How to act on insights acquired through non-billable activities

Daan Pruijssers

04 January 2018

In our previous post we established that tracking you non-billable activities can be worth your while. So now you are probably tracking your non-billable activities meticulously. Let’s say you have some insights already. What is the next move? In this article we will outline some strategies for the two most time consuming non-billable activities that lawyers and firms can streamline to their benefit.

On which of these non-billable activities do you spend most of your time?
– Administrative tasks (48%)
– Business development (33%)

Administrative tasks

From Clio’s research we can conclude that the majority of non-billable time is spent on administrative tasks. There are a lot of ways to streamline or outsource some administrative activities.

How long do you spend on searching for documents? If a lot of time is spent on administrative tasks by fee earners, it would be wise to consider another Practice Management System or Document Management System. We have integrated and seen a lot of these systems and we have seen the best and the worst. A good central system that makes it easy to manage workflows can save a great deal of time.

Also there are a vast number of applications which integrate seamlessly into practice management systems. Here are some examples:

Clocktimizer – a business intelligence tool with a mission to provide legal professionals with the information they need at their fingertips.

TIQ – TIQ helps lawyers with time tracking so that it can be done in one minute a day. It works complementary to current practice management systems without any complicated migrations.

DocuSign – E-signature – Send even your most important documents instantly and securely. And sign from anywhere in the world.

Hotdocs – Transform your frequently used documents and forms into intelligent templates

Business development

If you work for a national or global law firm, business development is most likely a facet of your function. It’s a skill that is rarely covered in law school or post qualification training, and many simply focus on one of two areas: functional actions and abilities for the individual attorney, or a tactical strategy that focuses on the firm’s strategy, preparation and its advertising infrastructure.

In order to improve the effectiveness of business development amongst lawyers, it is essential that your firm provides their lawyers with the tools and strategies to grow their portfolio. Whilst also supplying the organizational context to make sure that there is strategic, united and concentrated effort and use is made of the firm’s central marketing/business development and other resources.

If your timesheet shows that a lot of time is spent on business development, you could look for other options to outsource or delegate these tasks. Of course at some point you will be meeting with clients and many of the activities needed to book these meetings can be done either in-house or through an agency.

Reading tip

Rainmakers & Trailblazers: A practical step-by step guide to effective business development for lawyers showing how their support teams can help bridge both of these key areas. This book provides step-by step, pragmatic advice for lawyers as individuals, while also providing the organizational context, ensuring effective use is made of the firm’s central marketing and business development resources.

In the end reducing your time spent on non-billable activities will allow you to be more effective and will create more time in the future. Hopefully, with these tips you can start streamlining the most time consuming tasks.

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