In today’s competitive market, law firms have learned to work harder for every dollar they earn. Most firms have already cut costs and diversified services to improve profitability. Maximizing productivity on every level is another way to streamline operations and benefit the bottom line. Everyone in the firm gets 24 hours each day. How those hours are spent determines firm productivity which translates directly to profitability. Here are some simple ways to recapture valuable time that may currently be wasted:
Assign the right person for the job
A law firm’s biggest productivity killer is using attorneys for tasks that don’t earn revenue. If lawyers are answering phones and sorting their mail, the firm is flushing money down the drain. The same can be said for law firm associates who are spending hours on document review; instead, consider utilizing far less costly project personnel like temporary attorneys or other legal professionals to work hourly on this kind of volume driven work.
Automate one thing
There are many software programs on the market that help law firms become more efficient with various tasks from administrative functions to research to case management. Select one area to automate in 2018. For example, if the firm still utilizes a manual billing process then it’s highly likely that time and money is being wasted. Manual billing systems are cumbersome, time-consuming, and prone to errors.
Speed up the computers
A slow computer can add seconds or minutes to every single task, not to mention frustration and agitation. Those few seconds here and there across the firm can add up over the course of the year. Reclaim lost time by speeding up every computer in the firm. Uninstall programs that aren’t being used. Run the Windows Disk Cleanup tool to create more free space on the hard drive. Disable programs that aren’t needed at startup since those programs run in the background all day, slowing computers down. A few minutes here and there may not seem like much, but it can add up over the year and across the firm.
Reduce meeting times
Are all of the firm’s regularly scheduled meetings necessary? Do they drag on longer than needed? Every minute spent in an unproductive meeting is time wasted. Consider eliminating some meetings, limiting them to less than one hour and sticking to the time limit, or switching to some online meetings. Cloud-based collaboration tools can eliminate some meetings.
Implement daily “Uninterrupted Time” for attorneys
Many lawyers feel that they are most productive late at night or on weekends. It’s during these times that they can fully focus on a project because they are not distracted by ringing phones, administrative tasks, or other staff members. Stress the importance of at least an hour of daily uninterrupted time for billable work. During this time, the attorney should not answer calls or emails or be interrupted by coworkers.
Energy is essential to a productive workday. If your attorneys are low on energy or hungry, they will be less productive or may spend more time than necessary trying to find something to eat. Stock the office with easy to eat light meals or energy and protein-rich snacks foods to help stave off the midday crash. It may also serve to increase productive time in the office if staff members occasionally stay in instead of leaving for lunch.
At Collier Legal Search, we understand that your time is valuable. Contact us today and let us help with your firm’s temporary and permanent staffing needs.