In the chaos of everyday legal life, balancing the ins and outs of running a big firm with a growing caseload is overwhelming, to say the least. And because your firm runs on client success, everyone’s attention tends to gravitate toward their needs.
But when you focus solely on client needs, it becomes easy to overlook ways to improve or streamline operations that can directly impact client success.
That’s where the power of delegation comes in. By outsourcing everyday tasks and building a network of referral partners, you can free your staff to focus on more important business matters and start drawing the best clients to your firm.
Choose the Right Tasks to Outsource
Every call that comes your way is a potential high-paying client, and your firm needs a receptionist to manage the high volume of incoming calls — no matter when they come in.
By outsourcing a receptionist with 24/7 availability, you can have peace of mind that no call will go unanswered. After weighing the pros and cons, my firm chose to outsource its receptionist needs to two separate companies that can manage calls simultaneously and communicate with Spanish-speaking clients.
Although these services exceed the cost of hiring a full-time in-house receptionist, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. These services can manage hundreds of calls per day and multiple calls at once, situations that are more likely to occur with large firms. They also minimize the “downtime” that can impact a firm when its in-house receptionist is on lunch or on vacation; an external, self-staffing service guarantees that someone will always represent your brand in a chipper and helpful manner. Because you’re only charged for incoming calls, overpaying isn’t an issue.
You can also outsource basic tasks — such as transcribing audio recordings — at a fraction of the cost of a lawyer, paralegal, or legal secretary. This will allow your full-time staff members to concentrate on more pressing tasks.
Outsourcing your receptionist and typist are just two ways to drive your firm’s bottom line. You can also outsource records management, content creation, web development, and a host of other business services to cut costs and maximize efficiency.
Leverage Referral Networks to Amplify Client Success
Beyond outsourcing tasks, delegation can also take the form of referral relationships. Building an extensive network of referral partners can save you time in the long run and improve your clients’ chances of success. You can refer cases outside your wheelhouse to lawyers with more experience in a certain area, and your network will begin to funnel more manageable or relevant cases back to you, too.
In this system, you can split fees with referral lawyers and serve as co-counsel, which will help expand your legal knowledge. By referring clients to more suitable lawyers, you’ll also build a positive reputation among clients and the legal community.
To reap the benefits of a referral system, start with these four steps:
- Implement a system that works for your firm. Plan how your firm will manage, identify, approve, validate, and use each referral relationship. Create a database with details about referral relationships and referred clients. Be strategic when building a network of referral resources so you can get involved in a variety of cases and diversify your experiences.
- Regularly update your referral database. Encourage your team to regularly input new practice areas and co-counsel referrals in the database. Make notes in the system about any unique points of contact with the co-counsel firm so sharing information becomes seamless.
- Constantly look for ways to improve the system. Rate and review partnerships based on how well they work. Reach out to both clients and law firm partners for ideas on how you can improve or automate parts of this process.
- Enforce company-wide usage. For large firms, getting every in-house lawyer on board with a referral system can be difficult. But it won’t be successful unless everyone is actively involved in the process.
As the legal landscape continues to evolve, your firm will need to adapt to keep up with the next generation of tech-savvy lawyers. Caseloads will only continue to pile up — if you don’t proactively manage them on the front end, your entire firm will be burdened with added work.
By outsourcing basic tasks and leveraging the power of referral partners, you can get started on the path to a more efficient, modern firm.
Anthony Johnson is the founder and CEO of American Injury Attorney Group. American Injury Attorney Group is committed to raising awareness of potential claims for people harmed by dangerous drugs, defective metal-on-metal hip replacement devices, semi truck accidents, product recalls, and other personal injury cases caused by the negligence or fault of another. Prior to becoming an attorney, Anthony worked in SEO and web development, Internet startups, and finance.