The law office management landscape has drastically changed within just the last few years. With the continuing improvement of legal technology, lawyers can now office from home or from traditional office space. We’ve noticed a lot of changes in our 30 years of working in the legal industry. We’ve even changed to remotely provide our services to lawyers. In this post, we’re sharing 5 best practice management tips. These tips are designed for lawyers who work virtually or from a traditional office. Enjoy!
Find an Organizational Method That Works for You and Your Needs
Organization is key to proper law office management regardless of whether you’re a lawyer who works from home, conducts business from a small office space, or own a large law office. This is about more than your work space looking nice. It’s about finding what you need, when you need it. It’s about creating an environment that is more productive. It’s about helping you stay focused on what’s in front of you.
You must choose the right way to manage your paperwork. Do you want to keep hard copies of practically everything? If so, you need to have ample storage space as well as making sure that the files are properly secured. Do you want to be paperless or paperlite? You need to choose the right cloud storage solution. Many law office management software solutions provide a certain amount of storage space. It’s important to rely on document storage solutions for lawyers because there are certain requirements for data safety that lawyers must follow.
Of course, getting (and staying) organized isn’t just about filing papers away. It’s also about making sure you know where you’re supposed to be, when you’re supposed to be there, and all of your other deadlines. Choose the right calendaring method and make sure that you use it. You can also set up digital reminders through your calendar. Many email providers, including Gmail, provide task lists, too.
If you have a virtual legal assistant or an assistant who works from your office, you might consider enlisting their help in determining the best organizational method for your practice. They can also help you implement and maintain it.
Create an Office Policy
Even if you work alone from home, you need to create an office policy. It should include how client intake happens, your policy regarding returning phone calls and messages, which systems you use for docketing, when and how invoicing occurs, and where templates for your most used legal documents may be found. You should also create policies about how clients should be treated, how clients may pay their bills, and when clients should expect updates. Your office policy acts as your game plan. It explains how your office operates. If you do hire an assistant, the policy can act as both a training and a reference manual.
Choose the Right Support
It’s important for you to choose the right support if you decide to bring on an assistant. There are a lot of benefits in hiring a virtual assistant. There are also benefits to hiring a traditional assistant. Regardless, you must know how to screen candidates to find the person for your needs.
Create Documented Workflows
Of course, choosing the right support starts by you understanding what it is that you need them to do…and how you want them to do it. A documented workflow can walk your support staff through their tasks from start to finish. If you’re using a virtual worker, make sure that you’re available for questions, even if you have to schedule a time for the two of you to touch base and check in.
Simplify Client Intake
Legal client intake is a necessity for law office management, but it can also take a lot of your time (or the time of your staff). It also affects your new client. Look for ways to simplify client intake. Maybe it can be done over the phone. Maybe you can digitize the process and the client can complete the necessary documents from the comfort of their own home before their appointment with you.
Clients ARM Can Help You with Your Law Office Management Needs
With more than 30 years of experience in the legal industry, Clients ARM can help solo lawyers, virtual lawyers, and law firms with their law office management needs. To learn more about our services and how we can create a package that fits your needs, schedule your free consultation.