In this moment, attendees had forgotten their mobile devices as all heads snapped up.
Attendees of this LegalTech session – Moneyball for Lawyers: Using Data to Build a Major-League Law Practice – watched and listened with undivided attention.
The presenter, Christopher T. Anderson, asked, perhaps demanded, a young lady, a legal marketer, sitting in the front of the conference room to make circles with her arm in the air.
Still sitting in her session seat, she made a few circles with the unease of any unsuspecting attendee conscripted into participating in a teaching moment.
“Make bigger circles!” he snapped with the tone of a former prosecutor.
A pin could have dropped on the floor and the room would have heard it.
She made bigger circles.
“You’re going in the wrong direction!” Mr. Anderson said with audible annoyance.
Tension in the room grew.
She changed the direction of her arm, still motioning with circles in the air.
Mr. Anderson continued with his sharp corrections, perhaps once or twice more. At each exchange, she seemed unable to perform the task adequately and the discomfort in the room rose.
The lines around the corner of Mr. Anderson’s mouth looked to be restraining a smile. Then, with a softer tone and directing his comments to attendees, he observed she’d next wonder about why she had to do arm circles or the duration of arm circles.
A written policy or procedure, on precisely how to perform arm circles to standard in a LegalTech session, might have averted this procedural mishap.
The room collectively exhaled in relief.
Of Circles and Small Law Firm Policy
The exercise was a point to illustrate why policies and procedures are important, even for a small law firm. Policies and procedures are necessary for a law firm to scale and enable partners to focus on the five highest-value tasks in a law firm.
Those five tasks are:
- Marketing and client development
- Client relationships
- Strategic planning
- Strategic management
- Highest-level legal skills
Without policies and procedures, the finite and valuable time a partner has for practicing law and earning revenue, is siphoned away providing direction for routine or low value tasks:
- Opening mail and email
- Answering telephones
- Organizing your office and desk
- Maintaining office supplies 6 clerical tasks
Sure, every task is important, but not every task carries equal weight in terms of value to the firm. The secret to growing a small law firm, according to Mr. Anderson, is to “pick off” one of those low value tasks, hire someone else to do it, and create leverage for the firm.
The leverage, and by extension additional revenue gained, can be re-invested in the firm to pick off another low value task until the firm reaches the efficiently and optimal performance a partner desires.
* * *
See our additional news and coverage stemming from LegalTech 2016:
- Outrun the Bear: Law Firm Cybersecurity and the Insider Threat
- LegalTech: 6 Tips for Convincing Attorneys to Embrace CRM
- 7 Trends Heard [So Far] at LegalTech New York 2016
- eDiscovery Darwinism: Meet Brainspace CEO Dave Copps [Q&A]
- LTNY Keynote: Judges, Courtrooms and Tech [Session Summary]
- Lexis DiscoveryIQ: Every Case Has a Story; Find it Faster
- Lexis DiscoveryIQ Applies Advanced Visual Analytics to E-Discovery
- Six Sigma: Driving Better Law Firm Business Decisions
- Button: $3.8 million is the average cost of a data breach
- 13 Filtered eDiscovery Statistics to Warm Up for LegalTech New York
- Faster, Easier eDiscovery Review: The New Concordance Desktop
- Espresso and 5 Can’t Miss Events at #LTNY 2016