While each lawyer is different, there are a few things that hold true for each law firm, both big and small: All need more clients and more cash flow. Understandably, there’s lots of pressures for regular small firms and solo lawyers, but taking a data-driven approach like using RocketMatter will ensure you’re being more objective. And especially when you’re looking at areas that need improvement or when making changes that make your practice more efficient.
Here are five tips on how legal professionals and lawyers can use data-driven management systems to improve their law firms.
Outline how time is spend
To identify how your time is spent at work, monitor how much time is going towards finding new clients ( that includes doing consultations and answering the phone). Also, find out how much time you’re spending serving clients. Record and categorize each task you undertake using software or spreadsheet. Identify tasks that are taking up much of your time and those that will require an efficiency tune-up. When you find that more time is spent on administrative tasks over billable work then that’s your clue to consider using technology to make several of the administrative duties more efficient.
Review your client on-boarding processes
Next, outline how a company or individuals go from having an interest in your services to becoming clients. In what ways can you effectively check for any conflicts before you invest your time? Does your practice have a client vetting and on-boarding process? That means stopping to objectively consider your client intake procedures—and any other processes in your firm—will offer you valuable insight as to what needs to change.
Outsource some tasks to a lower-pay grade person.
Another thing to consider is your hourly rate that might not be cheap. The hard truth about running a legal practice is that you might have to ‘fire’ yourself from jobs that are robbing your firm of revenue. Consider where you’re spending time—any task that’s below your pay grade has to be outsourced or taken to administrative personnel. These include tasks like invoicing clients, answering phones to vetting potential clients, doing follow-ups with clients, and other important business tasks that you’ve identified that are taking too much of your time getting done.
Create a System for Collecting and Billing
After you’ve calculated the amount you’re owed, make time to establish an effective procedure for following up with existing clients with past-due invoices. Besides recording the time and billing the time, you should also collect the money. You could, for instance, send a reminder via email to clients if a bill is 30 days overdue. Alternatively, you could call them to follow up should the email be 90 plus days past-due date. While collection agencies aren’t as popular among lawyers, you could work with them for the persistent collections.
Make time to improve your work processes.
It is important that you intentionally make time to focus on improving workflow processes in your law firm. The first step would be to set aside time to review your law practice data, opportunities, and processes for improvement.
Another place to start if you’re unsure is by setting a weekly appointment on your calendar for your whole team to discuss your processes. And this shouldn’t take long. In doing so, you’ll be able to make your firm more efficient.
Overall, all law firms face lots of pressures when it comes to expanding their business. But by taking a data-driven approach, you can objectively review areas that need improvement in your firm. Plus making changes to make your practice more efficient also becomes effortless.