Eliminate Law Practice Management Chaos: Bring in the Missing Piece – Process

Eliminate Law Practice Management Chaos: Bring in the Missing Piece – Process

Developing, growing, and managing a law practice is not easy, especially in today’s competitive business climate. For solo practitioners and partners of small and mid-sized law firms, the professional obligations can sometimes feel overwhelming. A survey from Thomson Reuters found that managing attorneys at small law firms spend just 60% of their professional time practicing the law. The other 40% of working hours are spent on practice management duties, including: 

  • Client acquisition
  • Client retention
  • Management of staff
  • Administrative tasks 
  • Marketing/lead generation 

Law firm practice management has the potential to be chaotic. The good news is that it does not have to be that way. For many small and mid-sized law firms, the process is the missing element. At ONE400, we provide a wide range of technology and strategic services for law firms. Our team is committed to helping clients build better legal practices. The right process can improve your law firm’s practice management. 

Process is Key to Legal Practice Management—But What is it?

Every business has a process in place. Law firms are no exception. If you have not proactively developed a process for your law firm, it typically means that your process will be inefficient, and potentially even chaotic. As described by TechTarget, a process is an “activity or set of activities that accomplish a specific organizational goal.” In other words, a process is your plan of action for developing, growing, and managing a law firm—both as a legal practice and as a business entity.  

How a Comprehensive Audit of Your Legal Practice Process Can Help

What process does your law firm currently have in place? It is not necessarily a question that is easy to answer. You may be generally aware that some things are working well, whereas other areas seem to be causing problems. A comprehensive process audit for your law firm can make a big difference. An audit is a tool to better understand the process that you already have in place as well as the gaps (and redundancies) that are currently in the system. Some examples of issues that can be assessed during a process audit include: 

  • The amount of time spent on lead generation and client acquisition; 
  • The effectiveness of during leads into clients; 
  • The efficiency of administrative tasks, including billing; and
  • Tracking of time and productivity for all attorneys and staff members. 

Professional Support to Improve Your Legal Practice Management

You do not have to figure out everything on your own. Once you have a better understanding of your law firm’s process—or lack thereof—you will be in a better position to devise a plan of action to eliminate the legal practice management chaos. An experienced law firm business consultant can help. Indeed, a practice management professional can help your law firm: 

  • Design an effective legal practice management plan; and
  • Recommend the right technology tools and strategies to increase profitability. 

There are many benefits that come along with establishing a more effective and efficient process for your law firm. Most notably, it will free up your time so that you can work on the most important tasks. With less time sunk into inefficient, redundant, or outright unnecessary practice management issues, you will be able to spend more time practicing the law or growing your law firm. 

Technology is Changing Legal Practice Management for the Better

We are well into the digital age. Technology has changed the way that law is practiced. However, many small, mid-sized, and even large law firms are still behind in the adoption of technology. Indeed, a significant percentage of lawyers surveyed by the American Bar Association (ABA) report that they do not personally believe that their law firm is using technology effectively. Legal practice management (LPM) is one of the core areas where technology can make a dramatic difference for law firms. Practice management software such as Clio, MyCase, Lawmatics, Practice Panther, and similar software options can make all the difference when it comes to process and efficiency for your law firm. And, ONE400 can help you with integration and automation.  The ABA notes that the right LPM technology can help lawyers and law firms practice the law in a manner that is: 

  • Systematic
  • Efficient
  • Cost-effective
  • Flexible

Key Advantages of Implementing the Right Legal Technology for Law Firm Process

Developing a better process for your law firm is the fundamental key to eliminating practice management chaos and improving your efficiency. Process starts with a sensible and well-constructed law firm business plan. Additionally, a process is most effective when it utilizes the best legal technology. When implemented properly, legal tech increases efficiency and improves profitability. Here are four key benefits of legal technology for law firm practice management: 

  • Organization: Legal Practice Management (LPM) technology can help to ensure that a law firm has a well-organized process in place. Organization is one of the core elements of developing an effective process for a law firm. Legal tech can make organization far easier. 
  • Communication: For solo practitioners and lawyers who manage their own small or mid-sized practice, communication is important. Attorneys spend a lot of their time communicating with others, including clients, staff, and opposing counsel. LPM technology can improve the efficiency of communication. 
  • Visibility: Legal technology can give you better visibility into your process as it exists. One of the reasons that many firms struggle with legal practice management chaos is that they do not truly understand their own process. LPM tech makes the process itself more visible. 
  • Data-Driven: A law firm that is not data-driven is at risk of following behind. LPM technology allows lawyers and law firms to track their practice and implement data-driven strategies to improve the system. Take lead generation as an example. Is your law firm getting a positive ROI on lead generation investment? With the right legal technology, you will have a clear view of the answer. 

ONE400 is a Leader in Technology Services for Law Firms

At ONE400, we are proud to be a leader in providing innovation through technology and business strategies, and process improvement to law firms. If you have any questions about developing a process to improve the management of your firm, we are more than ready to help. Contact us today to learn more about our services. Based in Los Angeles, ONE400 works with law firm clients in the United States and worldwide. 

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About the author

Allen Rodriguez Allen Rodriguez is a legal product development strategist who has been serving the legal industry for over 21 years. Over the course of his career, Allen has built a reputation for creating innovative legal services products as well as developing highly effective law firm business and marketing strategies. Allen is a valued speaker on the topics of law marketing, legal services product development, and future of law issues.

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