Running an efficient law firm doesn’t just mean being a good lawyer. It requires several different factors which can be hard to manage! Here are a few of the important habits to implement to make sure your firm is running to its maximum capability:
1. Set up standard processes and procedures.
Establish a standardized system (for client intake, file management, file closings, etc.), in order to maintain consistency and order. There are lots of services out there to assist law firms with implementing these standardized systems including Clio, Cosmolex, Lawmatics, etc. Implementing such protocols increases customer results and streamlines your firm’s development. Making sure that these are set up as soon as possible is a key factor in minimizing your overall workload. If issues arise, you can deal with them efficiently and quickly. While keeping this in mind, make sure to remain flexible with these rules. It is important to remember that we are constantly evolving, therefore our systems evolve too! Make sure to stay up to date regarding policy changes.
2. Adapt to new technology.
This is one of the hardest parts of running an efficient law firm. Some lawyers may not be very well versed in the technological side of the business and may skip learning how to use the new program or service. They may feel like it is easy to just keep doing things the way they have always been done. This is short-sighted thinking. Dedicating some time to learn and understand these technological systems can greatly benefit you in the long run.
3. Find your niche!
This brings a couple different benefits. Most importantly, finding your niche reduces the risk of the firm being spread too thin. It can be stressful for lawyers to get up to speed in unfamiliar areas of law and there is the risk of potentially negligent conduct if you are not competent in that area of law. By specializing in a few specific areas, you can develop the firm’s presence in those practice areas. This can also help with the reputation and marketing of the firm. By limiting your marketing to certain areas, you are able to focus on a more defined group of people.
4.Understand Your Firm’s finances.
You are running a business, therefore, you need to understand how to properly manage the working capital within the firm. Having a better understanding of finances can help to make the firm's billing activity much more streamlined and efficient. Additionally, if the process is made simple by the firm, it can make it a lot easier for clients to pay. This increases the overall profitability of the firm.
5. Lastly, a necessary quality of successful law firms is providing excellent customer service.
The atmosphere of the firm and lawyers is very important when it comes to creating a relationship with the clients. The communication between lawyers and their clients is a huge component of showing the firm’s respect and values.
This guest post was researched and written by Flex Legal's summer intern, Alicia Jacob. Alicia is entering her third year of Honours Life Sciences at McMaster University. She is interested in global justice, advocating for education, and marketing. She hopes to pursue a career in law in the future.
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