Posted by Robert Half Legal on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 08:00 | Follow me
There’s no doubt that law practice management is demanding. But by tapping your available resources, you can streamline your law firm’s procedures and processes to better manage your own workload and reduce your stress level. Let’s take a look at three sources for law practice management tips.
1. Your network
Ask members of noncompeting firms or other industry connections how their offices handle law practice management or if there are industry best practices they recommend. Each person you contact might have a different take on effective management strategies. One may be more focused on streamlining legal research efforts and tapping into new technologies. Another may work closely with outside consultants or service providers. Regardless of the size, management strategy or specialization of your connections’ organizations, you’ll find new ideas and inspiration that could help improve your own firm’s practice management methods.
2. Your colleagues
Although you have a better perspective on the ins and outs of your firm than others in the practice, there’s a limit to how hands-on you can be with every process and remain effective. Ask your internal colleagues for suggestions as to what areas should be given priority or improved upon, or which processes simply take too much time. After implementing changes, follow up to see how they’re working. Keep in mind that you may have to refine your improvements more than once.
3. Professional organizations
Many legal organizations regularly write about law practice management in their publications. Three noteworthy resources to consider include:
Law Practice — The American Bar Association’s magazine includes tips ranging from client services to the importance of healthy work environments. See the ABA’s Law Practice Management webpage for other resources, including CLE, webinars and guidance on legal technology. ABA membership is required and some of the information may be obtained for a fee.
Association of Legal Administrators — The ALA’s website offers law practice management professionals a wealth of advice in the form of articles, webinars, podcasts, conference recordings and an interactive eLearning center. (The site also lists upcoming ALA conferences, worth considering for both intensive learning and networking opportunities.) Many resources require ALA membership and/or are available for purchase.
Attorney at Work — The daily emails and website published by a small team of law practice management veterans give advice on productivity, networking and other pertinent topics for the legal office. Subscriptions are free. You can also search the site’s archives of more than 1,000 previously published articles on subjects as varied as legal apps and marketing.
Managing a legal practice is an enormous responsibility. Partners, staff and clients depend on you to keep the firm well organized and cohesive. If you’re feeling the strain, it’s little wonder. But there are plenty of resources, with only a few listed here, that you can draw on to improve your law practice management and keep stress at bay. Invest the time you need into this effort, and your success will keep the firm running smoothly, better ensuring a healthy and growing organization.
Find out what you need to know about trends expected to drive change within the legal profession in the coming years by downloading Robert Half Legal’s Future Law Office 2020: Redefining the Practice of Law now.