Get Your Law Firm Organized

Managing a solo or small law firm can sometimes feel like an exercise in futility. As more tasks get stacked onto your plate, your grip on once-simple assignments can begin to slip. No one is impervious to the chaos of juggling too many roles. At first, your hours grow a bit longer, but soon, your days may be filled with tasks ancillary to practicing law. Your schedule and office have become such a mess that it’s questionable whether even the magical Marie Kondo could save you. Opening the day’s to-do list, you steel yourself to perform several lead intakes and information requests. Although these tasks will certainly not bring you the joy the famed organizer lauded, their completion remains critical to your firm.

The Chaos

The issue is simple — there is too much to do to remain competitive. Your firm has neither the time nor staffing to complete these tasks adequately. Surprisingly, few of these tasks require advanced qualifications. You went to law school and passed the bar, but nothing prepared you for the dull litany of redundant tasks necessary to running a law firm as a business.

As you become more adept at running your firm, you find more tasks necessary to keep your firm competitive. Many of these tasks are a never-ending sea of repetition that will eventually drown those unable to step outside the situation, simplify the problems, and uncover the solution.

The Problems

As the issues build, you may not even see a problem. The chaos tends to grow gradually in a casual accumulation that acknowledges your limits and abilities. As you become more adept in one area, you take on more responsibility in another, and slowly, you acclimate to the new, ever-increasing workload — until you are overwhelmed. 

One of the first steps to organizing your law firm is identifying the genuine problems. There’s a good chance these problems are at the core:

  • There are too many tasks to complete in-house.
  • You’re overqualified for many of these tasks.
  • You’re too overwhelmed to find the solution.

Too many tasks

No matter how stubborn, brilliant, and dedicated you are, you cannot do everything. Every task you accept will take away from something important to you, like:

  • Actual legal work
  • Personal or family time
  • Your health and sanity

Having too many ancillary tasks on your plate isn’t good for anyone, including your clients. 

You are overqualified

If you’re overqualified for the task, then perhaps you shouldn’t be doing it. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything ancillary to legal work, but your time is devalued when these tasks take up too much of your day. 

The difficulty of seeing solutions

Initially, handling all the details in-house makes sense as you may have been cutting costs and fighting for your first clients. However, once overwhelmed, tunnel vision can set in. This keeps you focused on the next immediate task, and finding solutions becomes more difficult.

How to Clear the Chaos

The only way to clear the chaos is to take some time to observe the situation as an unbiased observer. First, you should identify the issues. You could start by sketching out the average week and listing the amount of time you spend on assignments you prefer not to handle versus projects you should prioritize. For example:

How to Organize My Small Business:
Tasks I would rather not do

How to Organize My Law Firm:
Tasks I want to prioritize

* Answering inquiries about the law firm via phone, email, social media, website, and other platforms
* Conducting lead intakes
* Scheduling appointments with current and potential clients
* Chatting with potential clients who find the website
* Marketing and advertising
* Lead generation

* Meeting with pre-qualified clients
* Preparing legal documents
* Strategizing
* Advocating in the courtroom
* Negotiating with the other party on behalf of my client
* Pro bono work
* Occasionally take a vacation

Total time in a week: 60%

Total time in a week: 40%

Once you have identified and listed the issues, it is easier to source the solution. If you could find a way to eliminate a large percentage of recurring weekly work, your potential opportunities may become incredibly exciting.

The Solutions

Once you understand the problems, you can brainstorm potential solutions that will help put you back in control of your day, your law firm and its tasks. Possible solutions could include working longer hours, hiring more staff, and automating or outsourcing your tasks.

Working longer hours: Longer hours sacrifices your quality of life and is likely only acceptable as a short-term solution.

Hiring more staff: Hiring additional staff is an expensive solution to the problem. You were likely taking on excess work to avoid hiring more staff. 

Automation and third-party outsourcing: New technology can be a godsend to law firms overwhelmed with recurring tasks. It can free up time while remaining an economical option for your problems.

Automation and Third-Party Outsourcing

Many services focus on supporting small law firms. Automation and third-party outsourcing services can help free up your time to focus on the legal tasks that matter most. Today’s law firm software can handle various tasks, like:

  • Online scheduling
  • Answering services
  • Case management
  • Lead intake

Automation can help you eliminate recurring tasks from your to-do list. From daily organizational programs customized to your legal needs to legal software that can organize law firm intake processes, today’s technology can provide your firm with the means to free up time to focus on your most important tasks. 

Martindale-Avvo’s Services

One example of empowering automation is Martindale-Avvo’s services. They consistently support the growing needs of today’s tech-conscious law firms to help keep you competitive in an evolving marketplace. Martindale-Avvo offers a wide range of services aimed at simplifying law firm management, like:

Martindale-Avvo can help you stay a step ahead with its cutting-edge technology services that can help you automate recurring tasks. 

Captorra Lead Intake and Case Management

The Captorra tool is particularly valuable to small law firms overwhelmed by recurring tasks. Captorra provides lead and case management support to help simplify your day and improve your clients’ experience. It is a cost-effective way to ensure your lead intake is covered while freeing up valuable time for you and your staff to focus on impending legal cases and other critical assignments. Not only can Captorra help you reclaim much-needed time in your law firm, but it can also provide you with:

  • 27% more clients
  • Integration with your case management system
  • Actionable data
  • Maximum efficiency

Captorra is particularly well-suited for firms looking to take their first steps toward automation. By automating the lead intake process, you can free up a substantial number of weekly hours in your attorneys’ schedules, allowing them to focus on previously-validated clients.

Simultaneously, you may see an increase in clients as the intake process becomes more streamlined. As these leads transition into new clients, Captorra seamlessly integrates them into its legal case management system which is easily integrated with your preferred business platform.

Martindale-Avvo’s Captorra lead intake and case management tool is an efficient way to improve your client service while maximizing your firm’s efficiency and increasing your return on investment. It is a brilliantly simple solution to the problematic prospect of organizing your law firm. 

The Zen of Minimalizing Your Law Firm

Integrating automation and third-party services into your law firm’s organizational plans can help you cut through the daily clutter distracting you from your objectives. Eliminate the distractions and attain the Zen of minimalism within your law firm. As Marie Kondo might say, “keep only those tasks that speak to your heart” — for the rest, there is automation and third-party outsourcing.

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