Time is money, right? If law firms are constantly playing catch-up with completing tasks, they can waste valuable time chasing down past due invoices. And if your legal team is constantly behind the curve on project work, they’re wasting time working on problems that slow you down.
Both scenarios lead to lost revenue for legal teams. This can be a big problem for your firm’s bottom line, especially when they have to work even harder to catch up.
To help your legal team stay ahead of the curve and avoid spending extra time on tasks they’re already doing, you need to implement some scheduling policies that can make them more efficient. Try these tips:
Speed up ordinary work with new technologies
One of the most time-consuming parts of managing your legal team is processing invoices and bills. It’s also an extremely repetitive task that can be streamlined with a new wave of legal technology: artificial intelligence (AI). Many human resources and finance professionals already use AI to speed up mundane work like data entry, so why not try it out in law?
If you’re worried about how the integration will go, rest assured there are many AI applications for lawyers. Some even have live chat features so you don’t have to worry about needing a dedicated paralegal just for billing. For instance, as the professionals from Brightflag explain, the chatbot will alert you when there are any issues with your invoices, providing detailed information about what’s wrong. If these tools can save law firms time that can be spent on more profitable tasks, this could be a tipping point for legal tech.
Another area in your law firm that could benefit from AI is document review. The idea isn’t to replace your existing staff, but rather speed up basic tasks like scanning and organizing documents.
These are only some of the ways AI can keep your law firm employees from being bogged down by repetitive work. It’s a matter of finding new software and solutions, but it is safe to say that you’re already behind if you haven’t made a move toward implementing AI into your daily routine.
Let your legal team work remotely
If you’re worried about losing control of your legal staff, there is one simple solution: let them work Remotely. Many law firms currently allow their employees to telecommute as it increases productivity and helps recruit and retain talent. Going a step further, try implementing a flexible schedule for your entire staff. If you give people the option to work a traditional 9-to-5 workday or come in early and leave early to accommodate personal commitments, you can boost happiness at your law firm.
Flexible scheduling has been shown to increase productivity from workers, so this could be the missing link between an efficient legal team and a profitable law firm.
Rethink how you run projects and cases
For any legal team, the most time-consuming tasks are managing projects and preparing for hearings. These are important aspects of your law firm’s operation because they involve coordinating with clients, other attorneys, paralegals, etc. However, when you have to meet deadlines or prepare for a case in court, it eats up too much precious time during the day.
You can speed things up by adopting new project management software. It will allow you to stay organized without running around trying to find information on every file in your office. One way this technology helps law firms is by putting everything in “the cloud,” so everyone has access to it at all. This saves them from having to wait until the end of the day to update each other about changes in a case.
Finding the right project management software can also help you save time on tasks like surveys and contracts that are relevant to your practice area. This way, everyone is working from the same data, making it easier for your firm to stay organized without wasting too much time. As with AI systems, it’s only a matter of finding out which one works best for your needs before implementing it into your daily routine.
Invest in training programs.
Your law firm’s staff will never be 100% efficient if they’re working with old technologies and using inefficient processes. If you want to boost your legal team’s profitability, then they must always have access to the most up-to-date training.
This can help them improve productivity while also staying on top of new laws and industry standards, which are constantly evolving in modern business. Make sure legal professionals know where they can go for new resources if they need materials but don’t have them readily available on their own. At the same time, make sure you keep track of all the training programs your law firm funds so you can budget accordingly or allocate funding based on what has been used before.
Automate repetitive tasks
Similar to the first point, one way for your law firm to save time is by automating processes. If you have any mundane tasks that are always being done in the same order or by the same people, it’s time to automate them so everyone can focus on more important matters. It may be easily done if you’re using the right software. Once repetitive tasks are automated, you can reuse that saved time for other purposes like finally getting caught up with billable hours or researching new legal topics.
This will not only save you money because you won’t need an employee dedicated solely to these repetitive tasks but it could also keep things fresh and interesting among your legal team members since they’ll get a break from their usual responsibilities now and then. While this solution may seem like an easy fix, be mindful of how it could affect profitability if you’re removing one of your employees’ jobs.
Increase employee retention
The final tip for your law firm is to increase retention by giving employees the perks and benefits they deserve. If you’re not offering things like health insurance or sick days, consider implementing them if you can afford them.
Retaining key employees should be a high priority because it could give your law firm an edge over other firms. It’s no secret that happy employees are productive employees so this could build up goodwill that may result in more referrals and bigger cases down the line. In addition to offering these benefits, try having an open-door policy so your employees can voice any concerns they have with upper management. This will create a sense of transparency that can boost morale at your law firm.
While these six strategies are just the beginning when it comes to saving time for your legal team, they could be beneficial in making sure everyone is always on task and efficiently producing high-quality work without putting too much strain on the budget. The key point is not to lose sight of what’s best for your company simply because you’re used to doing things one way. Instead, be proactive and think outside the box when it comes to saving time for your legal team so you can increase profitability and productivity.