There was a time when your law firm operated at peak efficiency. If something needed to be done, it got done on time.
It seems that as times changed, conditions around the firm became lax. The result of not staying on top of productivity ended up leading to a reduction in efficiency.
In addition, lacking efficiency ends up costing your firm large sums of money each year. Less productivity leads to less revenue, which is contrary to the very purpose of being in business.
But, what are some of the main reasons why efficiency has diminished?
The Technology Distraction
Whether it is the paralegal texting their boyfriend every five minutes or the attorney wasting time on the Internet behind closed doors, the time wasted not working adds up quickly.
In order to get efficiency back to a normal level, the distractions imposed by modern technology must be minimized. Establishing a well thought out office policy for the use of technology should be put into practice with very realistic penalties for noncompliance.
When hiring a new individual into the firm at any level, it needs to be made clear that they are bound by the firm’s technology use policy in writing.
The Failure to Properly Leverage the Use of Technology
Once technology has been eliminated as a distraction, the next area of focus is the use of technology to improve efficiency.
Technology does not have to be seen as totally bad. In fact, using screen reading software and speech recognition software can dramatically help to increase efficiency on numerous fronts.
A slow reader does not have to read a computer screen. They can simply let their computer read documents to them.
Many people find it easier to operate this way, picking up on more details than when they sight read a document.
Using speech recognition software can help a person more efficiently prepare and format documents.
Intelligent software can be leveraged to help in any number of applications around the office, such as voice activated software that searches the web or a database for relevant information.
Poor Filing Practices
There is nothing more frustrating than when you are searching for a misplaced file. Twenty minutes wasted looking for a misfiled document could have been better spent earning money talking with a client.
In order to maximize efficiency, it helps to have a well thought out filing procedure. When your filing system is working for you, rather than against you, this translates to increased efficiency and higher earning potential.
In addition, it makes your law firm look far more competent to clients whose time is otherwise wasted when lacking organization skills in the firm hinders timely execution.
Poor Knowledge Management
When it comes to efficiency around the firm, the more research that can be eliminated by proper knowledge management the better.
Imagine wasting countless hours looking for the information to draft the proper legal document for a given client. When an attorney is constantly having to research from scratch, rather than pulling documents from a pool of ready made templates and drafting guides, this wreaks havoc on efficiency.
Having the proper knowledge management tools in place to prevent these types of problems is key to dramatically increasing efficiency and revenue with your law firm.