How to manage a small law firm
It’s one thing to carry out your personal duties as an attorney. Filing paperwork, consult and client meetings, legal intake, attending court. But to be the head of a small firm with a few other attorneys or paralegals takes more legwork to be successful. You want your firm to come across as strong, organized and professional. It’s the best way to sell your firm. And if eventually you want to continue to grow your firm and market yourself, you need to do the work internally before you start advertising it to bring in more clients. But where do you start?
Make sure you have a strong team
This is first and foremost. Truly examine your associates and make sure you have pulled together a strong, cohesive and professional team of employees. Identify your weak spots or even gaps. If you need to partner with another attorney or bring in more paralegals, do the budget work to see what you can afford. One area you might not be considering is whether you want to bring in a legal receptionist. Calls are vital to your firm. Calls come from leads and from existing clients. You want to be able to answer all your calls. If it’s not in the budget to bring in a full-time receptionist, consider a legal answering service. An answering service can handle all your calls, and some can do many of the same administrative tasks, at a fraction of the cost.
Do the market research
Researching market dynamics and focusing on niche offerings is a great way to home in your efforts to bring in new clients. Did you know that your calls are a great source of data? If you’re already considering a legal answer service to answer your calls and perform administrative tasks, such as legal intake and scheduling, then look for one that can also analyze your calls and turn it into useful data to help you understand your market.
Figure out your systems
With multiple employees, you need a way of tracking attorney hours, client invoicing, scheduling and task management. Juggling all of these things can become a huge job in and of itself. Research various systems that can implement all of these needs if possible. Again, your law firm wants to come across as organized. You are not in a position to drop the ball on tasks or invoicing or scheduling. If you hire a legal answering service, you’ll know your scheduling will be handled. Simply link your calendar with your answering service and that task will be off you plate, leaving you to focus on organizing the other aspects of creating a comprehensive system.
Create a website
This is incredibly important. This is how most of your leads will be finding you – whether it’s through social media, a paid ad, an attorney review site such as Avvo or a search engine result. In this digital age, it is an absolute must for you to have a professional website. Start with the basics – profiles on you and your associates, the area of law your focus on, what exactly your law firm does. Provide contact information, link to any attorney review sites you have a profile, as well as social media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. From there you can build your SEO with keywords and blogs so that when leads run a search, your website will pop up higher in the results.
Need some extra help? Legal live answering is the answer!
A legal answering service will handle your calls freeing you up to manage, and hopefully grow, your law firm. When you sign up with a legal answering service, you’ll forward your calls to a team of operators when you choose. That may be during your operating hours, after hours, when you’re unavailable (like during meetings or when you’re in court) or when you’re simply too busy to answer your calls. The operators will take your messages and then send them directly to you. Don’t forget the importance of bringing in new clients and providing great customer service to your existing clients. Answering your calls is one of the best ways to tackle both.
VoiceNation is the most comprehensive legal answering service
VoiceNation doesn’t just answer calls. Our operators act as your virtual receptionists by also performing legal intake, scheduling appointments and forwarding your calls. VoiceNation is a 24/7 legal answering service – even on the weekends and holidays. Because we’re always open, so is your law firm. If your area of law requires you to be available no matter the time of day, week or year, then having a legal answering service is a must. Always be available to your clients and always be open to leads when you’ve got our highly trained team of U.S.-based operators ready and waiting to answer your calls.