As your law firm grows, it becomes more and more important to define a set of common processes and procedures across all areas of the business.
When you are just one lawyer, or one lawyer and one assistant, things are pretty simple. You both do things your way, and you both understand how each other works. Things run relatively smoothly without the need for a documented set of standard procedures or a firm manual. If everyone continues to do things their own way as you add more lawyers and more admin staff, chaos ensues. The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing! It becomes difficult to find important data since it is never being stored in the same place twice! This can be very costly to the firm (or worse).
Below are some critical areas where you will want to consider a documented standard set of processes for your firm. For many of these areas, checklists can be great compliments to defined and documented standard procedures.
1. Client Intake
2. File Management
3. Billing & Collection
4. Client Relationship Management
5. Standard Daily Procedures
6. Work Product Standards
If you are planning to grow, then the most sensible route to take would be to address this first. Then you will be best prepared to manage the growth when it occurs. I believe in taking this down to as granular a level as you can. For example, how much more professional does it sound when everyone in the firm answers the phone in the same way?
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