By Sara Sawyer, Manager, Small Law Firm Marketing at Thomson Reuters
Published November 13, 2017
We know running a small law firm is hard work. You wear multiple hats. You not only practice law, but you’re also the CMO, CFO, COO and HR Manager – to name a few. The good news is that you’re not alone. We spoke with 300+ attorneys to better understand the needs of small law firms – just like yours. Ninety percent of small law firm leaders recognize that they faced at least three different challenges.1 Your peers agree that they’re spending too much time on administrative tasks and view this as being the biggest business challenge they face today.
It’s the practice of law that ultimately creates revenue for your firm. So, undoubtedly you want most of your energy to be spent doing that. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for many small law firms. Sixty-nine percent are challenged by spending too much time on administrative tasks.1 Managing the operations of any law firm has increasingly become more complicated. Many small law firms manually manage their practice and administrative tasks. Even firms with a technology solution struggle with disjointed systems and keeping up with ever-changing updates. Additionally, the time attorneys spend on tasks outside of practicing law is generally non-billable. And even when it is billable, they’re unnecessary costs that can interfere with your positive client relationship. These factors can directly and negatively impact your bottom line.
In today’s modern practice, no matter your size, you’re expected to do more for less. Along with being quick, you need to be correct. Your credibility is at stake when you make any mistake as an attorney.
If you have access to the most up-to-date information, you’ll quickly be connected to locate comprehensive and relevant information. The information not only needs to be up to date and accurate, but it also has to come from a credible source – experts who’ve already completed the due diligence required. Complete due diligence greatly reduces errors and eliminates client miscommunication. This is simply a factor you can’t ignore as a small law attorney. The elimination of having to painstakingly double-and triple-check your resources will allow for more valuable time to do what you love – practicing law!
Your time is vital to the success of your business. Unfortunately, repetitive and unnecessary tasks end up absorbing much of a small law attorney’s time. Forty percent of small law firm’s time is spent on non-billable activities.2 By securely integrating your legal research, office management tools and time tracking & billing, you’ll immediately see a reduction in time spent on administrative tasks. Having everything captured in one place will streamline your workflows and boost productivity – leading to increased profitability.
The time you’ve been spending on unnecessary mistakes, administrative tasks, and other nonbillable activities can be better utilized to drive new business and meet growing client demands – two other significant challenges faced by small law firms today. Read more in the 2016 State of Small Law Report.
If you liked the 2016 report, learn about the most recent challenges small law firm attorneys are facing in the 2017 version. Sign up for early access to 2017’s State of U.S. Small Laws Firms Study Report coming out later this year!
1Are Today’s Legal Clients More Demanding … Or Is It Just That Lawyers Haven’t Kept Pace?, Carolyn Elefant, Practice of Law, November 1, 2016
2State of the US Small Law Firm Survey, Thomson Reuters, 2016