Starting a law firm feels like an uphill battle with each stage’s overwhelming volume of tasks. You make the decisions. Unfortunately, that power creates a responsibility as well. The wrong decision can sink your law firm before it takes off, making it essential to make the right managerial decisions. Let’s look at a few tips to make good managerial decisions.
Tip #1: Lead Boldly and with Confidence
The leader will drive a small law firm to success or ruin. As the owner or partner of a law firm, you must motivate employees and communicate the direction of your firm with bold confidence that demonstrates your values and direction. Once you make a decision, don’t back down from it.
You will play a role in shaping the lives and directions of others. They will have more confidence in you when you have more confidence.
Tip #2: Write a Standard Operating Procedure
Creating a set of written rules in a standard operating procedure (SOP) for handling situations will ensure that you perform correctly every time. Organize your law firm and keep it organized. An SOP will create a unique how-to guide for your team on how to react to specific scenarios.
You want to customize the SOP to the specialized field of law that you practice. SOPs should address the following:
- Billing and payments
- Time tracking
- New client onboarding
- Scheduling appointments
- Preparations for trial
- Document review and approval
- Information management and document intake
Begin your SOP as a draft without a concrete set of rules. Instead, continue to improve your SOP over time as you see what works. Organize the relevant information and keep it available to employees. Anyone who struggles to manage their SOPs may find that legal software can assist them and automate the repetitive parts.
Having an SOP will cause you to make consistent managerial decisions even when away from the office. As a result, it helps everyone to make smarter decisions.
Tip #3: Set an Agenda and Stick to It
You must act decisively when you make decisions. Don’t decide halfway when you choose to do something. Many law firms constantly defer decisions to the next meeting and may not act until two or three months later. This lack of agenda time can bog down your firm and make it harder to operate.
Waiting to make decisions can mean a pile of papers on your desk awaiting your approval. Instead, you can entrust some of the firm’s decisions to a managing partner. At law firms, you often must make many ongoing decisions, which can lighten the burden. You can learn more about managing your small law firm here at howtomanageasmalllawfirm.com.
Tip #4: Use Technology to Your Advantage
Legal technology nowadays includes data tracking for insights on how to grow your law firm. First, you can study the data to improve your decision-making process. Then, you can use it to serve your clients better, which matters most at the end of the day.
Technology plays an important role in managing a law firm. It must be easy to use, secure, and streamline communication among firm members. Different software may be used to manage different types of law firms, so the selection of software should be based on the size of your firm. Do your homework thoroughly before selecting and using such software.
Tip #5: Consider Bringing an External Management Team
An important aspect of law firm management is having an external management team (CEO, CFO, etc.). This type of management helps law firms anticipate changes before they occur and prevent issues from compromising the firm’s health. In addition, it involves continuous evaluation of the firm’s competitive position and the external and internal environment. Many law firms, however, do not have effective strategic planning tools or processes, so experts bringing them to your table is an excellent choice.
Having external management can help a law firm manage its brand more effectively. A law firm’s brand is the competitive edge that distinguishes it from other law firms providing similar practices. To create a strong brand, it must know exactly who it is and what it offers to attract clients.
Law firms can benefit from having experts on their management team. For example, a project manager with experience in billing processes might help a law firm implement a new billing process. In addition, it is crucial to understand firm performance metrics to make sound decisions.
Making the right managerial decisions for your law firm will help it to grow and succeed. However, you also want to know about the things that can interfere with the success of your law firm and its decision-making process. Therefore, carefully consider each decision before you make a choice, and stick to the decision once made.