It’s clear that social media is a vital tool for attorneys today. In 2017, 70 percent of lawyers used social networks in their marketing strategy.
A strong social media marketing strategy is a vital part of having a law firm today. The best strategies involve working across various networks. With that in mind, LinkedIn is an absolutely essential network to use properly.
In fact, LinkedIn may be the most important social network for attorneys. It’s filled with potential to stay in touch with existing clients while reaching new ones. Here’s why LinkedIn matters, and how you can use it to its fullest potential.
As of 2017, LinkedIn has 500 million users. By size alone, it’s a network you can’t ignore. However, the strength of LinkedIn goes far beyond clicks and statistics.
LinkedIn can be an essential platform for maintaining client relationships and courting potential clients.
If you’ve done work with a large number of professionals in the past, your profile can keep them aware of your presence and personal brand. If these clients need an attorney in the future, they’ll be more likely to return to you. Continued recognition of your legal services will also make them more likely to recommend you to friends, family, and colleagues.
When you connect with former and current clients, you’ll also be able to see their connections. This enables you to connect with potential clients using positive professional relationships and experiences, an absolute must for developing a strong client base.
If you want to benefit from LinkedIn, you need to use it properly. So make sure to build and maintain a strong presence on the platform.
Start With Your Profile
You cannot have an effective presence on LinkedIn without a strong profile. A good LinkedIn profile is visual, easy to navigate, and relevant to the needs of your potential clients.
Make sure to use a professional headshot for your LinkedIn profile photo. If possible, add images to your profile to make it visually engaging. People respond more strongly to visual data than words alone. That means images will draw their attention to your strong background and achievements.
An easy to navigate profile will keep potential clients focused on how you can help them. To make this effective, make sure your summary is short, relevant, and bullet-pointed. Also be sure to avoid jargon in your headline and the major sections of your profile.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure your achievements are recent and relevant. Think about the needs and questions of your potential clients, and how your past can answer them. Make sure that information is visible, and avoid boasting about older jobs that won’t matter to prospective clients.
Networking Is Essential
LinkedIn is the ideal interpretation of the “social network” concept. It’s the only social media site devoted entirely to professional networking. If you want a strong presence, that’s something to take advantage of.
There are a lot of ways to network on LinkedIn beyond connecting to former clients and asking for recommendations. The most powerful networking tool on LinkedIn may be its advanced search feature.
With the advanced search feature, you can scout out potential clients by industry, job, or company. Using this will make it easy to find potential clients within your niche. For example, an attorney working in media law can scout clients within the media industry, making them valuable parts of their own customer base.
In addition to the advanced search feature, it is possible to get recommendations from past clients. The sensitive nature of legal work can make this difficult, however, willing clients can become evangelists for your legal brand.
Don’t Forget Content
An important yet often overlooked tool on LinkedIn is the ability to share and create content. However, the connection between content and networking is strong. Consistent content creation will make you relevant to your own connections, reminding them of your availability and aptitude for legal work.
In addition, content will make it easy to position yourself as a thought leader on LinkedIn. To do this properly, however, you’ll need to understand the type of content your clients are interested.
To begin, remember the type of content your clients will be interested in. Usually, this will be advice relevant to your niche. If you work in real estate law, articles and videos about new regulations in the industry would be relevant content. An article targeting lawyers, on the other hand, would not.
Similarly, be sure to maintain a consistent and appropriate tone. While many brands have attempted to use a quirky and irreverent tone to influence potential customers, lawyers are best advised to maintain an attitude of poise and professionalism.
Make sure your content is interesting by using LinkedIn’s available multimedia tools. On LinkedIn, you can post slideshows, videos, and PDFs along with traditional articles. With each post, consider which format would be the most effective way to get your message across.
Finally, make sure you’re regularly posting content. Studies have shown that 20 posts per month are enough to reach the majority of your customer base, so be sure to stay on that schedule.
If you use these strategies, you can build a far more successful firm. So log in and get started!
When you are starting out as a brand new lawyer or if you are ready to strike it out on your own and start your own solo law firm, the number one thing you should focus on is getting clients.
Now there are two ways to do this:
- You can spend a lot of money on advertising the traditional way: through television ads, radio or buying billboard signs.
- Or you can save a ton of money and find your clients online.
A good option to choose when you don’t have a huge advertising budget is to invest in growing your online presence. And since more people are now looking for lawyers online, this is the best place to start.
Below are a few techniques you can use to find clients online.
SEO helps your website get found by people searching for legal help on Google and other search engines. It’s one of the most effective ways for law firms to attract and reach a large audience month after month.
Local SEO helps people looking for legal help in a particular city or state find an attorney fast. In order to get your website to the top of the search engines for local SEO you want to use meta tags and add new content to your website on a regular basis.
Meta Tags are small pieces of text that describe what a website is about but they don’t necessarily appear visible on the website itself, only on the pages code.
They are content descriptors that help search engines like Google know what a website is about and using the right keywords for your law firm’s website can help you drive traffic. Use meta tags that include keywords for the type of legal services you offer and also the city and state you focus on.
Here are some examples of keywords for local SEO you could use for your website:
Personal Injury Attorney in San Diego
Car Accident lawyer in San Diego
In the example above, the meta tag descriptions will help people find a personal injury or a car accident attorney in the city of San Diego. This is exactly how local SEO works because it helps you target potential clients in your local jurisdiction.
Unless you have a national law firm with offices all around the country, you shouldn’t focus on general SEO but focus instead on local SEO.
Another thing you should be doing to help with local SEO is to add blog articles each month with helpful tips for potential clients. Google and the other search engines love to see websites that are updated on a regular basis.
We mentioned blogging above, but let’s dive in a little deeper now.
Publishing blog articles on your website can also help you attract people looking for help for a specific legal topic that you also provide help with.
Allowing people to read your articles will position you and your law firm as an expert in your industry as well as allow you to develop know, like and trust with a potential client before they hire you. People only do business with those they can trust. So your blog can serve as a tool to help you build a relationship with potential clients.
You can also share your blog posts all over social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to attract visitors to your website and also to get your posts shared.
Sharing content on social media is a great way for people to find you and even for your past clients to recommend your law firm to other people.
You can share legal articles and your own blog posts through your LinkedIn profile, start discussions and answer questions. Twitter is a good place to share your blog posts. The beauty of this is that there are actually scheduling tools for social media where you just add your content and the tool will automatically schedule this for you. This can save you a lot of time while growing your visibility online.
Online Attorney Directory Sites
There are some sites where you can list your law firm. Some are free and others require a fee. A few business directory sites for attorneys include: Avvo.com, Nolo.com, Findlaw.com, and the American Bar Association.
Finding clients doesn’t have to be hard. But managing new clients can be difficult unless you have the right tools to help you. As you are growing your law firm, you also want to make sure that you use a good practice management tool.
As an attorney, there are a lot of tasks you need to keep up with- both large and small. These can easily eat up your time, especially if you don’t have a large staff supporting you. The good news is there are several things you can do to save time and keep up with the things you need to do. Here are the top 4 essential time management tips for lawyers.
1 – Prioritize your most important tasks first and keep track of deadlines.
Some things need to be done by a certain time, and you definitely want to keep a schedule and mark down important dates, like court hearings, so you can be fully prepared before you go. Anything you need to do before a certain date, including obtaining any necessary documentation, you should likewise schedule time to do in advance, so you don’t have to worry about things last minute.
You can also prioritize tasks in general, as some things are more important or urgent than others. It’s good to have a full to-do list, but you also want to designate which things you need to get done first. There is only so much time in a day, and there will likely be times you can’t get everything done you need to.
2 – Write things down.
Whenever you meet with a client, mark down (either in a physical book or with a secure electronic method,) any important notes or things to remember about their case and circumstances. You can also jot down anything you think of at the time that you want to check, research, or get documentation of, so that you don’t have to rethink things the next time you look over their case notes.
In between meetings or phone calls with clients, mark down anything you think of that you need to ask them next time or any documentation you want them to provide you with. That way you will remember everything during your next conversation, and you won’t waste time playing phone tag to ask them something you forgot.
3 – Complete similar tasks in bulk.
If you need to do research on multiple cases, talk with other attorneys on multiple subjects, request documentation for multiple clients, return phone calls, etc., try to group these similar tasks together, and get them all done at once. This can save you a good deal of time, especially when there are similar things you can get done at the same location.
4 – Use technology to save time and stay organized.
These days, there are a tons of apps and other forms of technology that can help you keep track of things, stay organized, and even automate tasks. Things like scheduling meetings with clients, sending invoices, and other things can often be automated or least take less time with the use of good technology.
4 Tips for Using Technology Well:
- Choose apps that are rated well and are reliable.
- Be careful to use secure forms of technology when it comes to any personal data or sensitive case details you use it for.
- Make sure you can back up any important information in case something happens.
- Give yourself time to get accustomed to using any new technology or apps, and then evaluate if it’s working well for you.
Avoid Letting Technology Waste Your Time
So far we’ve discussed how technology can be a useful tool. However, a word of caution- you want to be careful that you don’t allow technology to waste your time. Some apps and programs can be overly complicated, may not save your work properly, or may be slow to use, and therefore aren’t worth your time. It’s best to use technology that is simple, but works well.
On the other hand, you want to make sure that other types of technology aren’t distracting you while you’re working, as this can negatively influence your productivity. For instance, it can be beneficial to have different social media accounts or pages for your business, and this may even assist you with obtaining new clients. However, you don’t want to be distracted with notifications of new comments or posts while you’re working on important tasks. It’s better to schedule a separate time to check/update your social media.
Choose a Good Practice Management Software
We’ve discussed 4 essential time management tips for lawyers. While apps and other types of technology can be helpful, something else that will really streamline your workload is a good practice management software, like CaseTempo.
While there is a lot of software out there that can help with organization in general, CaseTempo is unique in that it’s designed to meet the specific organizational needs of attorneys. It can save you time with your caseload by assisting you in preparing documents and communicating with clients, especially when you don’t have a full staff to help do these things for you. But don’t just take our word for how much it will help you- you can get started with a free trial today!
Whether you are fresh out of law school or just ready to strike out on your own and run a law firm your own way, starting your own law firm is a lot of work and a lot of long nights. However, most of those long nights probably won’t come from working cases, at least not at first. Instead, that hard work will most likely need to go into rounding up new clients for your law firm.
Even if you start your law firm in a small town, there is still probably competition, and in order to get that client flow going, you need to know how to attract them first.
Talking About Your Law Firm
Word of mouth is the oldest form of advertising, and still effective. For most lawyers who start their own law firm, their first clients will probably be brought in by referral from your friends and family. Everyone likes to say they know a lawyer when their friends are in need of one. It is a prestigious and noble profession, after all.
However, you can generate referrals yourself as well. All it takes is a conversation in a bar, at a seminar, or any other local meet and greet. Just be sure that talking about your law firm doesn’t turn into a series of free legal advice. Instead, focus more on what your firm can do for a person in need, leave your card, and urge them to call you in the morning to schedule a consultation.
Start a Blog on Your Website
These days no law firm can afford to not have a website. No one is looking for legal representation in the yellow pages anymore; they all head right to Google. However, it is not enough to just have a website; you want them to choose yours out of all the other local law firm websites. The best way to do this is to start a blog. Before looking for a lawyer, most people will Google their specific legal problem. If they read a blog about their problem on your site, they become more likely to become your clients.
However, legal advice given for free on your blog should, again, be limited. Instead, you may want to familiarize your visitors with the legal process as most people looking for a new lawyer are also new to the legal process. Consider highly searchable topics like “Steps to take After a Car Accident” or “How to Prepare for Divorce” with a call to action at the end to remind them that the article is on a local law firm’s website.
SEO and PPC Advertising
Having a blog on your law firm’s website can be a good way to land new clients, but only if local clients can find their way to your website first. There is a lot of competition for law articles as well as law firms on the internet. The best way to make sure those visitors that can actually translate to clients is to advertise your law firm. In this digital age, the most effective way to advertise is through search engine optimization (SEO)and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Unfortunately, this isn’t always something small law firms can do effectively on their own.
Instead of waiting for your law firm’s website to rank organically near the top on search engines, you can essentially run a paid campaign to rank at the top of Google. Furthermore, you can buy ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, and essentially any social media to make sure local potential clients are directed to your website or social media pages.
The best advice for small law firms is to hire a small SEO/PPC firm to handle this type of advertising. By hiring a small advertising firm, you know that they can appreciate your budget as a small law firm. Just like you know the rule of law, they know how to advertise effectively on the internet. As both small companies, you may even be helping them out as a new client, which can be a solid networking tool if they ever need a lawyer.
Seek Out Local Lawyer Communities
The beautiful thing about lawyers is that very few handle all areas of law. This makes it so lawyers can actually refer clients to one another based on specialties. If you started your law firm in an area where you have no or very few connections with other lawyers, seek out legal groups in the area such as the local Bar Association. By making connections with other lawyers, you set up the potential for a client swap.
If they handle family law, they can send any personal injury clients your way. This becomes more likely if you work that in reverse a few times first. As a small legal firm, you may think it is more prudent to handle a wider array of legal cases, but when it comes to landing more clients after opening a law firm, it is actually more prudent to specialize your legal focus and network with lawyers that represent clients in other specialized areas of the law.
There are multiple ways to find clients both offline and online. Talking to family and family and letting them know what you do is one place to start. Blogging and online marketing is always something that is worth investing your time in. Writing a blog article lets you build know, like and trust with potential clients and people usually do business with those they trust. It’s a powerful way to get a steady stream of new inquiries online along with using SEO and Pay Per Click ads. Networking with other lawyer communities can also help you get client referrals. The best thing to do is to try all of the methods suggested here and see which ones bring you the most client leads.
Whether you just graduated from law school or you work for a large law firm, you may have the desire to strike it out on your own as a solo attorney. Starting a small legal practice can be beneficial for a number of reasons. You get to be your own boss and you get to provide a more personal service to clients. However, whether you have worked for a firm before or not, there are a number of things you will need to know in order to manage your practice.
Find a Good Location
The location you choose is absolutely critical. You want to make sure that you are in an area that will provide clients with a good impression of your practice. Choosing an area where there are other professional businesses can help you. In addition to impressing your potential clients, you may be able to get a significant amount of business simply by being in a place where people are likely to see you. However, don’t get fooled into renting office space that you can’t afford initially. It may be better to choose a more affordable location initially until you have established a client list.
Set a Budget
It’s important to establish a budget from the very beginning. Don’t be surprised if it is a little more costly than you initially expected. You will need to rent office space, by office equipment, and spend some money on marketing.
Some of the different expenses to consider include:
- Answering service
- Office lease
- Electricity, internet, and phone
- Printing and postage
- Staff salaries
- Unemployment tax
By considering all of the expenses early on, you can make sure that you create a budget that makes sense. Do a little research to ensure you are getting competitive rates for everything. You may also want to consider hiring an administrative assistant as one of the first expenses so that they can help you with all of the other components of your budget.
Create a Logo and Website
You need to have a professional image from the very beginning. This means creating a new logo for your practice. This logo will be a big part of your branding. It will be included on your website, letterhead, business cards, and everything else.
You will also want to have a website designed to ensure that you have an online presence. It is where you will talk about who you are as an attorney, what kind of services you provide, and more. You will also want to generate leads on your site, which requires a contact form for people to fill out when they want to ask a question or set up a consultation.
Establish a Marketing Strategy
When you decide to become a solo attorney, you will be responsible for bringing in all of your clients. In order to do this, you will need a marketing strategy. Most attorneys will need to do this on their own initially, simply because of the cost that is associated with hiring a marketing company. The first step is to promote your practice across social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. It will allow you to promote your expertise and potentially find leads.
It is also important to explore referrals from legal peers as well as a network of colleagues. Particularly if you offer any legal services for businesses, you will want to reach out to your network. If your network is smaller than you would like, consider getting involved with the Chamber of Commerce as well as having lunch with various well-connected individuals in your city.
Consider the Administrative Component
If you decide to become a solo attorney, you don’t have the support provided to you that large firms offer. This means you have to consider how all of the administrative work is going to get done. This can involve scheduling clients, sending invoices, and managing the daily workflow. You can choose to do this on your own or hire someone to do it for you. However, many lawyers find that they spend more time on administrative duties than they do meeting with clients – and you want to make sure you are prepared for this.
It’s important that you don’t go into this process blind. You have the ability to make it on your own as a solo attorney, but you are going to need help along the way. By taking the time to strategize and create a plan, you will have guidance at every step. It’s important to know what you are getting into before you make the decision to leave a law firm or go into practice on your own.
Having your own law firm allows you to have more freedom and flexibility in how you conduct your work and even how much you can get paid as an attorney. This is the reason why so many attorneys venture out on their own.
Just remember, it might be a lot of upfront work in the beginning, but once you get your practice setup you can focus on getting clients and running your firm.
There’s also some really convenient online tools available to help you manage your practice once you get setup.
We’ve actually put together a comprehensive guide and tool kit to help you understand what’s needed to setup your law firm. You can download it here.
As a solo attorney or a small law firm, you don’t always have a lot of resources at your disposal to handle casework and growing your practice. Fortunately, there are now a wide range online tools and low-cost services to help law firms automate the day-to-day mundane and tedious administrative tasks required to run a profitable firm. Often these tools and services are integrated with law practice management systems. Automating your daily administrative tasks can save you time, money and even your sanity. After all, there is only so much that one person can do alone or even a small team can handle before burnout occurs; you didn’t start your practice to get burnt out. Here are a few areas of your practice that you can easily automate:
You can save a lot of time by using tools to automate the scheduling of your client phone calls or in-person meetings. Instead of sending an email asking when your client is available, an online scheduling tool can sync with your calendar and show available times for client meetings. You then send a link to your calendar tool and clients can choose a time that works for them. Once they schedule the meeting, you both will receive a confirmation email and the meeting will be locked into your calendars. With this system, the tool can also send reminder emails that the appointment is approaching so that you don’t forget. This removes the manual process of trying to find time on your calendar and then trying to remember your appointments.
Client Interview and Intake
Instead of having to meet physically with a client, you can discuss the case over the phone and have your client fill out an online intake form. This makes it easy for your clients who may not be able to drive across town or take off from work to meeting you in person at your office. If you want to meet with them in person, you can send them a link to a secure client intake questionnaire before they meet with you so that you have preliminary information about their case before you sit down to have a discussion with them.
Often times clients will have some information available immediately, but some information they may need more time to provide to you. With an automated intake process, they can add additional case information later on at their own convenience. This information can be stored on a secure server that is encrypted.
Instead of requiring your client to send you a check in the mail or to hand over their credit card for you to swipe, you make this process a lot simpler by collecting payments online. You can create a payment plan that automatically bills them monthly for your retainer fee or you can create a custom payment schedule for clients.
To truly automate your business, you have to take yourself out of the day to day tasks such as answering all of your own phone calls. One way to do this is to hire a virtual receptionist service. It’s a great way to project a professional image of your law firm when you are a solo attorney or have a very small team. By using a virtual receptionist service, you’ll be able to make sure that your incoming calls never go unanswered and that callers are treated with a high level of professionalism. You can even choose a script for the virtual receptionist to use each time they answer a call for you. These answering services are usually offered at a lower cost than hiring an in-house receptionist.
To store your digital files and scanned documents, you should use a secure platform for sharing and storage. Dropbox is a great example of a cloud document storage tool you can use. You should also make sure that your practice management software integrates seamlessly with your document sharing storage tool.
Keeping in Touch With Clients
A great way to keep in touch with past clients and to attract new ones is to start your own email newsletter. Each month you can send helpful hints and tips related to legal topics that your potential clients may find useful. This can keep you top-of-mind to past clients an potential future clients who might not need your legal services right away but who may need your services in the future. This will also allow them to refer to their friends and family since you are sending them a regular newsletter each month which they can share with other people.
You can use a free email service provider like MailChimp to help you create newsletters with ease. It can help you market your legal services and grow your client base. Make sure you choose a practice management system that integrates with other email service providers.
Automating your law practice will save you time and money. There are so many low-cost tools to help you streamline your systems and help you become more profitable.
When you are starting your law firm practice, you typically don’t have a large budget to hire a full staff like the bigger law firms do. Expenses and startup costs are typically your responsibility. You may not have a large enough budget to hire a team of employees that includes legal assistants, a receptionist or even a paralegal. So how does a solo attorney managing their client caseload without being able to hire a team of full time employees? Simple. Use technology and outsourcing services. In order to operate a “lean” law firm with low expenses, you can utilize some online services that were built just for the legal industry.
We’ve compiled a quick list of ways to save money on hiring a staff while you are growing your practice.
Hire Part-Time or Outsource
You don’t have to hire a full-time staff to run your practice. You can hire part-time help or even hire interns. By hiring interns, they gain valuable experience while you get to save money on having to pay a full-time employee. You can check with local colleges, universities or law schools in your area. Another thing you can do is to outsource legal research to companies who will handle this entire process for you. There are services who have a staff of freelance lawyers and paralegals where you can place an order, and they do your legal research at a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time paralegal.
Hire Freelance Attorneys
There are lots of attorneys who work part-time and from home. Often times, they have decided that they need more flexibility than working in a traditional law firm in order to spend more time with family or take care of personal obligations. Many of these attorneys are quite talented and are available to utilize for an affordable rate. You can hire freelance attorneys to create contracts or help with legal research.
Create a Client Portal
You can set up a client portal where they can view the status of their case and communicate with you online. This should be over a secure and encrypted server. There are many law practice management tools that allow for online client communication and collaboration to save you time. This is more efficient than using email to communicate back and forth with clients. Client portal tools allow you to interact with your clients, plan, share documents and manage tasks in a private online location. It’s a great way to provide a more convenient system to communicate with clients throughout the duration of a case.
Rent from a Coworking or Virtual Office
You don’t have to pay thousands of dollars to rent out office space. Instead, you can use a coworking space at an affordable monthly price. Coworking spaces are different from traditional leasing programs because they usually don’t require you to sign a 12-month lease. Coworking spaces are shared areas that come with amenities such as printing, snacks and refreshments and affordable working options. The other option is to use a Virtual office. These are also shared office areas but they usually come with a receptionist and answering services that are built into your monthly fee. This will help you maintain a professional image by having a shared receptionist answer all of your calls. These services will also collect your mail and even forward it. You can even meet clients there and the receptionist will greet them for you. They usually include access to a conference room and printing services. The main difference between a coworking space and a virtual office is that the latter may require you to sign a lease to rent out your own office area. However, the monthly rent is much lower than leasing your own office.
You can also hire freelancers to handle your online marketing efforts. Small boutique consulting firms are often lower priced than hiring an in house marketer. You don’t have to hire a big agency. Instead there are lots of smaller consultancies and even solo freelance marketers who can help you promote your law firm. The types of tasks that they can handle include blogging, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), website updates and maintenance, promoting your firm on social media and managing your client email newsletter. When outsourcing to vendors or consultants, you want to also make sure that it’s a good fit. Look at their portfolio and past client testimonials. Sometimes it’s best to get referrals from other attorneys. Also find out if they charge by the hour or a flat fee. You’ll want to set a budget for each task you need to outsource. Another way to save costs on hiring a staff is to use a good practice management tool that can help you automate a lot of repetitive or time-consuming tasks. You can save a lot of money by using these tools because they usually handle your calendar management, scheduling, client intake forms, document sharing and client communication.
In order to maintain a productive and profitable law practice, you need to be organized. A lack of organization can mean that you and your staff won’t be able to work as efficiently and this will cost you time which eventually cost you more money. You also risk jeopardizing the success of your clients’ cases due to lack of organization. Being disorganized will lead to documents being misfiled, missed deadlines, scheduling conflicts and even some potential malpractice situations that can cost you your reputation in the legal industry. Staying organized is not easy though or everyone would do it. Here are a few tips that can help you keep your firm on track and organized.
You can take the first step to be organized by first decluttering your space. Keep paperwork, court documents and forms in file folders an organized in draws or boxes. Label paperwork in groups and file them in easily accessible place. Begin with one section of your office at a time and then work through each area. It is important to finish one area before moving on to the next so that you can see the difference your efforts are making and feel some success with your organizational efforts.
Get Rid of Items and Purge
If you can scan documents, then shred the physical copy. Unless you need to keep documents with notarized signatures, seals or stamps. Otherwise, try to scan everything else. You can then store these documents on a secure online storage system. Also, make sure you store or scan closed case paperwork. Only keep active and open case paperwork handy in your office.
Create Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s)
If you have hired assistants or staff, then you should document the file organization system that is used in your practice. List what needs to be filed and where and under what folders. Having a standard operation procedures (SOP) document allows you to easily train new hires to your law firm which will save you a lot of time.
Use online tools to simplify your work.
You should take advantage of tools to manage client communication and to gather information for cases. You should also look into using online billing systems like Law Pay and an appointment scheduler such as Calendarly. These tools are affordable and can help you automate your caseload.
Document or write things down.
It sounds simple, but many attorneys don’t do this enough. Just relying on your memory is not enough. You can write out your thoughts in a notepad or you can use an online note taking tool for easy access. If you are a mac user the newly revamped mac notes works great, if windows, One Note is a great tool.
Make to-do Lists.
Each day, you should make a list of all your tasks. You can write them down in your calendar, or you can use an online task management system. It’s a good idea to do this at the beginning of each week to make a high level list of to-do items. Then each day you can prioritize them or change them. The key thing with todo lists is a daily cadence of using them. Set aside time and force yourself to look at your todo list at the same time for 30 days to build up the habit of using it.
Create a schedule with due dates.
Once you have your tasks for the week, assign due dates to them. No dates means tasks can sit forever. If you miss a due date, dont’ just change it, make sure you note the original date so you can see clearly that you missed your date. These can also be added to your calendar. A good practice management tool can help you organize your calendar and to-do items for the week or the entire month.
Schedule everything on your calendar.
There are very convenient calendar scheduling tools that allow you to send a link to clients for interviews and phone calls. They can then view your available times and schedule. You’ll get an email and they will as well. Your calendar will also sync. This is a great way to start automating your practice.
Instead of emailing your client back and forth, use a client portal. A good law practice management tool can help you keep client communication in one central location. It will also let clients have an easy to use online tool to send you documents and intake information.
When you are just starting out or if you are a small law firm, being organized will help you save time so that you can focus on getting more clients and therefore bring in more revenue.
Sync Your Devices
Another good thing to do is to keep your devices and software tools synced and accessible through your mobile devices. This will help you even while inside of the court room. If you are on the road, having your client contact information synced to your phone or easily reachible through your mobile device can help you quickly get in touch if you need more information.
Now that you have read through the different ways you can get organized in your legal practice it’s time to implement. It might feel overwhelming at first. It doesn’t have to be. Start with a few areas of your office that you can work on a little bit at a time. Schedule out some time in your calendar to do this. Once you have organized a specific area of your business or office, you’ll be more motivated to complete the additional improvements. Make organizing your office a project and give yourself some small milestones to complete your tasks. You will thank yourself when you look back at your efforts and enjoy your productivity.