Time management tips

Time management in law firmTime management is critical for any law firm owner or manager. The reality is there is always lots to do.  Law firm owners and managers need keep all kinds of balls in the air at the same time.

Law firm managers and owners need to worry about the legal work they and their employees perform. Is the work being performed competent, communicative and diligent?

Law firm managers and owners also need to worry about the management of their law firm. How is it being managed? Is it being managed in an effective manner?

Law firm managers and owners also need to worry about the administrative side of their law firm. From the copy machines, computers and postage machines, is it all working?  Are all administrative manners being streamlined in an organized manner?

Of course, law firm managers and owners also need to worry about marketing. Marketing cannot be put on the back burner in most law firms. Law firm managers and owners also need to worry about recruiting the best talent when positions open.

Of course, life firm managers and owners also have a life. They need to be able to get out of the office to spend time with their families, take care of things at home and/or other perform important tasks outside of the office.

For many law firm managers and owners, the time constraints can be overwhelming. In many instances, it might feel like it is too much to handle. Below are five tips to help you better manage your time:

Delegate, But Verify – To succeed as a law firm manager or owner, you cannot do it all yourself. At the same time, you need to verify that the task was done in an appropriate manner. So, be sure you are putting systems in play to ensure that you are delegating, but not doing so blindly. Instead, you are delegating, but verifying that the task was done.

Cut Needless “Time Suck” Activities – Are there things that you are spending a lot of time doing that are really not helping your law firm run in an efficient way. Certainly, networking and socializing might be important. But is your networking and socializing paying off in a way that you can measure? Or, has it simply become a giant “time suck” that is not equating to measurable results? If it simply a “time suck,” consider cutting it off. You do not have the time to waste when your law firm has other more important items that demand your attention.

Fire Problematic Employees – Managing law firm employees can be tremendously difficult. Certainly law firm managers and owners should try to coach employees who want to do good work for the firm. On the other hand, if the motives of some employees are not positive, and/or the effort put into coaching certain employees outweighs any positive contribution they could make, let these employees go. Problematic employees can result in a tremendous amount of wasted time and frustration.

Hire Administrative Staff – Many law firm owners and managers want to do it all themselves. Or, they want to hire one office manager and allow them to handle the administrative side of their law firm. Versus trying to do it all yourself or putting it all in one person, think about dividing these responsibilities up. Have somebody in charge of human resources, marketing, intake, client care, finance and simply delegate to them, but again verify that they are performing their job roles.

Implement a Closed Door PolicyMany law firm managers or owners insist on having an open door policy. But an open door policy results in the law firm manager or owner simply fielding questions from employees all day long. And it does not allow them to get done what they need to get done. It also impedes the ability of employees to investigate solutions and/or problem solve on their own.  Instead of an open door policy, provide set times where people can ask you questions (but for an emergency) and keep your door closed.

Time management is just critical to the success of any law firm manager or owner. These five steps should help move you in the right direction.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.



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