Updated: Sep 3, 2020
I admire solo practitioners because they are the most organized. Or they should be. Did that statement make you laugh because you feel anything but organized? You must wear every hat in your solo firm. You are the lawyer, paralegal, receptionist, marketing, intake, bookkeeping, and anything else that needs to be done. You answer the phones, schedule the appointments, hold consultations, retain clients, collect paperwork, do research, file motions, and pleadings, and make the court appearances. WOW! I am exhausted just thinking about it, and I am sure there is more that you do.
With all of this going on, the law is your life. There is no time for more. What about your relationships, kids, social life, personal life, or vacations? Those are either strained or non-existent.
How is your sleep? The few hours you may get? How is your health? Is this what you dreamed of your life to be when you first started law school and envisioned your future?
The first thing you want to do is STOP! Right now! Just for 5-minutes. Turn off your monitor, shut of your phone's sound, take off your shoes, relax into a comfortable chair, and put on some soft music. Now, close your eyes and breathe. Relax for 5-minutes (you can set a timer). When you are done come back to this post.
Do you feel a little better? Or was your mind spinning the whole time about what you should be doing instead of breathing for 5-minutes?
You have a solo practice but you do not have to take care of every detail and task yourself. Let's look at a few items you can hand over to someone else. And before you go into a panic anxiety attack, I am not talking about hiring a staff member.
1) Your phones - What is your hourly rate? $125-300 per hour? Would you pay a receptionist this amount to answer your phone? H*** NO! That is exactly what you are doing when you answer them yourself, That is exactly what it is costing you each time you answer your phones. You are throwing away money and time. For a fraction of the cost, you can hire a receptionist firm to handle your incoming calls 24 hours a day. They are trained specifically in the legal field. They are highly professional, can schedule appointments, respond to your online chat, and answer non-legal questions for you. A missed call costs you money and an answered call costs a lot when you are the one answering.
2) Find a good Virtual Assistant - You may have to interview a few to find the right fit for you and your firm, but do it. You will thank me later. They handle all of the tasks that are not billable. If a task is non-billable you should not be doing it anyway. A VA will handle anything from administrative tasks to marketing, social media, bookkeeping, updating your web site, research, and much more. Again for pennies on the dollar.
3) Get a paralegal - With more and more people working remotely, many firms have shut down, and paralegals are out of work. You can hire one on a contract basis (No benefit expense). They can work with you in the office or by remote.
The advantage of finding these services is that you do not have to pay the overhead you have with full-time employees, such as unemployment insurance, workers comp, medical insurance, 401K, etc.
Now you have the help you need at a fraction of the cost for you to do the work yourself. This frees you to be a lawyer in your solo firm and not everything else. Which is what you wanted to be.
How do you know what tasks to delegate? Anything that is not billable. Anything that does not involve giving legal advice.
I understand that there are some upfront costs that may hurt a little, but in the long run, you will increase your client intake, your leads, decrease you, no-shows, increase your retaining, and have more successful case conclusions, which lead to happy clients, client referrals, and good reviews. You can do this. You will find you have freed up time in your schedule to complete your work, have more personal time, and maybe even see the weekend or a sunset.
If you feel stuck, if the thought of setting all of this up is sending you into a panic attack then contact me. I can help you. We will create a plan, a road map, to make this into workable, not overwhelming, steps.
We will meet once a week over a 6-month period to create the practice that really works for you.
Together we will:
* Organize your schedule and to-do lists.
* Create more time in your workweek.
* Find the best help you need so you have time to focus on legal and not administrative tasks.
* Create more leads, retentions, and fewer no-shows.
* Improve your online presence.
* Experience dinners at home and weekends.
* Create a tailor-made plan.
* Have a high level of accountability to achieve your dream.
Click here to schedule your free consultation. A 30-minute phone call to discuss your practice and see if this is a fit for you.
Or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org