As an owner of a small-to-medium legal practice, you probably don’t have a great deal of free time. Managing cases, traveling for trial, and managing a busy firm are all time-extensive tasks. Adding employee management tasks on top of that heavy workload can seem daunting. If you’re lucky, your lawyers, paralegals, and other employees work well together and require little micromanagement. If you’re not, there are likely a few ways you can encourage a better working environment.
Here are 3 tips for creating a friction-free work environment at a legal practice:
Split Tasks Evenly
Be fair and consistent when splitting up tasks between paralegals, lawyers, and other office employees. If you hold your paralegals accountable for tracking how many hours they spend on cases, for instance, ensure the rest of your employees are doing the same. When you treat your employees fairly, there is almost zero reason for any to feel or cause friction. Also, be sure to divvy up the more mundane tasks such as document creation.
Utilize a Management Platform to Track Case Statuses
Is your practice using case management software for law firms? If not, you should be. Management platforms made specifically for legal practices can make running cases and running your firm infinitely easier.
Case Pacer, for example, allows you to track the statuses of every case without having to report to your lawyers and paralegals for every little thing. Case Pacer handles everything from case management to document management, timekeeping, invoicing, mass tort document creation, legal calendaring, metrics and reporting, and more. Find out who’s doing what and how efficiently your employees are performing without the hassle.
Don’t Micromanage Everything
If you have a team of experienced lawyers who have been in practice for a few years, they likely know what cases they can and can’t take on and how to best deal with clients. Unless issues arise, let your lawyers handle the management tasks of their perspective cases. If everything they do is properly reported (this is where case management tools come in!), you won’t need to micromanage every little thing.
One more tip—don’t be too constraining regarding the types of cases your firm takes on. Sometimes—especially if you’re just starting out—it’s a good idea to take a more generalized approach regarding practice areas. It isn’t always a bad idea to diversify your cases, and doing so may lead to fantastic opportunities.
By taking advantage of the three tips listed above, you can create a friction-free work environment your practice’s lawyers and employees will all appreciate. Remember, your office is a team. The more you embrace a teamwork and cooperation-based outlook, the more your team will. When you begin to truly operate as a team, the sky is the limit.