Legal Profession

How should law firms define productivity?

With all the advice and formulas for unbridled productivity available, how can law firms cut through the noise to find a version of productivity that helps them to be more successful law firms?

Productivity. It’s a term that comes up a lot in the professional world, often portrayed as the secret to all business and personal success. There are books, podcasts, social media accounts, and even online courses all dedicated to the goal of increasing your productivity.  

But with all the advice and formulas for unbridled productivity available, how can law firms cut through the noise to find a version of productivity that helps them to be more successful law firms?

At the most basic level, productivity can be understood as getting things done. Using this definition, it would seem that accomplishing ten tasks is better than one and the longer your to-do list, the more opportunity for productivity. But when it comes to the legal industry this quantity–over–quality thinking can backfire quickly and result in unhappy clients and poor results. Lawyers need to prioritise the tasks that move their business forward instead of just high-volume busy work.  

Every law firm will have their own high-priority tasks depending on their area of law. A property lawyer may focus on closing transactions while a personal injury lawyer may need to obtain medical records quickly, but optimising productivity in any law firm must include the following:  

Maximising billables

There are tasks that are part of running a law firm but not related to a particular matter, and then there are billable tasks – activities that are related to a specific matter and help to advance that matter. Maximise billables and minimise unbillable administrative tasks by implementing legal software that helps to streamline your day, so that you can spend time on what really matters to your clients.  

Legal document automation, automatic time tracking software, law firm tasks and workflows, and even a law firm email management system are all excellent tools to increase your productivity.  

Collaboration

Keeping your team on the same page and working together efficiently is crucial whether you’re working remotely, or in the office. Using cloud-based practice management software such as Smokeball ensures that matters are updated in real-time as users add documents, emails, and notes. Your whole team can see the latest information at a glance without having to call or email for updates.  

Caring for current and prospective clients

No discount can make up for poor customer service. Today’s consumers have higher expectations than ever – make sure you’re meeting or exceeding expectations by using legal software that sends your clients automatic updates. Smokeball’s practice management software also includes lawyer app Communicate, which replaces frustrating email chains with secure messaging and file-sharing that gives your clients the convenience of texting, while allowing you to save those conversations to their matter for easy reference.  

Unlike other industries that may be able to measure their productivity (and success) by the sheer volume of tasks completed each day, law firm productivity is more complex. Rather than focusing on staying busy for 8+ hours a day, make sure you’re finding the right balance of tasks that truly contribute to the wellbeing of your law firm and clients. Your future self will thank you.

Bill more without your clients paying more

Contact us to see how our automatic time tracking combined with best in class legal productivity software will transform your law practice.

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