Bill More Hours By Automating Everything Else
Lawyers make their living by billing clients for work that is conducted during "billable hours". This means that any miscellaneous work that they do that is not considered billable only serves to decrease their revenues.
While serving their clients to the best of their abilities is the number one goal for all attorneys, they also must consider their own bottom line as well. Small firms must be particularly concerned with these financial figures as they have less margin for error:
Non-billable tasks are important to the maintenance and growth of your law firm. But at the same time, they cost money to execute and consume time that could otherwise be used for earning revenue. This is particularly a problem for small and solo practices that have fewer revenue streams available to offset such expenses, compared to large practices.
With that in mind, it is important to look at how office automation can potentially cut down on some of the time that lawyers put into non-billable work that still needs to get accomplished.
Can't You Just Hire a Legal Assistant For That?
For most of history, lawyers have relied on legal assistants to take care of some of the daily grind work that helps to keep their office moving. However, automation is starting to make full-time legal assistants seem less valuable. Automation makes it easier to accomplish the same amount of work (or more) than a human ever could without all of the associated costs. Human legal assistants require a salary and benefits, they take time off for illness or vacation, and they are prone to error. Meanwhile, automated systems:
- Have far lower error rates
- Don't cost nearly as much as a human with a full salary
- Can plow through larger amounts of work than any human can
These reasons alone have many lawyers casting their eyes towards automated systems over the human assistants that they had been employing.
How Can I Automate My Firm?
Now you know why you should automate your firm, but the question is, how do you do so? You will need to follow a few steps to get yourself from Point A to Point B on this one.
Select Which Aspect of the Office You Will Automate
There are certain aspects of the work that you do that can only be handled by a talented lawyer such as yourself. Thus, you need to settle on the parts of your job that you don't need expert training or skills for. This may include things such as scanning documents, e-fax, creating electronic letterhead, and more. In short, a lot of the mundane paperwork aspects of the job can be taken care of by automation.
Create a Value System for Each Task
You should ask yourself how much value each particular task adds to the overall functioning of the office. If the value of a given task is low, then off to automation it goes. If the value is very high, such as consulting with a client face-to-face, then that task will stay under your control.
Review Which Automation Tools You Will Use
More and more automation tools are coming to market each day. Review what is out there, and see which ones are relevant to the work that you do. Once you have this figured out, buy them and start making a plan to use them.
Unleash the Automation!
The final step is to put all of the planning and preparation that you have done to good use. You should start to use the automation tools to help grow your law firm by developing them strategically in a way that will clearly pay off. Make sure you check in on how those tools are operating in the early days. Also, be sure to tweak any systems that aren't quite cutting it for you.
If you would like more information on how you can automate your office for maximum productivity, please fill out this free form to request an initial consultation with our team. We can go over the steps you need to put into action.