Having worked in the New York City law department, local law firms know what it takes to increase productivity. It comes down to a set of principles and practices to live by. In great law firms, everyone becomes united around these core ideals, then making each of them a part of every waking day in the workplace. This has been the foundation for many a great law firm and their long term success rates.
So here are 5 law firm productivity tips to carry with you in the courtroom or in your law offices. Take them to heart and live by them. Your law firm will soar to new levels of successful productivity.
SPENDING MONEY TO MAKE MONEY
Being the most time honored principle, it is surprising how often this is forgotten in the legal field. Even the most talented lawyers and firms benefit from advertising the work they do. How much easier it is to build a client list, when a law firm recognizes this principle in business operations. How much simpler it is to balance accounts with the right legal case management software to calculate billable hours and collections. Spending money builds business contacts that law firms need to make money, it is a simple principle of economics. Remember it well.
BUILDING NEW SENIOR ASSOCIATES
The business of acquiring new talent requires commitment. How can a law firm expect new prospects to commit time as a legal eagle, if the company won’t commit to them at the bottom line. Great law firms always are about finding talented individuals, then making them into prospective senior associates. Building a new senior associateship should be a planned and active part of running any law firm. Strive for lower turnover rates among all lawyers and senior partners, this clearly demonstrates a clear sense of commitment, as a law firm. It is a principle that inspires higher ideals and good work ethics within a law firm, so senior partnership has a solid foundation for new productive business growth.
IMPROVING ON REALIZATION RATES
This can be achieved by implementation of various schemes within a law firm. A law firm must bill higher percentages of working hours, but collect on a higher percentage of hours billed. Therefore, productivity means profitability. Improving realization rates means dictating law firm profitability. This is done through observable billing methods, assessing location and market segments. This can be achieved by accessing the right legal case management software or incorporating data from local school of law online resources. It can also mean cross training law firm members in both PC and Mac productivity levels, to achieve proficiency that benefits the company, as a team. Don’t make it difficult, but make it something everyone understands. To quote a well known slogan, “It’s the realization rate, stupid.”
HAVING A GOOD MIX OF TIMEKEEPERS
Having the right mix of law firm members working together is a beautiful thing. This is also something that achieves optimum levels of law firm productivity. Hiring the best mix of employees, means evaluating what non-partner workers and paralegals cost, then improving on their job position. Helping employees cross train to handle hardware and legal case management software skills is one way to balance these factors out. A law firm needs enough timekeepers in place, so senior associates can keep pace with the daily hours and bill more productively. Having a good mix of timekeepers, senior associates and essential personnel is a necessary evil for great law firms. Because everyone can’t be everywhere at once, a consorted team effort is the key to higher rate realization and successful productivity.
LAW FIRM CASE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
Too many legal offices are focused on outdated methods of record keeping technologies. So much of the old school clerical operations can be automated by updating law firm case management software and upgrading staff computer hardware. A law firm should be prepared to regularly renew legal case management software and subscriptions, so all staff can download updated attachments on the fly. It is also essential to make sure all new versions of installed law firm case management software encryption is ready to avoid being exploited by online hackers or other unauthorized access. Keeping up with the times is an important rite of passage for all modern law firms. Technology needs software upgrades to realize highest efficiency and peak productivity in the legal fields of the 21st century. Keep with the times by keeping software updated.