No matter how well your law firm is performing, there’s a great possibility that it hasn’t reached its full potential. Luckily, the implementation of a few small changes is often all it takes to boost productivity in a major way. In fact, there are a number of small changes that firms can make today to maximize productivity and boost profits. Below are a few ways in which law firms can supercharge their productivity by embracing a healthy balance between new technology and long-term thinking.
- Update Your Technology
Outdated technology stifles productivity, and firms that fail to keep up with technological changes can be left behind. Generally speaking, if a process can be automated, law firms should consider doing so. Consider any routine task as something worthy of automation - especially for freeing up more time in the day for thoughtful analysis and meaningful progress on projects. Completing routine administrative tasks manually is time-consuming and wasteful, particularly given the variety of software programs and tools on the market that can complete the same tasks efficiently and affordably. Firms that are looking to boost productivity and save money should strongly consider automating routine administrative tasks. And as discussed below, the billing process is an excellent place to start.
- Update Your Billing Process
In 2018, most hourly workers clock in virtually. We can send money to someone around the world on an app, or pay for our coffee through our phones. Yet many firms bill their clients manually, also known as a surefire way to waste time and lose money. Manual billing systems are outdated, time-consuming, inefficient, and inaccurate. Automated billing systems, on the other hand, such as PracticePanther and Headnote, streamline the billing process and save law firms time and money. While there are a number of automated billing programs on the market, it’s recommended that law firms consider systems with the following features:
- User-friendly invoicing
- Integrated timekeeping
- Billing system that integrates hours from multiple attorneys and paralegals
- Flexibility to consider client-specific billing arrangements
- Ditch the Paper Files
The prospect of switching from paper documents to electronic files can be intimidating, especially for those attorneys who’ve been in practice for many years. However, replacing paper documents with electronic files can be highly advantageous to law firms for a number of reasons. For one, electronic files are easier to organize and retrieve than paper files. Also, an obvious advantage of electronic files is that they don’t take up any physical space. And for those attorneys who prefer to read paper documents, electronic files can be easily printed, reviewed, and discarded, leaving the office clutter-free and organized after the work has been completed.
- Think Long-Term
A common objection to any type of major systemic change in a law firm is cost. In fact, cost is probably the number one factor that prevents law firms from making changes to improve productivity. However, when considering updates to technology, billing, file storage, or any other area, firms should focus on the long-term. Yes, upfront costs often accompany upgrades and changes. However, the boost in productivity achieved by such changes more than makes up for the initial costs.
- Hire On Demand Contract Attorneys
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