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Though some lawyers may be tempted to go all out and try to save the day on their own, unfortunately, it doesn’t usually end up like the TV show. On the contrary, your law firm will suffer the most if your staff refuse to collaborate / work together. To keep your clients coming back again and again, each member of your law firm needs to collaborate and collaborate efficiently. But this is easier said than done. Attorneys and other law firm staff already have plenty of work on their own plates, and creating collaborative processes takes time and intentionality. Here are some key tips to help you get your firm running like a well-oiled machine:
STORE ALL YOUR FIRM’S DOCUMENTS IN ONE PLACE
It sounds extremely simple at first, but document storage truly makes every task quicker and easier. If people know where to find every legal matter document or scanned image, their workflow can, well, flow. And when you implement a cloud-based practice management software like Beveron’s Smart Lawyer Office for example, every verified user on a project can upload important documents to folders and keep them organized and accessible.The best law firm software allows you to create custom folders, sub-folders, and tags,so your documents are easily searchable, and any member of your team can quickly find the documents they need to do their work.
GET REGULAR STATUS UPDATES
While no one enjoys attending a meeting that could easily have been an email, a great way to streamline legal firm workflows is to complete a daily morning meeting with your team. Have every staff on your firm spend a minute or two explaining what they’re working on any given day and any issues they may have with it. This allows other people on the team to jump in and clarify any problems. It will also remove any redundant work because you can avoid mix-ups where two different people are planning to complete the same task. Along with your daily morning check-ins, consider implementing a longer fortnightly meeting that lasts about half an hour. This can help your firm address any larger issues that team members may be having with a project. Finally, plan to have a half-day-long Monthly Review Meeting each month. In this monthly meeting, you can give in-depth status updates and address long-term goals and challenges.
CREATE A SAFE SPACE FOR CONVERSATION
The most common fear – that of being rejected or ignored can often be a major barrier to collaboration. Your law firm’s employees may not trust that what they have to say will be taken seriously. To remedy these barriers, try and foster a safe space for conversation. Ask everyone on the project for their opinion on matter management — and don’t interrupt them when they share their ideas. Encourage your staff to take full ownership of their portion of the project and try to avoid micromanaging their every move. Give them the chance to show you how capable they are. Let them shine!
TRY IMPLEMENTING AGILE METHODOLOGIES
Initially developed by a team of software developers, Agile is an approach to workflows that focuses on breaking down tasks into smaller, iterative steps, so teams (including law firm teams) can focus on responding to challenges with greater agility. And as it turns out, Agile methodologies are a surprisingly good fit for the structured, routine processes involved in resolving legal matters. One particularly useful Agile tool is the Kanban board: an organizational system that sorts ongoing matters into columns representing stages in the matter’s completion. The beauty of the Kanban board is that it makes it easy for team members to quickly view the status of ongoing matters and how long each matter has been stuck in its current stage. This way, any member of your team can easily spot workflow bottlenecks and take steps to get the matter back on track—whether that means reallocating work, reprioritizing tasks, or implementing entirely new workflows at your firm.
IMPLEMENT A LEGAL PRACTICE SOFTWARE TO STREAMLINE WORKFLOWS
Each of the above-mentioned activities can help you build a culture of collaboration at your firm — but then, having the right software platform at your disposal can be a huge help when it comes to putting these practices into action. A good law office software can allow your attorneys, paralegals, and staff to collaborate more effectively on matters, even if they’re working from home or while traveling. Here are a few of the features to look out for in your LegalTech platform:
▪ Internal messaging that lets lawyers chat with each other easily so they can cut down on inbox overload.
▪ Scheduling tools that let you assign tasks for specific matters and simplify case management.
▪ Usable on smartphones / tablets so that your employees can complete work and updates on their respective devices, and they can stay in the loop and work no matter where they are.
▪ Integrations with software that you already use, so you can keep all your documents in one place: your law firm management software.
▪ Calendaring tools and Kanban boards to help you stay on top of pressing matter deadlines.
WINDING IT UP…
If you need to streamline collaboration at your law firm, Beveron’s legal practice management software has you covered. Beveron’s Smart Lawyer Office platform makes it very easy for law firm staff to collaborate quickly and easily and arrive at solutions when any issues arise.