‘Life hacks’ are everywhere – helping people become more productive and efficient, whatever their walk of life. We’ve put together a few ‘life hacks’ for lawyers, helping to make each day better than the last.
Lawyers know that the legal industry is changing. As clients become more tech-savvy and time conscious, they expect their lawyers to change with them. ‘Standing still’ is the new ‘falling behind’.
But how do you, as a modern lawyer, manage that change and adapt your practice?
One of the key ways to change is to understand data around your industry, and then find ways to improve inefficiencies and lost revenue opportunities. Did you know that lawyers spend up to 30% of billable time doing costly admin activities and that the inefficiencies of a paper-based system are costing many lawyers up to 66% in additional revenue opportunities?
‘Life hacks’ are simple solutions to common problems – and one of the best ‘life hacks’ for lawyers is the use of an online practice management system. We’ve detailed below some of the ways in which a practice management system can be used to ‘life hack’ many of the inefficiencies and therefore lost revenue opportunities that lawyers face every day.
1) Automate your administrative tasks. Most lawyers have core documents that they use for multiple clients. Using templates within a practice management system, these documents will be generated in seconds. Think of the hours currently spent adding individual client details into documents – and then think of how much additional billing time would be available if practice management automation was used.
2) Record time whilst you work. Real-time time recording doesn’t just cut down on time spent filling in spreadsheets at the end of the week or month. More accurate data enables you to zoom in on inefficiencies and use your time in more valuable ways.
3) Assign clear tasks. In many area of law, the cases follow consistent processes. Setting up workflows which clearly assign the tasks to individuals along the process can reduce the amount of non-billable time associated with a case. Internal meeting time will be reduced as discussions will focus around case issues, rather than logistics and status updates. Colleagues will also be able to reduce the non-billable time involved in collaborating on cases.
4) Attach all emails to your case file. Most lawyers file case documents together. However, emails remain siloed and information gets lost. This can lead to confusion, delays and inefficiencies. When the whole case team can follow the dialogue with the client, work flows more smoothly and the team becomes more efficient.
5) Bill within minutes, not days. One study found American lawyers spent 2.3 hours a day on billable work, but only collected 1.6 hours’ worth of revenue. Delayed billing can contribute to this, as clients’ memories fade quickly. Delayed bills are more likely to be questioned or challenged, and clients’ circumstances could have changed, making them less able to pay. The ability to bill instantly has a positive effect on cashflow – collections will come in more quickly, and the amount collected may even increase.
A few simple steps can help modern lawyers to work quicker, understand their data and collaborate better with colleagues and clients. If you have any questions about how any of these features could benefit your business, please send us an email at [email protected], or request a demo.