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Avoiding 3 Common Solo Law Firm Pitfalls

How to Avoid 3 Common Solo Law Firm Pitfalls

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.

Solo and small law firm attorneys often struggle with why and when they should bring people in to help, and the answers really aren’t as hard as they need to be.

First, the why: You bring people in to help you so that you can make more money than it costs you to pay for their services.

Then, the when: You bring in people to help when you are doing lower-value work that someone else should and could be doing.

It might sound counterintuitive, but the best time for extra help is right from the very start of your business. Many functions of a law office, like answering phones, can be outsourced at a reasonable fee. Your time is much too valuable to be doing things that can be outsourced.

For those that need a specific trigger, look for the time when you’re doing more of someone else’s job than your own job of being a lawyer.

Common Excuses, Real Answers

Here are some common traps that attorneys fall into; followed by the reasons they don’t hold water.

“It’s just me in the office, why should I pay someone else to do what I can do myself?”

It can be terrifying hiring staff or associates. If it’s not done correctly it can really damage your law firm. The reason to do it is so that you can build a system-based business that you run and that doesn’t run you, and so that your firm can be MORE profitable. And by profitable, I mean more money, more free time and less stress.

“I don’t trust them to do it the way I need it done, so I do it myself”

Again, we come to high value work vs. low value work. All too often, it seems easier to hide behind the tasks you feel comfortable doing, but shouldn’t be doing.

“It’s easier to do it myself, what’s wrong with that?”

If it’s easier to do it yourself, it means your haven’t invested the proper amount of time in your staff. It’s critical you define the processes and procedures for them to follow so that it is impossible for them to do the job any way other than how you want them to do it. You need to also figure out how each new position will make you more profit (in either time, money, less stress, or all of the above).

This is a critical step to enable them – and you – to succeed.
The complete eBook, with 14 other expert viewpoints, is freely available for download with registration here.

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Glen Malia is an attorney at Malia Law, LLC.  Mr. Malia has contributed to other eBooks including the LexisNexis Firm Manager Survival Guide for the Independent Attorney.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
Do Small Law Firms Need Policies and Procedures?

Photo credit:  Flickr, János Csongor Kerekes (CC BY-ND-2.0)

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About Dave Honaker

Dave Honaker
Dave Honaker joined LexisNexis in 2011 and currently serves as an eMarketing Specialist for the Business of Law Software Solutions group. His career has been focused on the targeted communication of thoughts and ideas for advertising and marketing firms, lobbying groups, and motion picture production companies from New York to Washington, D.C. As a current member of the LexisNexis Firm Manager® team, he has helped rebuild the product from the ground up with input from solo and small-firm attorneys around the country to best serve their needs. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Public Relations from Radford University.
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