How to Improve Your Law Firm with Processes, And Why it Will Increase Your Profits.
Attorneys spend a lot of time brainstorming ideas to increase the profits of their law firm, and the ones with the most success are likely process-orientated. We will explain why processes are important, why they will increase your profits, and provide some suggestions on how to get started if you are new to processes.
What are Processes in a Law Firm, and Why Do They Matter?
Processes in a law firm are a predefined series of tasks, actions, or steps that need to be completed to reach a particular end or to collect and store information for use later.
Creating processes for your law firm will provide insights that make it easy to identify where costs can be reduced, redundancies can be eliminated, and to identify tasks that can be streamlined or automated. They can also be used to ensure critical tasks like calendaring and deadline management are completed throughout the workflow, reducing stress and increasing efficiency.
How to Improve Your Law Firm with Processes
Create a Process for Client Intake
Detail the steps you would like taken by your team when a potential client contacts the firm for assistance so that they always know what next steps to take. Each step can have specific tasks that need to be completed, ensuring that relevant information is captured that will assist in streamlining the workflow.
Create a Process for Opening and Closing Client Files
Create a list of all the tasks required to open and close client files and develop checklist-style processes to ensure critical tasks are completed. When creating these processes, consider all the information you need to be summarized, organized, and reviewed; as well as any standard letters or documents the client should be provided.
Create a Process for Calendar Management
By developing a process for calendar management, multiple staff members can utilize the same calendar freely without having to obtain clearance to coordinate and schedule events. Determine time frames, lengths, and frequency of conducting consultations and for telephone conferences with clients. Include preparation time being scheduled along with certain events like court appearances or depositions so that when those matters are coordinated and scheduled the prep time is added to the calendar at the same time.
Create a Process for Organizing Files and Discovery
Whether you use paper files, electronic files, or a combination of both having processes that address how you would like them organized, and when they should be updated will increase efficiency by eliminating the thought required to complete the tasks while producing a better-organized quality filing system.
Tips for Improving Your Law Firm with Processes
Think of all the different steps that take place from a prospective client contacting your firm through closing their file. Next, think of tasks that need to be completed during each step. Remember to add in new tasks that you would like done or are best practices but have not been followed through with in the past. Evaluate how your firm is handling the case during each step and use the processes as a check and balance to capture critical information.
Now You Know
Even the smallest of law firms will benefit from implementing processes. When everyone knows what next steps to take, and collects relevant information at relevant times, it increases efficiency, productivity and reduces time spent on routine tasks. It provides insights that can be used to reduce costs and improve services. You will capture more leads, move cases through the workflow faster and improve the quality of services you are providing. Your profits will increase in the short term, while the effects of the processes continue to grow into increased profits in the future.