9 ways to improve the effectiveness of your law practice management

Category: Blog, Case Management, Practice Management 23rd October 2019

Building effective business habits and mindsets is vital to keep your law practice running successfully. Effective law practice management and streamlined operations will help to improve profitability, win new clients, and remain competitive.

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, explains, ‘habits are the backbone for any pursuit of excellence” because it’s the business habits you repeatedly do that determines and impacts your firm’s reputation and success. Even the smallest habits, when combined, have a great impact on overall performance and therefore the longevity of your practice. This applies for both effective and ineffective habits, therefor if your team are continually using inefficient processes, overtime that’ll have detrimental effects to your long-term performance.

Reviewing your existing habits to optimise and streamline will help you to run a successful firm.

What makes law practice management effective?

Building better daily habits is the easiest way for law firms to stay effective and utilising technology is the simplest way to implement better habits. No matter your goals or priority, practice and case management software (PCMS) provide the digital tools that’ll help you get there quicker. The combination of time-saving functionality, compliance aids, and client-focused features helps to empower employees to improve performance.

In LPM’s 2022 Frontiers Report, case management software was ranked 3rd in the technologies that most impact competitiveness and efficiency. With firms IT investment continuing to rise year on year it’s clear that legal practices are recognising the impact technology can have on the effectiveness of your firm.

However, with 43% of SME firms saying choosing or optimising back-office technology was a key organisational challenge for the next 12 months, it’s clear there is still work to do for teams to adopt and utilise the digital tools on offer.

9 strategies to improve the effectiveness of your law practice management

Improve your law practice management by building better habits and utilising legal tech. Discover the nine strategies below that modern law firms should adopt for a more effective and streamline law practice.

1. Be client-focused

The success of any modern law firm will rely heavily on the quality of client service you can provide. Client’s expectations have continued to increase, especially after the pandemic proved managing cases digitally to be difficult. Clients expect a simple and transparent service, and anything less will hinder your chances of earning five-star reviews – no matte the advice and legal support you provided.

Implementing digital, client-focused habits will help to reduce friction in your clients’ experience so you can stand out from the crowd, win, and retain business – as well as compete with larger firms, who 54% of SMEs believe are their biggest threat.

Discover more about the client-focused mindset and habits your firm needs to adopt in our episode two of our Build Better Habits webinar series.

2. Empower employees

76% of SMEs believe recruitment challenges pose the biggest impact to their business strategy; empowering your employees to perform their best with effective digital tools is crucial to retaining and attracting top talent. As one of the biggest investments you’ll make for your business, ensure your team can achieve their goals and grow at your firm. Key habits to adopt include regular one-to-ones, scheduling time for training and development, and implementing the right tools for stress-free mobile working.

3. Anywhere Operations

Adopting an Anywhere Operations strategy is about always thinking ‘digital-first’. The strategy ensures your business can successfully operate, collaborate, and service clients without the reliance on physical locations, infrastructure, or processes. Anywhere Operations provides ultimate flexibility and continuity, so you can run your business how you need today but optimise it effectively for your future goals. The digital-first mindset helps firms identify how to digitally transform habits that reduces daily workloads, makes hybrid-working simpler, and going paperless the aim.

4. Continuous improvement

To run a continually effective operation, your fundamental processes need to be reviewed so habits don’t become stale and inefficient. When a task becomes a habit, it can easily be over-looked and therefore can become ineffective to your firm as technology, clients, and goals change. Having a continuous improvement mindset will ensure you’re always optimising for the best outcome and preventing your firm from becoming irrelevant.

Discover how to successfully implement a continuous improvement mindset into your firm with our five-step plan. Download it here.

5. Utilise data to optimise fee estimates

Improve the accuracy of your fee estimates by utilising real-time data and trend analysis. Relying on gut instincts or guestimates for quotes, make data-driven decisions using the data from all previous cases and clients. Centralise all your matter data into one platform and you can easily extract and analyse accurate performance data to give you and your client better estimates.

6. Digitally connect processes

There isn’t one platform for all areas of business and law but for a streamlined operation, it’s important that all systems are connected and integrated. Provide your employees, clients, and management with a single source of truth that improves data accuracy, processes efficiency, and client service. Using your PCMS as a foundation, integrate your favourite business tools including your email, Microsoft 365 tools, conveyancing search tools, ID verification and AML, e-signature, and more.

7. Streamline accounting

Integrating your accounts solution and department to the rest of the firm is vital for improving cashflow and financial performance. Put your accounts team at the heart of your operations to client accounts, invoices, and ledgers can be monitored and managed with ease helping you get paid quicker. Stay compliant and increase profitability with streamline digital accounts.

8. Implement compliance workflows

Reduce the cost and time of staying compliant by embedding compliance tasks into your daily workflows. When compliance requirements, checks, and reviews are left to the end of the day, week, or month mistakes are made. To reduce errors and mitigate risk implement compliance workflows that ensure your team are accountable for completing requirements and following best practices.

9. Automate or delegate

Repetitive manual administration tasks should be automated helping to declutter daily workloads. Utilise your employees’ skills by leaning on technology to do the time-consuming admin tasks. Not only will this help to improve efficiencies but will benefit your client. Anything that can’t be automated and needs human opinion or intervention should be delegated to free up time for solicitors to focus on their client. When your cases are managed digitally, in a centralised platform it’s easier for legal support staff to view accurate data, up to date files, and stages of a case so admin assistance and collaboration can be done no matter where the team are working.

Streamline your law practice management with legal tech

Good business habits, when supported by technology, provide freedom from the daily tasks to focus on the activities that will impact a law firm’s future success, such as building marketing and business development strategies or nurturing client relationships.

When combined, good habits have big impacts for your team and firm. Technology facilitates the implementation of good habits that achieve a streamlined operation – and when these become the norm, you’ll reduce errors, over-head costs and the cost of being compliant. You’ll also increase employee happiness, sales opportunities, enhance client service, and importantly, achieve your goals quicker.

Digital solutions help firms to build good habits in the present that enable them to meet their future goals. As well as reaping initial gains from being digital-first, utilising data, automating tasks and integrating platforms, technology enables firms to easily manage the day to day running their business, so that resource can be refocused on driving growth, achieving goals, and maximising potential.

If you want to start building better habits today to improve the effectiveness of your firm, book a demo with our team to see Osprey Approach in action. The all-in-one practice and case management solution that makes running a law firm easier.