Showing posts with the label Management

Responding to Emails

Below are tips for responding to emails from clients, lawyers, and prospects, Prompt replies improve goodwill, relationships, and reputations.  For more guidance, see the articles and books listed below. And for examples, see below for sample responses to website inquiries. Tips Attachments - summarize attachments and include a list at the end of  message. Automating  - automate replies to acknowledge receipt and provide timeline. Courtesy - be empathetic, polite, and positive.  Length - keep messages short (use attachments for long messages). Promptness  - respond within 24 hours. Subject - limit to a few words Articles Accelerating Replies Automating Responses Do's and Don'ts Emailing Professionally Ethics of Email Handling Unsolicited Inquiries Responding to Lawyers Sign-Offs and Signature Blocks Using Forms Books Mastering Email Writing Professional Email Samples Family Law Advocates  (Small Firm, Family Law, Tampa) Thank you for contacting We'l

Improving Personal Performance

As we age, we get better at some things, worse at others, and reach plateaus. However, exercise and mindfulness can help us maintain abilities as we age.  Below are ages when abilities peak and recommendations for maintaining them.   Aging and Abilities Cognition  - knowledge and thinking skills continue to improve through the 70's. Practice mindfulness and read books to expand knowledge. Emotion  - ability to control emotion peaks in the 50's. Regulate emotions by keeping a mood journal, listening to music, and using meditation.   Recognition  - memory for faces is greatest in the 20's and then declines around 30. Improve recognition skills by looking for facial markings like freckles and scars. Protect eyesight with annual checkups. Memory  - short-term memory peaks by mid-20's and then declines in the mid-30's. Improve memory by eating a brain-healthy diet, using mnemonic devices, and sleeping at least 7 hours every night. Strength  - physical strength peaks arou

Selling Law Firms

Law firm transitions can be accomplished through closure or sale.  Causes include bankruptcy, death, disability, disagreements, and retirement. Regardless of cause, transitions are a complicated process that requires careful planning.  Below are transition tips followed by resources for implementing them.  Contact your local bar association for help from its management advisory service. Tips Closing - Close bank, escrow, and other financial accounts Communicating - Notify bar associations, clients, colleagues, insurers, and employees Billing - Establish procedure for billing work in progress and transferring cases Filing - Establish retention periods for retaining files Insuring - continue malpractice insurance coverage Liquidating - prepare  a list of assets/liabilities and plan for liquidating them Planning - Prepare a detailed plan that sets a closing date assigns responsibility Winding Down - suspend marketing and stop accepting new cases Terminating - negotiate termination

Managing Time

Time management increases productivity, relieves stress, and prevents procrastination. Make time management part of your daily life by delegating, planning, and prioritizing.  Consider using the apps listed below to help get things done. Learn tips and techniques by reading the articles and books listed below.   Apps Calendaring Collaboration Note-Taking Managing Projects Improving Productivity To Do Lists Timekeeping Articles Balancing Work and Life at School  Managing Time in the Workplace Improving Time Management Skills Overcoming Procrastination  Skills Need for Time Management  Time Management Tips for Lawyers Books Checklist Manifesto Habits of Highly Effective People How to Stop Procrastinating Getting Things Done

Welcoming New Clients

Make new clients welcome by providing them with a welcome kit. The kit can be posted on firm websites, physically delivered at in-person  consultations or emailed for virtual consultations. Below are tips for creating welcome kits and links to resources to help you welcome new clients.  Tips Benefits - welcome kits create favorable impressions, set expectations, and streamline the onboarding process.    Contents - include a contact page, client questionnaire, firm brochure, retention agreement, and welcome letter. Cover - put the contents in a presentation folder imprinted with the firm's name to make it memorable. Digital - create a PDF or video for the benefit of clients that consult virtually or prefer being paperless. Education - use the ki t to introduce members of the firm, billing procedures, client responsibilities, possible outcomes, and timelines.   Tools - keep clients happy by using additional tools like practice management apps and client intake forms.   Arti

Working Hybrid

The transition to a hybrid workplace can stress lawyers and challenge productivity. Keep hybrid workers connected and productive with the following  tips.  For more resources, see the articles, books, forms, software, and websites listed below.   Tips Amenities - provide beverages/snacks, exercise rooms, and outdoor areas. Engagement  - survey lawyers and staff to determine needs and preferences.  Meetings - keep staff in the loop with memos, team meetings, and firm events. Privacy - set aside conference rooms for individual use. Schedule - encourage teams to select days for working at the office. Training -  provide leaders with training and tools for managing hybrid teams. Workplace - create system for reserving workspace .  Articles Adopting Hybrid Work Schedules Building Successful Work Environments Connecting Hybrid and Remote Workers How Accounting Firms Deal with Hybrid Keeping Lawyers Happy Legal Rules for Hybrid Workplace Lessons from a Mid-Size Firm Managing a Hybrid Workforc

Avoiding Disasters

Disasters can be caused by computer hacks, deaths/disabilities, equipment failures, errors/omissions, health emergencies, loss of a key employee, power outages, sabotage, scandals, severe weather, and software glitches. Advance planning can help firms survive disasters and overcome adversities. Following are disaster planning tips and resources for implementing them. Tips Backing Up  - backup data with cloud services and store backup equipment outside of the office. Contacts -  create a communication list with contact details of clients, employees, and vendors. Communicating  -  be prepared with alternative forms of communication (e.g., mobile phones, mobile hotspots, satellite phones, etc.). Delegating  - appoint a leader to take charge in the event of a disaster. Drilling  - stage occasional drills to rehearse roles. Insurance - purchase insurance to cover business interruption, malpractice, and other risks. Inventorying - prepare a list of equipment, supplies, and valuables. Planni

Preventing Malpractice

Defending a malpractice claim can be expensive and tarnish your reputation. Below are tips for avoiding malpractice claims and a links to resources with additional information. Tips Assistance - seek assistance for cases that require additional time or specialization.  Accounting  - use an accounting app to record client funds and keep them in a trust account separate from firm accounts. Automate  - automate calendaring of appointments, deadlines, and hearings; use software for billing, case management, and client communications.  Communications - use written communications to follow-up meetings and phone calls;  promptly provide case updates;  explain reasons for your decisions and strategies. Disengagement  - use a non-engagement letter to confirm that a lawyer-client relationship has not been created. Documentation  - Retain copies of engagement (and disengagement letters), keep notes of matters discussed with clients; retain research that explains issues and approaches. Engagemen

Marketing with Surveys

Client surveys let your clients know that you care. Surveys can be used to  evaluate satisfaction with services and determine additional needs. They can be  conducted  at the end of an engagement or distributed annually. Conduct the survey by phone, send by mail,  or create a survey page at your website. Design your questionnaire using a template from Google, Microsoft, or Survey Monkey. Provide an incentive for completion and assure responders that their replies will be kept confidential. For more tips see below for a checklist, articles, books, and samples. .   Checklist Amount of time devoted to client Communication and Office Technology Fairness of Fees Friendliness of staff Handling of inquiries Information on invoices Office location and furnishings Promptness of service Quality of legal advice Articles Asking Questions Benefitting from Surveys Building Reputations Client Feedback Programs Collecting Data Creating Online Surveys Handling Angry Clients Survey Alter

Improving Morale

Returning to the office can improve collaboration, productivity, and work/life balance.  However, many lawyers have delayed returning  due to f amily  situations,  health issues, or personal preferences.  Law firms can accelerating the return by allowing flexibility and promoting  health and well-being . Following are additional tips and resources for lure lawyers back to offices. Communication . K eep  lawyers connected  and inform ed  about office planning using conferencing, emails, and memos.      Environment . Improve  working conditions by  reconfiguring workspaces, add ing   touchless options ,  and modernizing  d├ęcor .  Create a welcoming e nvironment that makes people feel comfortable and relaxed.      Flexibility .  Allow  lawyers and staff to work remotely  for  a few days  per  week.  Give lawyers and staff the ability to  select  days in the office  and reserve  workspace .      Fun .  Encourage  camaraderie with weekly lunches, monthly social events,  firm newsletters,  a

Growing Firms Faster

The Pandemic has caused firms to evaluate their clients, offices, and staffing. Take time to review your firm's situation and adopt strategies for the future. See below for a list of strategies for firm building and resources for implementing them. Checklist Analyze  - use data to assure informed decision making   Assess  - determine and address client needs Automate  - optimize the use of technology Create  - adopt a firm credo and put it into action  Collaborate - encourage teamwork  Compensation - keep compensation competitive Expand  - use alliances, retainers, and unbundling Lead - take  leadership positions in bar, civic, and religious organizations Progress  - stay current on trends in the law and the legal profession Retention - keep lawyers and clients happy to avoid departures  Articles Alternative Billing Future Proofing Law Firms  How Lawyers Can Stay Competitive Retainers for Steady Income Subscription-Based Legal Services Unbundling Legal Services Books Being a Bett