If you took time to pause and write down the activities that take up most of your time during the day what would be at the top of your list?
Here are some possibilities:
- Client communication
- Searching for previous work or client files
- Finding your notes outlining next steps on a matter
- Managing matter timelines and deadlines
- Drafting legal documents
- Recording time and generating invoices
Realistically you are probably dividing your time between billable and non-billable activities every single day. However, your administrative work is probably requiring more of your time than you realize.
Tame Your Administrative Burdens
Did you know that up to 40 percent of small law firm time is spent on administrative activities? That is a significant amount of time spent on non-billable work – meaning you are basically working for free after 2 p.m. every single day!
Many attorneys don’t realize (or fail to act on the realization) that much of their matter work is full of hidden administrative tasks that can and should be streamlined or automated. According to a 2015 Altman Weil study, 75 percent firms that were willing to focus on improving the efficiency of administrative work experienced increases in both revenue and profit!
The argument most lawyers counter with is that they just don’t have the time to dedicate to law firm improvements. But, making improvements doesn’t need to be a big, intimidating process. Start by taking a small step and identify one area to focus on with any of these approaches:
- Identify where you spend most of your time that isn’t generating money or new business for the firm.
- What activity do you dislike working on but is critical to the business? Working on tasks that you don’t enjoy can negatively impact the business beyond just taking up too much of your time.
- Identify your top goal at your law firm and then figure out the biggest challenge in the way of reaching that goal and address it.
Once you identify a single area to focus on you can put a plan in place to automate, streamline, delegate or outsource the work. Once you have success improving one area then you can move your focus to a second area. Making these improvements will help you minimize the time you have to spend on non-billable administrative work which will help you earn more, better serve your clients and improve your work-life balance.
Download the Matter Management Checklist
This Matter Management Checklist helps you reconstruct — and in some cases eliminate — the actual tasks that take up your day. Brief, but bursting with good advice, it provides tips to streamline your matter work from the very beginning at client intake all the way through matter wrap-up details. Get your free download today.
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