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The #1 key to a smoother-running firm

By May 28, 2019October 13th, 2020Law Firm Operations, law practice, systems

If you want your law firm to run smoothly you need to develop and document systems.

You need to create checklists for doing all of the law firm work that’s either essential or routine.

And as you might imagine…

That’s a LOT of checklists you’ll probably need to document.

But what’s the alternative?

Haphazard operations, mostly.

Worst case?

Probably some kind of major snafu, missed deadline, glaring omission etc.

And best case? (if you don’t have your systems well documented)

You’ll spend too much valuable time supervising the mindless-but-necessary drudgery done by others in your firm.

Plus you’ll find it harder to delegate the mindless drudgery you’re doing (which you shouldn’t be doing).

So you need to create systems.

Which you do by breaking key workflows down into their essential component parts.

And, having done this, you need to document these component parts into some kind of operations manual.

Of course, you’re nodding your head in agreement with all of this good advice.


If you’re like most lawyers you’ll find this hard to convert this advice into concrete action.

For example, I recently asked a small firm lawyer about the biggest challenge in her practice and she replied as follows…

“Getting things done in the time frame I want them done. For example, I decided that I needed to break down some procedures into bite sized pieces but I am even finding that difficult.”

Sound familiar?

It should because it’s a common experience among the hundreds of lawyer I’ve talked to over the years.

Why is creating systems such a big challenge?

Well, because it’s also a big commitment.

It requires persistence and consistency, which are big challenges for busy lawyers.

How do you create momentum to build out your systems when your daily routine is anything but routine?

Let’s face the harsh truth, shall we?

Being persistent enough to document your key systems, and then refine them so they’re able to be applied consistently is tough.

You realize this, of course.

So what do you do?

Just give up? And resign yourself to putting up with constant disorganization, periodic snafus, and having to always micro-manage your underlings?

I recommend not giving up…

Because it’s not helpful, and it’s not necessary.

You can create systems…and, as a result, make your practice more streamlined, and easier to manage.

Or you can keep listening to foolish advice and chasing shiny objects.

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