documents with your firm.
While accessibility should be prioritized, it should not come at the expense of security. Your firm should remain organized with dates, meetings, and documents, while maintaining the ability to discreetly add to it, should you or the client choose to.
Maintaining a standard of organization over time is key to staying efficient, and by setting that standard, your firm, your attorneys, your staff, and your clients all will benefit.
3. Developing a daily workflow with processes in place
At your law firm, maintaining a steady workflow is paramount for the benefit of your lawyers, your staff, and your clients. You need to have a protocol in moving through the legal process, and that requires the necessary time and energy to craft effective procedures.
Establishing a routine for daily work tasks requires a discipline, emphasized at a partner level. At the top, you need to be able to enforce a routine that stresses accomplishing work in an efficient and timely manner, all while having the client’s needs in the forefront of the mind of the attorney or staff member.
With a daily workflow directly affecting the created processes, it is necessary to give all involved the tools to move forward. If you have processes in place, it is necessary to annually evaluate them for their relevance to current tasks and disregard any that no longer fits with the work being accomplished.
Many of these tasks may be obsolete, due to the implementation of a legal case software, which can help streamline workflow and create a more dynamic attorney-client experience.
4. Maintaining efficiency in managing your time
Maintaining a clear and accurate sense of how much time is being spent on a given task, legal matter, or client’s case is essential. While you may have had other methods of logging the time, it still is a smart decision to periodically assess the effectiveness of them and see if there are more efficient ways of accomplishing this task.
Interactions with a client facing a dire legal situation potentially could take hours if you, as their attorney, were to let them. If you were to utilize time logging functions in your legal case management software, you and your client would be able to see how much time was spent on what specific legal matter, as well as what the necessary follow-up action to the meeting would be.
This eliminates inefficient uses of you and your client’s time. With both you and your client having access to that information, you are promoting clear and honest lines of communication, while maintaining an understanding of how your time is being spent. You ideally would want to devote a similar amount of time to each individual client.
This sentiment also can be applied to legal staff. Ideally, you would not want them focusing more time on a given task than typically necessary. You would want them to set goals, meet deadlines, and make smart use of their time. By tracking your time in an efficient manner, you can succeed in that aspect.
5. Making life easier on your clients
As an attorney, your top priority is to satisfy the legal needs of your clients. No client wants to be involved in a legal dispute, but if you can make the experience a little easier, you should.
One way to do that is through transparency. If you were to adapt a a legal case management software that allows for a seamless attorney-client interface, it would make the scheduling process easier, allow the client to view time and matter logging, and both sides would be able to access pertinent legal documents.
Technology integration into your law firm can foster better relationships between your attorneys, your staff, and your clients. Whether it involves legal billing or legal matter management, maintaining transparency elicits a sense of teamwork. Your client wants you to feel invested in their case, and by being able to display all of the pertinent details through a seamless interface, they feel reassured, knowing that they are being taken care of.
Not only will you satisfy all of your current clients, but you also will develop a reputation of being able to do so. Making your clients happy is a smart investment in your future and the future of your law firm.