What do small businesses and small legal firms have in common? Both types of owners often struggle with having to balance the practice of their craft with keeping their operation running. In this modern age of practicing law, lawyers are continuously being pulled in multiple and new directions. To make matters more difficult, smaller legal firms often lack the administrative support to ease the burden. If your legal firm is part of the majority that needs help making more time to dedicate to cases, you need to improve day-to-day operations of your legal firm.
Streamline Your Legal Firm
The number one complaint of smaller law firms? Dealing with administrative tasks.
In fact, nearly 40% of attorneys report spending their day on tasks that aren’t law-related. It’s a tricky balancing act. Unsurprisingly, most lawyers (who typically don’t have a business management background) find dealing with the endless administrative work, overwhelming.
In smaller legal firms, lawyers are often bill collectors, guidance counselors, as well as their own secretaries. Meanwhile, attorneys that consider their practices “very successful” report dedicating on average 62% of their time to practicing law.
Non-billable administrative tasks cost attorneys valuable time – which translate to a significant amount of lost revenue. The primary administrative tasks that small legal firm lawyers find occupying their time are:
- Acquiring new clients (marketing and outreach)
- Following up with current clients (emails, phone calls, etc.)
- Searching and submitting forms
- Keeping the team looped in
- Data entry
Here are some simple, beginner-friendly methods for improving your legal firm’s day-to-day operation for these specific tasks.
Take it one step further than the “contact us” form on your site (if you don’t already, here’s why you need forms). The key to streamlining the lead generation process is by utilizing automation. Eliminating the tedious, time-wasting task of reaching out to leads, crafting individual emails, and keeping track of who replies (and who doesn’t) is a small change that can make a huge impact on a small legal firm’s time efficiency.
There are a plethora of programs designed to automatically reach out, follow up and sort leads in order to better guide potential clients through the process. While it may seem counterintuitive, using technology increases opportunities for personalized contact – which can increase conversion rates up to six times! Create drip campaigns speak to potential clients at every step of the process – and after they become clients.
Some basic email campaigns that all small law firms should have in place:
- “Thank You” or “Welcome” series that are activated when a ‘contact us’ form is filled
- Re-engaging defecting or inactive leads that have stopped responding/opening emails
- Content specific emails based on contact interests (i.e. divorce, tax, or injury law topics)
Maintaining Files (and your Team)
Increase your output and maximize your efficiency by keeping all documents, files, and records of conversations in one place. Project management programs like Basecamp or Asana enable users to create workflows, assign tasks, and set due dates to keep teams aware of their case’s progress.
Think of these programs as digital client logs (eco-friendly bonus: save on paper and printing). These enable everyone to access and keep track of case progress, firm tasks, and cloud-based files, from any location.
Regardless of whether you consider yourself technology savvy or not, utilizing software programs can greatly increase your law firm’s efficiency. Improve day-to-day operations of your legal firm by minimizing non-billable hours for a quantifiable monetary gain, improving work-life balance with less time spent resolving cases, and increasing overall productivity and client satisfaction with more timely outreach and better management of files and documents. Attorney Business Consulting specializes in law office management and can do all this and more for your legal firm. Visit their site today for a free consultation to make your legal firm more efficient.