5 Tips for Measuring Your Law Firm's Productivity
A day in the life of an attorney is hardly a leisurely nine to five. From the phones ringing to emails coming in, preparing pleadings, to reviewing documents, there’s a lot going on. It’s easy to get dizzy from trying to keep up with it all, particularly if you’re a solo practitioner.
On top of the time an attorney spends in the office working on their open matters, they also have to market themselves. After all, the only way to keep clients coming in is to attract and retain new clients, which requires work!
The best way to ensure that you can keep up with the demands of a busy day in the life of a lawyer is to be as efficient as possible. After all, better efficiency means better profitability, especially in the legal world.
Why Increase My Law Firm's Productivity
Increased efficiency doesn’t just mean less stress— it means increasing the amount of work you can take on, which ultimately means more revenue.
Quite simply, regardless of your industry, better efficiency means more profitability, especially for lawyers who offer fixed fee services. Fixed fee services mean that regardless of whether a matter takes several days or several months, the amount on the bill stays the same. So it goes without saying that if you can increase your productivity on a flat fee system, you'll get through your workload much faster and boost your profitability.
Even lawyers who charge by the hour still need to get through their workload as quickly as possible. If clients see that they're paying top dollar for services that take too long to happen, then you won’t make a very good impression. You need to be able to handle multiple cases at once as quickly as possible if you hope to grow your firm, and boosted efficiency is the only way to do that. In order to encourage repeat business and earn referrals, you'll need to offer efficient and honest services.
Missed deadlines and neglected follow-ups are some of the most common complaints that people have about lawyers. After that comes poorly drafted contracts and essential documents with errors. An inefficient process means failing to spot mistakes that make a significant difference, particularly during your client intake process.
Being a reliable lawyer means spotting mistakes and identifying issues as early on as possible by developing an efficient process. By implementing the right methods, you'll have the time and resources to make sure nothing important gets overlooked.
Ultimately, getting through your work faster means more time to spend on your clients which in turn creates happy clients. With all of your administrative work out of the way, you'll be able to receive more consultations and ultimately do what you do best which is practice law.
Increasing Your Law Firm’s Productivity Starts With Measuring It
We live in a data-driven world, and the most reliable way to track progress is by relying on law firm data analytics. Key data gives you exact insights into understanding how well your current methods and strategies are working, eliminating the need for guesswork.
Checking and tracking your firm's productivity by looking at the most important metrics will help you develop a better understanding of your overall performance and open doors to new opportunities. When it comes to being the best in your industry, the more information that you have, the more that you can do with it.
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6 Key Metrics for Measuring Your Law Firm’s Productivity
Here are some of the most important metrics you can measure to help boost your law firm's productivity.
Number of Billable Hours
If your law firm operates on an hourly system, one of the most straightforward ways to track productivity is by counting how many billable hours you have completed. If you're spending fifty hours a week working and only a fraction of that is on billable work, then clearly something needs to change.
Number of Matters Opened
Keep track of how many matters are open to determine whether you're reaching your goals.
Number of Tasks Completed
By tracking your firm's number of tasks compared to how many have been completed, you'll have a clear understanding of whether you need to make changes in your process.
Average Work Rate
In addition to measuring the overall success of your firm, it's also essential to measure individual performance. Average work rate is an integral part of assessing the productivity of each member of your team.
Monthly Revenue Billed
Ultimately, the amount of revenue that you bill each month will determine the success of your firm.
Revenue Per Employees
In addition to the overall revenue billed, your firm should also be tracking individual revenue.
How You Can Benefit From Measuring Your Law Firms Productivity with Lawmatics
Using Lawmatics custom law firm reporting software will give you the critical information that you need to boost your overall productivity and ultimately boost profitability.
Fortunately, the data is presented in an easy-to-digest format that anyone in your law firm can understand. You'll be able to see important metrics like how close you are to your objectives and how well your staff members are performing. In turn, you’ll benefit in the following ways.
Less Time Lost
Once you start tracking your performance, you'll likely begin to find areas where you can make improvements. Lawmatics can help you identify areas you can speed up in your workload so you can turn your attention towards things that matter most.
For example, if you see that you're spending over half of your day devoted to manual data entry, it's time to start implementing an automated client intake process.
There's a big difference between collecting data and putting your data to use. If you truly want to make the most out of your goal tracking, then it's time to start finding areas in your practice that need to be streamlined.
Creating automated email workflows for law firms has never been easier than with Lawmatics. You can create automated workflows that eliminate the need for tedious and repetitive manual processes. It's as easy as building automated email campaigns with custom triggers. Engage, nurture, and convert— all with the help of workflow automation for law firms.
Once you have the right information at your fingertips, you can determine who and what is responsible for the bottlenecks in your firm. In turn, your firm will have increased accountability and a better chance of avoiding the same problems in the future.
Before becoming a data-driven firm, measuring your success is merely speculation. However, once you learn how to measure your productivity, it's easier to predict what will work and what will not work in the future.
Predictability is your most reliable guide for what may or may not further productivity in the future.
Now that you’ve got a better understanding of what you can gain from tracking your firm’s productivity, here are five tips for measuring it effectively.
How to Effectively Measure Your Law Firm’s Productivity
1Identify Your Goals
One of the most important steps of measuring your progress is to have a clear understanding of precisely what your short and long-term goals are. For example, if you hope to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time on your clients, you'll need to measure how much time you're spending on each. Once you can clearly identify what it is that you hope to achieve, then it will be easier to measure whether you're reaching those goals by implementing a strategy.
Remember, your goals should be as specific as possible and include as many concepts as possible. Everything that you hope to achieve should be plainly laid out and documented, including reasonable expectations. Make sure that your short-term goals tie into your long-term goals to apply the best possible strategy.
Your strategy should include streamlining your processes and integrating legal document automation in order to ensure that you reach your goals as quickly as possible.
2Break Them Into Manageable Portions
It's natural for your law firm to be eager to reach your goals as fast as you can. However, it's more realistic to break your targets up into manageable portions. For example, if your objective is to obtain a certain number of clients each year, then try to split up your goals into weekly or monthly goals. You can set the number of new clients to an appropriate amount per lawyer in your practice.
Obviously, the fewer lawyers that you have in your practice, the lower your goals will be. Once you've broken down the numbers, you can track everyone's lead conversions week by week. By dividing that figure by the number of law firm marketing efforts you've made, you'll be able to determine whether your system is paying off or not.
3Put a Better System In Place
The most successful law firms are the ones that have an efficient system set in place. The key to an effective system is adjusting it as needed. You may have to fine-tune the way that you do things until you find a rhythm that gets you the results that you want.
When putting a system in place, make sure that you implement the right technology for maximum productivity. It helps to know what’s out there. Some of the most popular tools for optimal productivity include:
Legal Intake and CRM Software like Lawmatics
With so much going on as a lawyer, one of the biggest challenges is getting back to all of your leads and clients on time. The only way to effectively manage your clients and where they currently stand in their client journey is by tracking them through a legal intake and CRM for lawyers.
An attorney intake software automates the entire experience so that your leads and clients stay happy every step of the way. From sending automatic thank-yous to offering automated appointment scheduling, a legal client intake software makes everyone's lives easier and ultimately results in your law firm being more productive. Check out our post on how to optimize the legal client intake process for a closer look at how you can do just that.
Calendar and Email Software like Google Suite and Microsoft Office
A cloud-based calendar coupled with email automation for law firms is the foundation on which you’ll build your legal practice. When using it for day to day work combined with a CRM for attorneys and law firm client intake software, you’ll skyrocket your productivity and efficiency in ways you could never dream of. It’s as simple as your leads filling out a legal client intake form and the information goes directly into your CRM, and the client journey begins.
Law Practice Software like MyCase
Many people get confused about the difference between practice management software and a law firm CRM. Although they do have some similarities, ultimately, each provides unique benefits individually. Unlike a legal CRM, which handles current and past clients, case management software handles existing clients, helping you keep all of your cases organized.
The right case management software will help you manage all case details and any changes that have been made, track task management, keep all of your important documents and files you need for your cases, and handle client billing. While some of the features between CRMs and case management software may be similar, ultimately, they function better when used in conjunction with each other. The only way to maximize your productivity is by using both of these types of software.
4Measure and Evaluate Progress
As you continue to implement your new strategy, it's important that you constantly evaluate and measure your progress. Using a software created specifically for goal tracking for law firms regularly will determine whether you're meeting your goals as a whole and individually. The key to evaluating is maximizing technology to your advantage. By setting up legal reporting software in a way that works for your law firm, you can keep a close eye on how well you are meeting your targets.
5Rate Your Productivity on a Scale
The key to increasing productivity is using a scale system. Rating your productivity as a team will help you provide concise feedback on your progress. Make sure that everyone in your law firm contributes their rating so that you have a combined representation of how well everyone thinks they're doing. Are you functioning at a 7 and you’d like to be more of a 10? Having a specific number on a scale to shoot for makes progress feel more achievable.
Measure Your Productivity and Blow Your Goals Out of the Water With Lawmatics
The more knowledge you have, the more opportunities that you have to grow. By measuring your law firm's productivity through the help of Lawmatics’ robust software, considered the best CRM for law firms, you can set, track, and achieve your law firm's most important goals.
Are you ready to see how Lawmatics can help you improve your law firm's productivity? Sign up for a free product demo today!