Every minute in a law firm counts. Because almost every minute is billable. An environment like this demands high productivity and good workflow. Improving efficiency and streamlining your law firm can be accomplished in a few steps. These steps will create a measurable difference in meeting objectives, increasing performance.
Efficiency Through Collaboration
Small law firms are at somewhat of a disadvantage compared to larger firms. The larger firms tend to have positions for everything from making copies to completing necessary legal research. Offices with multi-purpose office staff in particular, need to encourage collaboration. Hiring the right people with the right skill set, especially those who bring a variety of talent and flexibility to a law firm are well worth the investment.
After identifying areas of improvement within the law firm, developing and distributing an office manual is an effective approach. This will set the standard of expectations. Staff will clearly know how to share resources, identify appropriate times for non-work activities. Additionally, they will know how to utilize every minute as expected without being micro-managed.
There are several case studies that show law firms that use speech recognition technology like Philips SpeechLive are more efficient. These firms are able to quickly create documents, emails and complete online research much more quickly. This is because they are using the power of voice, which is much faster than typing and clicking.
Benefits of using this technology include:
- Information is available to all, immediately.
- Software can be used on multiple devices for added convenience.
- Voice recognition allows billing for more hours worked and higher productivity.
- Technology offers a one and done solution.
Schedule & Prioritize
Setting priorities daily, weekly and monthly helps prepare staff and brings cohesiveness to the office. Once everyone knows what is being scheduled they are better able to allocate both resources and efforts to perform as efficiently as possible. Moreover, when there are priorities and measurable objectives set, it brings accountability to the table. Staff who are accountable are all the more efficient.
Making sure the team shows up every day, ready to work, is as directly related to improving efficiency as the previous recommendations combined. Encouraging positive attitudes makes work fun. It also helps support good working relationships both internally and externally. Improving efficiency in your law firm is best approached through good communication. Many firms experience instances of intermittent attendance. Prioritizing or general office day-to-day shortcomings that have been contributing to less productivity than desired.
Lastly, people, when approached through good communication are willing and enjoy working harder for the greater good. Since a law firm requires success in order to remain in practice, these environments are advantageously susceptible to incorporating strategies that will make work better for the whole team.