I was going to title this post “Spring Cleaning your Law Practice”, but an internet search of this title resulted in so many posts that I had to come up with something a bit more creative. However, while perusing these sites, I did find some very interesting and useful tips on cleaning up your practice this spring. So, I thought I’d pick five that I thought were most useful and unique to share with you.
Reach out to your network
Most firms send greeting cards at Christmas time. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to show appreciation to current and former clients, while also reminding them that your firm is ready and able to handle all of their legal needs. People receive tons of greeting cards during the Christmas holidays. So, it’s very likely that your may get lost in the shuffle. Then why not stand out from everyone else by sending a springtime greeting card? Just a short and simple greeting that will be completely unexpected and highly appreciated. Send them to current and former clients, as well as your professional contacts. You never know whose brother, aunt, or best friend may be in need of your services at the exact time your card is received.
Cleaning out the inbox
If you are anything like me, your inbox is filled with tons of unnecessary and unimportant emails. From spam to subscription communications, just looking at that huge number next to your inbox folder is enough to make you completely exhausted. Spend some time cleaning out your inbox now and you will feel the benefits of declutterization tomorrow. (Yes, I made up that word). The folks at Strategist suggest using email rules and filters to categorize your emails before they even hit your inbox. For example, you can set your filters to send all emails regarding Jane Doe’s case to a Jane Doe folder. So, as you go through and clean out your current inbox, identify groups of similar messages that can be placed into folders and make that happen.
Getting the most for your dollar
Depending on the size of your law practice, you may have several vendors that you do business with on a regular basis. This may include your office supplies vendor, your water delivery service, or your internet provider. Often times, lawyers become so ingrained in their daily practices that these expenses become a second thought. Every month, you write the checks or authorize the credit card payments with no regard for whether or not you are getting the most for your money. Use your spring refresher to review these contracts and prices. If you have been a long-time customer, contact your service representative to inquire about possible discounts or the addition of services at your current rate. if you don’t get the response you desire, start shopping around. There may be other vendors offering a higher level of service for less than what you pay now, but you will never know unless you take the time to find out.
A great way to refresh your mind is to find a cause you care about and give back a little bit of your time. Lawyers often get so bogged down in the details of their cases, they forget the sheer joy of giving. It doesn’t have to be much. You could take on a pro bono case, help out a community organization or conduct a free informational seminar. I’m sure the senior community center across town would love for you to come in and give a talk about estate planning. It only takes a small act of kindness to refresh an overworked mind.
Spring is finally here! Take some time to do a practice refresher. It can save you some time, money and unnecessary stress.
About Erika Winston:
Erika Winston is a freelance writer with a passion for law. Through her business, The Legal Writing Studio, she helps legal professionals deliver effective written messages. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications.