November 28, 2022
Top Tips to Improve Productivity in the Legal Sector
We all want to ensure that our business is as productive as possible. The famous phrase “work smarter, not harder” translates to increased success for law firms that manage to do more with fewer resources. In essence, productivity equals profit.
Empowering employees to perform efficiently and effectively isn’t just about maximising profit. Having the right tools for the job and a workflow with minimal obstacles makes employees happier, and happier workers are 13% more productive.
Productivity can be implemented at every level of a law firm. Legal secretaries, clerks, attorneys and staff can all ensure their time is used wisely, and a firm's internal systems should enable swift collaboration on cases and other matters.
The chances are a successful firm already operates to a reasonable degree of productivity, so finding areas to improve productivity and implementing changes can be challenging, but the benefits are well worth it.
Why Improve Legal Sector Productivity?
Improving productivity can help firms, lawyers and their clients thrive, improving morale, staff retention and the client experience.
In the legal sector, client relationships, attention to detail and time are critical, and improving law firms' productivity can boost all those areas.
We’ve mentioned this at the start because it’s probably the most obvious aspect, but increasing productivity is one of the main ways a business can increase its profitability.
This is especially the case for solicitors charging fixed-fee work, as they can earn the same money in less time by increasing their efficiency.
Focus on Client Relations
Using time efficiently and working productively frees up time to spend with clients. In an industry driven by client-professional relationships, having more time for consultations with clients will strengthen existing client relationships, and potentially generate more leads.
Lawyers often work to tight deadlines, which can sometimes be missed. Additionally, a high-volume workload sometimes makes tasks rushed, potentially leading to mistakes. This is especially important in the legal sector, where errors can be extremely costly.
Improving productivity means a calmer, more methodical workflow, with a greater likelihood of meeting deadlines and fewer chances to make mistakes.
How To Improve Productivity In The Legal Sector
Productivity starts from the ground up. For law firms, this means that each member of staff ensuring their time is spent wisely. So before we get into software to boost productivity, we’ll cover some general tips for law firms to improve productivity.
Personal Productivity Tips
Life hacks are on trend right now. If you’re not already using a Pomodoro timer, the Getting Things Done method or some other productivity hack, you’ve almost certainly at least seen a “game-changing” technique mentioned somewhere. Unfortunately, there are so many eye-catching headlines for productivity going around that it can be easy to waste time trying to find the right way to be productive.
That being said, there are some easy things that people can all do to improve productivity, which cut through the on-trend attention grabbers.
Focus on One Thing at a Time.
It might seem obvious, but trying to do too many things at once is one of the biggest productivity killers out there. The science is clear; nobody is really that good at multitasking (whatever we might tell ourselves).
Take Regular Breaks
Getting caught up in a task is easy, thinking you’ll just finish this one and then stretch your legs. However, taking regular breaks has been shown to boost mood and concentration, meaning it’s worth scheduling in time to let yourself breathe.
Prioritise Big Tasks First
Don’t leave that big job until the end of the day. Sure, clearing your emails can be challenging, but is it really the main thing you wanted to do today? If you leave your biggest tasks until you’ve completed the smaller ones, you’ll be lower on energy, meaning the big job you really wanted to do hasn’t got your total energy and focus.
Productivity Software for Legal Businesses
For law firms looking to improve productivity, one of the main factors will be how staff collaborate with each other, which is increasingly done with the aid of software to boost productivity and workflow.
Since Covid-19 forced the world into lockdowns, collaborative software has been on the rise. Although by 2020, we were already firmly in the digital age, the need to collaborate effectively with remote-working protocols placed the tools we use to do so under the spotlight.
Common business tools adapted and became more collaborative, boosting the already booming SaaS market. In turn, this means that many businesses, law firms included, are now using multiple different platforms to conduct their day-to-day operations.
This brings about it’s own challenge, which we’ll look at in a minute.
Trello is a productivity app for process-based projects and tasks. Using a drag-and-drop method, tasks can be moved forwards on a board, giving a great visual representation of the progress of a job.
It integrates with other business software, and its process-based approach makes it a great tool to improve productivity for law firms.
Slack is now the go-to product for messaging in business. It allows for streamlined collaboration with channels dedicated to specific topics.
Most importantly, it allows inter-company communication, meaning lawyers at different firms can communicate through the same app they use for their internal comms. A single platform for communication is an excellent way to cut time switching between apps and boost productivity.
Legalesign is an eSignature provider that integrates with existing business software to streamline and automate workflows.
Along with electronic signatures, Legalesign also supports witnessed electronic signatures and conveyancer-certified electronic signatures (CCES), making it an ideal tool to increase productivity in the legal sector.
CCES are a new type of electronic signature, created when HMLR introduced eSignatures for conveyancing. (We’ve covered the benefits of online document signing in the conveyancing sector specifically in a separate blog post.)
The Next Steps
The most important thing for a law firm to consider is how they enable a smooth workflow process for their staff.
Micromanaging people individually to ensure productivity is likely to be more detrimental than beneficial. Instead, empowering staff to focus on their job by giving them the right software for the job is an easy win.
There are thousands of tools available to help with all kinds of workflow. However, making the most of productivity software for legal businesses means finding providers that understand the unique nature of legal work.
Key to finding the best software to boost productivity will be integration with existing software. We mentioned earlier that many businesses use multiple platforms, so the abiltiy to integrate with existing tools is essential. So too, as is an understanding of data regulation, as these companies will also be handling potentially sensitive information.
To see how Legalesign’s software can integrate with your firm, improving productivity in the legal sector, get in touch today for a free trial.