So you’ve set your sights on 2022, and your primary goal is to grow your law firm. Running a successful law firm is one thing, but growing it is an entirely different proposition. You’ve probably noticed that you’re struggling to acquire new clients, or perhaps the competition is stepping up their game. Either way, a stagnant law firm is something you don’t want to get stuck in.
Growing a law firm is about being proactive. When you have a solid plan in place, you’ll be able to overcome the challenges you’re facing and reach that next level of success. Whether your goal is to increase revenue growth or outperform your competitors, this article will help you scale your law firm and ensure consistent progress this 2022.
1. Identify the core tasks you should focus on
The first step in growing your law firm is to narrow down the core tasks you should focus on. While having a strong work ethic is beneficial to your professional development, that may not always be the case for your law firm. You only have so many hours to spend each day, and you want to make sure you’re spending those hours on tasks that help your law firm grow.
There’s a good chance you’re working on routine tasks that you really shouldn’t be working on yourself. Take a backseat and evaluate your daily workload. Ask yourself the question, “Are the tasks I’m doing profitable for the law firm?” If the answer is no, you need to delegate those duties to your staff members.
Knowing which task to delegate is only half the challenge. The next part is choosing which staff member to entrust it to. Choose a staff member that’s competent to do the job and has the appropriate billing rate to do it. Considering that time is essential for any lawyer, ensure that the staff member can confidently complete the job with little to no supervision.
When you spend your hours working on billable tasks, you put yourself and your law firm in the best position to succeed.
2. Maintain efficient operations
Lawyers at small to mid-sized firms know that there are usually more tasks than work hours in a given day. Unlike larger firms, where they can hire dedicated personnel to complete specific tasks, attorneys at smaller firms do a mix of everything from providing legal services to doing administrative work. These non-billable hours can take away the efficiency of your law firm and inevitably impact your bottom line.
To maintain efficiency within your law firm, consider tracking all your work hours. From there, separate the billable tasks from the non-billable tasks. You’ll be surprised to know that you’re doing more office management duties than working on your client’s case.
Instead of multitasking each day, try monotasking. Monotasking refers to focusing on one task at a time. When you narrow down your billable hours, you’ll be able to accomplish more throughout the day and become more efficient at work.
It’s also vital that each staff member completely understands their responsibilities. A team that’s well-aware of their duties will function like a well-oiled machine, and this can result in increased productivity within your law firm.
3. Know when to hire new staff members
As your law firm grows, you’ll need to hire new staff members to keep up with the increased workloads. But the problem is that attorneys don’t know when is the right time to expand their team. Hire too soon, and you risk getting in financial trouble. Hire too late, and you won’t cater to your new clients. So, how do you determine the right moment to hire new staff?
There are a couple of indicators that will tell you that it’s time to expand your team, and these are:
- You are turning down work. You’re too busy handling cases and don’t have the time to accommodate new clients.
The quality of your service is suffering. You can’t communicate effectively with your clients because of how busy you are.
You’re working overtime and are experiencing burnout.
You can’t execute the growth strategy for your law firm because you’re strapped for time.
If you’re experiencing any of the above scenarios, it’s high time that you hire new staff so you can streamline your operations. Keep in mind that growing a law firm is an uphill battle, and if your firm is understaffed, you’ll find it challenging to land new clients.
Marketing specialists, legal assistants, paralegals, and clerks bring more value to your law firm than you realize. Make a confident hire, and watch how efficient your law firm will be afterward.
4. Know when to outsource tasks
There are instances where you don’t need to hire a full-time staff member to complete specific tasks. One example is legal outsourcing, wherein you transfer discrete legal services to local lawyers or external law firms. The advantage of legal outsourcing is that you get to save money and benefit from the service’s convenience.
When your team is stretched to total capacity, and you can’t attend to extensive legal work, legal outsourcing can address your problems. Legal professionals behind these outsourcing firms have the experience and expertise to handle all sorts of legal matters, so you can feel confident that the tasks are taken care of professionally.
Another task is bookkeeping the law office. Obviously, we have a little bias here, but getting this task done correctly every month not only gives you back time you can put to better use but you can rest assured it’s being done correctly, by a trained pro, rather than someone who hasn’t been trained in accounting and has a million other things on their mind ahead of reconciling the books!
5. Take advantage of AI and technology
Working in a law firm is stressful and high-paced. Attorneys have full plates, and they’re almost always operating at loaded capacity. The good news is that with today’s technology, you can utilize the power of AI to ease your workloads and automate a couple of tasks in your law firm. Firms that take advantage of technology see increased growth compared to those that rely solely on manual labor.
The most significant and most obvious benefit of AI is saving time. You can allocate repetitive tasks to software tools and even answer client calls from virtual receptionists. Computer software can store, analyze, and break down information than your average staff member, which helps you save massive amounts of time.
Another advantage to AI technology is it improves your law firm’s logical structure. Today, software tools can automatically organize and compare documents, allowing lawyers to identify gaps in their papers and legal analyses.
Lastly, AI technology provides consistent results. Work completed by intelligent software that doesn’t get tired or burned out is almost always accurate. You also ensure that the language used throughout the documents remains clear and concise to avoid any confusion. Ultimately, AI technology brings multiple advantages that every law firm should take advantage of.
6. Step up your marketing game
Offering quality legal work will indeed get your clients to recommend your services. But while word-of-mouth may generate law firm interest, unfortunately, it’s not enough to land new clients. You need to market your services to grow your law firm, and investing in your marketing strategy is a great way to reach your target audience.
Because the legal industry is ever-competitive, you need to establish a unique brand image to stand out from your competitors. You need a solid brand identity to market your services, so make sure the tangible elements in your brand, like the colors, logo, and design, are consistent throughout.
We live in a digital era where a website is an absolute must for any business. To generate brand interest, you need to create a compelling website that’s intuitive, easy to navigate, mobile-friendly, and accessible to your clients. Your website should present your services easily for clients to digest, and the design elements should resonate well with your brand image.
Once your website is optimized, the next step is to drive traffic to it. There are many ways you can achieve this. Search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing are proven to generate website traffic. You can also incorporate a few old-school marketing tactics like direct mail and outdoor advertising/billboards to generate foot traffic to your law firm.
7. Reach out to new clients
Part of growing a successful law firm is putting yourself out there for clients to discover your law firm. A proactive lawyer puts his business on the map, and you can achieve this by growing your professional network, attending charity events, and reaching out to new clients.
Never underestimate the importance of brand visibility. The more discoverable your law firm is, the more clients you will attract. When you feel like your client base has become stale, you can do some cold-calling and introduce yourself to businesses and establishments near you.
Growing your law firm is no easy feat. But when equipped with the proper knowledge and approach, you can put your business in the best position to succeed. When growing a law firm, you want to create opportunities that invite growth, and to achieve this; you need to streamline your operations and elevate your marketing efforts.
Make sure to follow these six tips to ensure the growth of your law firm this 2022.
Proper bookkeeping is essential to tracking the profitability of your law firm. If you need expert bookkeeping services, our team is here to help. Feel free to fill out the form below, and we’ll reach out to you shortly.