Another year has passed, and 2017 is upon us. At this point, if you are a solo attorney you may be getting back into the routine of the work life after a nice holiday break, or still struggling to catch up with work from the end of 2016. Attorneys are not always known for championing new approaches over the familiar routine, but it may be time for you to incorporate a few New Year’s resolutions into your solo practice to make life easier and bring in more billables in 2017.
Embrace Your Role as a Solo Practitioner
This may be one resolution that many solo practitioners have long ago fulfilled, but whether you entered into solo practice by choice or by necessity, it is time to embrace your role and what you have to offer as a solo practitioner. The concept of devoting your career to working in a large organization – whether that be a law firm or a corporation – is becoming less and less popular and common, and for good reason.
Through automation, easy-to-use software, and ease of online communication, solo practitioners can do more of the work that used to require a firm to accomplish, and at a far greater efficiency. They can also easily work on behalf of clients anywhere in many cases, an impossibility in the past. Finally, many more of your potential clients are becoming solos themselves in the rise of the freelancer/entrepreneurial economy. They don’t want law firms to do their work – they want you. You can offer what the firms cannot – personalization, efficiency, flexibility, and singular innovation – and your potential clients are waiting to hear that message.
Consider Alternative Fee Arrangements
What is the one of the biggest reasons clients are afraid to hire an attorney, much less even reach out to one for a consultation? They are afraid they will face huge, surprise legal bills which will potentially outweigh the benefits of talking to a lawyer in the first place. Whether these bills are the product of overbilling, inefficiency, unavoidable issues, or mismatched expectations is besides the point, as the result is the same: fewer clients.
As a solo attorney, you have the freedom and flexibility that larger firms do not in offering alternative fee arrangements that will encourage clients to take a chance on you while giving you the opportunity to show off you can deliver results better than the name firms. Whether it be flat-fee arrangements, subscription options, or unbundled offerings, exploit your flexible nature to give your potential clients what they want.
Automate Your Back Office Operations
Whether you have an entire office operation or are working out of the guest bedroom, you can increase your ability to provide excellent customer service while minimizing in-house costs by incorporating easy-to-use software solutions to automate your back office operations (or back of the guest bedroom operations as the case may be). Affordable legal billing software can help you gain the same types of benefits that large firms enjoy with such features as:
Optimize Your Firm with TimeSolv
TimeSolv offers backend automated office solutions that brings big-firm innovation to all types of firms, no matter the size. We provide low-cost automated solutions to optimize your firm’s billing, collection, expense tracking, internal reporting, and project management efforts, and offer free training to ensure that you are maximizing all the features that TimeSolv has to offer. To start your free 30-day trial of TimeSolv today, click here.