Have you thought about a virtual receptionist?

Law firm virtual receptionistWhen the phones ring at your law firm, who is picking up?  Do you a receptionist at your law firm?  Do individuals simply hit an auto attendant at your law firm and then select an extension?  This decision can have an important impact on your law firm.

Most clients and potential clients still like having the phone picked up by a live person when they are calling.  The live person can add a sense of calm.  It can help show that your law firm is well-run.  It can help give your law firm a sense of legitimacy.  You really cannot underestimate this personal touch.

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Job data regarding millennials

Millennial law firm employeesNo matter what kind of law firm you are running, you are likely to receive applications from people looking for employment.  Many of these job applications are going to come from millennials.

Millennials can have a lot to offer.  Being new in a career, and fresh out of college in certain instances, can result in some fresh ideas, excitement and enthusiasm for a law firm.

The reality, however, is that there is some data as it relates to millennials that you may want to keep in mind as you make hires.  Knowing the data can help you understand millennials — and understand what is often important to them.  Additionally, the data can also help you have reasonable expectations.   [Read more…]

Are you a dangling a hook in somebody else’s pond?

Law firm fishing in pondIf you’ve decided to hang a shingle or start your own law firm, it can be a difficult endeavor.  Statistics show that most businesses fail (8 in 10).  So, getting your firm off the ground and moving forward is not always easy.  Many lawyers end up seeking employment at a different law firm, once their law firm doesn’t work.

But if you have some success, and if you do some things the right way, there can be an opposite problem that can take hold.  Now, you have gotten some clients.  You’ve got some business.  Folks start to get used to seeing you at the courthouse and elsewhere.

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Do you bring potential clients into your office or conference room?

Law firm initial consultationsWhen potential clients come to meet you in your law firm, where do you first meet them?  Do you meet them in your office?  Or, do you meet them in a conference room?  This is a question that a lot of folks ask and do differently.

In the end, lots of attorneys have different preferences in terms of how they handle this decision.  Some attorneys like to bring clients into their personal office.  They may have their degrees hung in their office.  They get to sit at their desk.  They feel more comfortable.  They feel like this is the better move. [Read more…]

Hiring castoffs from competitors

Hiring castoffsFinding experienced law firm employees can be difficult in any law firm environment.  No matter the area of law, almost every law firm is looking for employees with experience.

Experience can help result in an easier transition;  employees that have experience can hit the ground running.  This is the thought at least.

The reality, however, is that many of the experienced employees who apply may have worked for a competitor law firm.  For whatever reason, that employment relationship didn’t work out.  Now, they want to apply to work for your law firm.

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The overrated open door policy

Open door policy in law firm

If employees were surveyed about one of the things that they like in a boss, an open door policy would be near the top of the list for many.  For many employees, the idea of an open door policy makes sense.  It means they can ask questions whenever matters arise and have them quickly addressed.

In many businesses, an open door policy might make a lot of sense.  In fact, if there wasn’t an open door policy, it might mean that things could go wrong.  It also means that employees could go down wrong paths and not have their issues addressed.  This could ultimately result in bad service that could hurt a business.

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Don’t hire friends or family

Don't hire friends or family membersIf you own a law firm, you might inevitably have friends or family ask for jobs at your law firm.  The thought is that this is a friend or family member.  They know you.  You know them.  That will equal trust.  And that trust will equal a great employment relationship.

Even if friends and family members are not coming to you, you might have a job opening come available at your law firm.  You might know of a friend or family member who is looking for employment.  They may or may not even be qualified for the job opportunity.  But in an effort at helping them out, or avoiding the process of posting job ads and interviews, you forego it by hiring a friend of family member.

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Network form drive

Law firm storageIn a previous blog entry, I talked about the importance of setting up a network drive within your law firm.  I’ve also talked about the importance of having cloud-based practice management software.

If you don’t have both (or at least one setup in your law firm), this is likely something you should do right away.  Having a network drive and cloud based practice management software can help increase the efficiency of your law firm.

Employees ultimately need to be able to access forms and templates in some uniform place within your law firm.  This can generally be accomplished through having a network drive in your law firm.  Or, you can utilize practice management software where all your forms are uploaded and stored on the cloud.

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When it’s time for an office makeover

Law firm office makeoverDepending on how long you’ve been in your office location, it might be time to freshen it up.  When you work in a location for so long, you can sometimes get immune to the overall appearance.  Over time, if the appearance of an office declines, the overall success of an office can take a hit.

As I referenced in another entry, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on law firm furniture in order to make an office look nice.  It is certainly possibly to purchase furniture affordably or even used that could be an upgrade.

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The figurative law firm union boss

Law firm union bossWithin any law firm, managers or supervisors within a law firm are needed.  Depending on the size and scope of the law firm, managers or supervisors could be needed for attorneys, paralegals/legal assistants and various administrative staff.

The overall mentality of these managers or supervisors is really critical to the success of the law firm.  On a fundamental level, any law firm manager or supervisor needs to ensure that the policies and procedures of the law firm are implemented.  Law firm managers and supervisors also need to help ensure that the vision of the law firm is being furthered.

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