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Grow: Perform a “Health Check” Your Law Firm’s Processes

Perform a “Health Check” When Growth Out-Paces Your Firm’s Processes

Note: The following is an excerpt from a new eBook titled 15 Ideas for Getting a Jump-Start on 2015 which is freely available with registration.

With the economy finally easing back into optimism mode, many law firms are now in the enviable position of having to cope with a welcome shot of growth. That’s good news in every way for an industry that has suffered its share of turmoil.

The only twist is that fast growth can overwhelm processes that simply can’t keep pace with the new realities of meshing more people and matters with a need for greater productivity from everyone across the board.

If your law firm has grown to the point where you have several staff attending to the back office transactions of client/matter setup, accounting and physical file management, it is critical that the managing partner/ committee understand how tasks are being performed and that they are consistently being done properly.

an annual review of your firm’s operations manuals helps you know that if anything were to happen to an employee, the firm would still be able to function with nothing more than a temporary decrease in efficiency.

While constant audits of procedures will make employees feel like they aren’t being trusted, an annual review of your firm’s operations manuals helps you know that if anything were to happen to an employee, the firm would still be able to function with nothing more than a temporary decrease in efficiency.

From a firm operations standpoint, it’s also important to make sure job descriptions reconcile with the type of job you expect and what you are willing to pay for. For example, while you may be seeking CPA-level accounting knowledge, you may discover that your salary offer is a better match with that of a bookkeeper. In such circumstances, neither you nor your hire will be happy because your job expectations don’t line up. More reasonable would be to hire a bookkeeper while retaining an accounting firm to review and manage your books from a higher level.

When having your firm’s work reviewed, approach it from an efficiency standpoint. Tell your staff that you would like to bring in outside thinkers to help analyze the firm and review workflows for missing efficiencies. By doing this, you can make sure that the work is documented for the way it is being performed and the staff might be able to reduce workload by having a new set of eyes view the situation.

It shouldn’t come across as a lack of trust, but that you are performing a “health check” on firm operations to make sure you can handle growth without having important matters fall through the cracks.

The complete eBook, with 14 other expert viewpoints, is freely available for download with registration here.

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Tyler Chapman, MSF is a LexisNexis Juris Field Consultant.  He may be reached at Tyler.Chapman@lexisnexis.com

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Photo credit:  Jasleen Kaur, Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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About Paula Avery

Paula Avery
Paula Avery is the Creative Manager, Content for the Business of Law and Litigation Software Solutions (BLSS) group at LexisNexis Legal & Professional. With a long background in advertising and marketing – including 20 years running her own advertising/consulting firm – Avery’s focus is on helping companies better connect with and communicate what makes their customers’ lives better, a focus she continues in her work with LexisNexis today. Paula has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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