The law is a profession full of competitive people, but it can be tough to compete when you sustain heavy losses because your firm's management practices are not up-to-par.
There are so many different things that need to be done, and there are always new challenges popping up. The best way to make sure your law firm is running as smoothly as possible is to have a plan for every aspect of the office. However, without a bit of help, it's easy to forget about some aspects - leaving them to fall by the wayside.
A few areas of management won't be relevant to all law firms, but they are still crucial for most. Here are six tips that will help your law firm function better as a whole.
Case management software can help to streamline your entire firm. It is constantly updated with the latest changes to legislation, which means it will stay up-to-date, even if you can't spare the time to keep on top of them yourself. A legal case management software will not only help you in case organization, but it will also help you in billing, monitoring your accounts, and keeping track of clients. Hence, the time you spend worrying about office administration could be spent practicing law - maximizing your billable hours.
Hiring an additional staff member will incur a cost, but it could be very beneficial in the long run if you do not have to pick up their slack. On the other hand, hiring too many people and giving them all the work to do will lead to mistakes being made - which can seriously damage your firm's reputation. Be organized when hiring new people. Make sure they are appropriately trained - don't leave them under-prepared for what they need to achieve. Training should start as soon as somebody begins working at the law firm - make sure somebody has experience in training somebody else how to do things properly. This way, everybody benefits from having support, and nobody is left feeling like they are out of their depth.
There is nothing more frustrating than coming across somebody who doesn't know how to do something, and you end up needing to train them properly - because nobody ever took the time to document how it needs to be done. The best way around this common problem is to record all the most critical information in your law firm on file in an easily-accessible location. If somebody new starts working with you, make sure it's documented somewhere for future reference so that there isn't any unnecessary training required when somebody leaves. This will save everybody time in the long run.
Make sure that your law firm stays on the right side of the law regarding legislation. Whether this means filing with the proper bodies or making sure legal documents are in order, you must keep up-to-date with rules and regulations for your firm to remain competitive in the market. If you have a dedicated HR manager ensuring that there are policies to protect both employees and clients, this could be very helpful - but make sure somebody is regularly checking.
Everybody in a business needs to know what they need to do for their particular function to run smoothly, from top managers to the newest hires. Make sure that everybody in the firm has a clear understanding of their role - from making sure your managers understand what their roles entail to providing training for the newest employees. This will help them flourish within the business, but it will also help you get a better idea of who is doing their job and who isn't.
Keeping on top of legislation can be a full-time job in itself, which means it's easy to get behind schedule. There are many resources available for you to use - you don't need to become an expert overnight. You can find daily updates online, read the news, or keep up with relevant legal trade mags. The important thing is that everybody in your law firm knows when to check this information and understands how it will affect them in their particular role in the office.
A law firm with a great management system is essential to become more successful in the modern legal market. A good manager will make sure their employees are fully trained and understand their role while keeping up-to-date on legislation that could affect the business at any time. By taking these simple steps towards better managing your law firm, you can ensure that your business continues to grow into something even bigger.