Snap out of it!

Snap out of it!

Is 2014 the year you improve the productivity of your law firm?

While I hope that happens, it is more likely that you and your staff will continue to follow the same procedures you used last year and the year before that. When was the last time you and your partners took a day to review each step performed by each employee from the front desk to the back room and analyzed how their tasks could be performed more efficiently?

Have you recently called into the office to see how long it takes for someone to answer an incoming call? How long were you kept on “Hold” after a curt “Law Office, one moment please?”

When was the last time someone reviewed all of the intermediate steps it required at your firm from initial telephone contact until obtaining a signed Retainer Agreement and initial payment receipt from a new client?

Has your firm adopted a policy to use an approved collection of Firm Documents so that your practice management or document assembly program auto-fills most of the text for those documents used repeatedly?

When was the last time you reviewed with the firm’s IT vendor the workstation lock-down policy so staff cannot use  firm time for shopping for shoes or checking sports scores? Can the staff use firm internet band-width to stream their favorite online music station or video?

Besides the bookkeeper, who else is reviewing who is not promptly posting billable time entries? What is the firm policy for penalizing perpetual late posts?

Is the firm utilizing all of the features of the practice management program? When was the last time the staff had a refresher course to review all of the productivity functions the software provides?

Who is developing the firm’s “paperless” office policy? Has someone performed a review of what incoming and outgoing documents should not be on paper?

What is the firm’s short-term goal for moving to a “cloud-based” working environment? Who last checked to confirm that the firm’s back-up system is really making current backups? Is every single document created or received by the firm located on a central server accessible by all and with multiple redundant copies?

How mobile is the firm? Can each lawyer access their appointments, matter list and documents on their smartphone and tablet? How about creating time and expense entries in the field in real time?

If you or one of your partners are not addressing these issues today, then how do you expect your firm to work at maximum productivity and gain maximum profits in 2014?

Make today The Day: Snap Out of it!

Steve Miller, JD  has provided law office productivity consulting services since 1998. He is certified in LexisNexis PCLaw®, LexisNexis Time Matters® and Amicus Attorney®.

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