This post will provide 8 tips to help solo law firms operate more effectively in a remote environment.
Tip #1 An Updated Business Plan
If your solo practice is still working from its pre-pandemic business plan, you are likely operating from a strategy that does not take into consideration the unique challenges of a pandemic. All successful businesses require a business plan, and that business plan should be updated as changes arise.
Review your current business plan and identify areas that no longer fit into a remote working environment. An updated plan provides a roadmap for where you want your firm to go and how you will go about getting there, even in the age of a pandemic. It may take some time and effort, but it will benefit your remote solo practice in the long run.
Tip #2 Optimizing your Space
If your remote working arrangement involves working from home, it’s important to maintain an established workspace. Choose an area of your home where you can securely store client records and firm data. You also need to think about where you can work with the least amount of interruption. Details like adequate lighting and a comfortable workstation should be considered when optimizing your remote law office space.
Tip #3 Reconsider Your Practice Areas
The pandemic has had a substantial effect on some legal practice areas. While some concentrations have seen an uptick in business, others have taken a substantial hit. Take the time to examine your current practice areas. Are some bringing in less revenue than before? If so, now may be a good time to make some adjustments and move towards more profitable options.
When making these decisions, it’s also useful to consider which practice areas are more conducive to a remote office setting. If remote work is critical to your health and wellness, you may want to concentrate your solo practice on legal matters that can be handled remotely and require a minimal amount of in-person interaction.
Tip #4 Set a Schedule
When working remotely from home, particularly as a solo attorney, make sure you maintain a healthy balance between your work life and personal life. It can be extremely stressful to have the success of your law firm fall solely on your shoulders, which is why boundaries are so important. Set a schedule for yourself just as if you were leaving the house for work in the morning and returning in the evening. Follow your normal morning routine and take necessary breaks throughout the day. When the workday is over, stop working, secure your office, and enjoy your personal time.
Tip #5 Address Staffing Needs
Working remotely may have changed your solo law firm staffing needs. Maybe you no longer need a full-time receptionist, but you do find yourself in need of more legal secretary or paralegal assistance. Think about where your resources currently stand and make staffing decisions based on your practice needs, as well as your financial abilities. because you have to pay your staff. Make sure you give consideration to tax requirements and benefits, such as health insurance. If these necessities give you a headache, consider contracting a paralegal to assist you on an as-needed basis. You can benefit from a highly experienced professional without the employer’s responsibilities.
Tip #6 Track Time Consistently
When working remotely, it can be tempting to put off time tracking duties or to take them on in a haphazard type of way. If your current time tracking consists of notes written all over your desk calendar or sticky notes on your computer, it is definitely time to upgrade.
As a remote solo attorney, your firm’s revenue depends on you, so it is even more important to complete this task accurately and consistently. You need to select a legal time tracking and billing software that helps you effectively keep track of client tasks and billing accurately for your services. TimeSolv is an excellent cloud-based software that provides you with time tracking and billing capabilities you will not find anywhere else. Click here for a no-obligation 30 -day trial.
Tip #7 Don’t Stop Marketing
If your firm’s marketing efforts suffered during the pandemic, it is time to get back on track. After all, how are new clients going to find you if they don’t know you exist? If you don’t know where to start, or you don’t have the time to jump back in, there are plenty of law firm marketing agencies to help you get started, as well as countless internet articles and resources about law practice marketing. Whether you choose to update your website or explore social media options, put some effort into your marketing efforts if you want your solo practice to remain competitive within the crowded law firm landscape.
Tip #8 Upgrade Billing Processes
Billing and payment must be the main consideration when managing a remote solo law firm. As such, it is important that you have tools in place that allow you to handle the entire client invoicing process from wherever you choose to work. Look for legal billing software that provides such features as:
- Mobile time tracking capabilities
- Streamlined invoicing
- Electronic payment options
- Automated payment options
- Secure storage of client forms of payment
Legal billing software like TimeSolv provides your remote solo law practice with all the tools it needs to maintain consistent and accurate billing, while also promoting timely and complete client payments.
Solo Attorneys Can Maintain an Effective Remote Law Office
If the current environment necessitates your running your solo law office remotely, there are numerous steps you can take to run an effective practice. Reevaluate your current growth plan, your staffing needs, and your marketing efforts. Then, create a working environment that promotes your efficiency and profitability. With a few simple tweaks, your remote solo practice can be positioned for ultimate success.