Time Management for Solo/Small Firms (Fast Read)

legal billing

For an industry that spends most of its time billing in hourly increments many lawyers are very bad at time management. They know how to bill for the time they spend working on a case, but what about the time that they aren’t spending on a billable hour? Are they using it in their best interest and making the most out of it? Here are a couple of tips to help take advantage of your day.

Plan it in advance.

Almost every lawyer knows what case they need to be working on and how to bill for it, but what about the rest of the time? Most of you aren’t involved in working on a life or death situation, so that means you can plan out how to allot your time in order to make your day more efficient. Spend some time each morning thinking about what you want to accomplish and how much time you will spend working on each task. The majority of lawyers are working in a firm where they need to be actively involved in generating business, plan your day to make sure you don’t overlook the fact that you need to keep the business running.

Set deadlines.

Many lawyers have deadlines imposed upon by the nature of their business, but what about the other responsibilities you need to be focused on? One responsibility for every lawyer who is in solo or small firm practice should be public relations. Don’t overthink it. What it means is to know who your target market is and figure out how to get in front of them. If that means you need to write an editorial in your local newspaper every month, set a deadline of getting the article done 5 days before. Know when to finish your tasks and write it down every day, subconsciously it makes you more efficient.

Block out distractions.

One of the best ways to be efficient is to set aside blocks of time dedicated to accomplishing certain tasks. For example, spend the hour of 8-9amworking on marketing your business, don’t answer the phone and don’t check your email. If you need to do research for a case, block off some time to handle just that, don’t let anything else interrupt you. People will leave a message and almost no emails require an instant response. Focusing on one thing at a time allows you to concentrate more.

Time management is an important skill to learn, yet many people never take the time to learn how they can get the most out of their day. It’s a waste to not know how you can be most effective, it only helps to better serve your bottom line and your clients.

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About John Rabil

John Rabil is the co-founder of Attainable Attorney, an online legal marketplace that connects the underserved consumer market with attorneys best able to offer affordable services. He is licensed in three states and also runs a solo practice, The Rabil Law Firm, which uses a non-traditional business model in order to make legal counsel more cost-effective and transparent to businesses.