4 Core Elements of an Efficient Law Firm.
Efficiency is key to increasing the profits of a law firm. Attorneys looking to improve their law firms and increase profits can start with these elements of an efficient law firm. We will cover how managing client relations, automation, workflows, and key performance indicators can improve a law firm.
Why is Efficiency Important?
The way you operate your law firm will determine how efficient your law firm is, your client’s satisfaction, and your profits. Running a law firm requires your entire team to remain fluid while delivering services and work product without errors or omissions on each matter. A high level of efficiency in all stages of a client’s journey with your firm will increase profitability while the case is being handled, and continually in the future as your clients continue to share their positive experiences working with your firm.
4 Core Elements of an Efficient Law Firm
CRM (Client Relationship Management)
At its most basic, a CRM will allow you to track all inquiries coming into your firm, as well as notes and relevant information necessary to evaluate a prospective client’s need. According to Harvard Business Review, you have about an hour from an initial contact before your odds of capturing a lead drop dramatically. Further, they found that companies who contact a lead within one hour are 60 times more likely to close the lead than those who waited 24 hours. Law firms continue to utilize CRM technology to increase efficiencies in their firms by using systems and tools that capture leads from multiple sources, assign tasks to users automatically, generate emails and responses to prospective clients, and seamlessly on a journey from lead to concluding their matter.
When used properly, automation boosts efficiency and provides a robust return on investment for law firms. When developed and integrated correctly, automation will work for you by handling mundane tasks, creating documents, sending emails, creating and processing billing, assigning tasks, calendar entries, and due dates. You can design a system based on the tools and software you currently use, by integrations between them or using Zapier to connect them. To increase efficiency, integrate a law practice management solution that handles matters from CRM through closing a matter and has automation features.
Workflows in a law firm are primarily developed for matter types, and other administrative tasks required to operate the firm, such as client intake, monthly, quarterly and annual accounting close-outs, or new hire onboarding. Having steps and tasks for each of the steps eliminates redundancies, saves brainstorming and case review time, and provides you a return on investment for the operational management tasks you complete. It provides clients a more consistent experience while reducing stress for your team as they lead the clients through the workflow journey. Insights to work in progress and the status of cases become available live, which eliminates the need for traditional case management and allows you and your team to focus on providing better legal services and solutions for clients.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
You should set and measure KPIs for different areas and departments of your law firm. Marketing, intake and referrals; case management, litigation and work in progress; profitability by matter types or clients; client satisfaction and quality control; employee productivity and profitability; or marketing return on investment are just a few examples of KPIs you can analyze. Capturing and reviewing these metrics show where you can focus your efforts to improve, which staff members work most efficiently, and what matter types or clients generate the most profits for your firm.
Try Them Out.
Consider using some or all these 4 core elements of an efficient law firm to increase the productivity and profits of your law firm. If capturing new clients is your goal, explore CRM solutions that can assist you in streamlining and managing that process. If calendaring due dates or follow through with case review is where you would like to improve, research automation tools that can automatically schedule deadlines or assign tasks to your team. If drafting repetitive documents is a process you wish were more efficient, demo document automation software and evaluate if its use would provide an efficiency boost. If moving cases through the workflow needs improvement, consider a law practice management system that is workflow centric, where you can detail all the next steps for your team to assist in moving matters to conclusion. Find KPIs that will assist you in making decisions to improve efficiency and review the metrics regularly to make modifications and improvements to your processes.