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3 Simple Steps for Running a Successful Law Firm – Workflows as Best Practices

Patrick Davis

Written by

Patrick Davis


December 28, 2021

discussing workflows and project management

This is part three of a three-part series.

My goal in this series has been to provide you some simple steps to grow your small law firm. Law school taught me how to be a good attorney but neglected to show me how to actually make my business successful.

One thing that all lawyers know is that no law firm will survive without clients. Getting and retaining clients is the backbone of any company, but for attorneys providing quality work for your clients is absolutely critical. Quality work is based on never missing any deadline or letting any task slip through the cracks.

Checklists and Workflows for Managing Cases

Any project manager will tell you the best place to start for success is with a plan. Know your target dates that you need to hit and each milestone that needs to be accomplished. Understand who is responsible for each task and create a process that is replicable so others can be trained in the future.

Successful attorneys heed the advice of project managers by creating checklists for each case to make sure they do not miss anything in their representation of their client. For example, a firm may use the same checklist when opening a dissolution of marriage matter: file petition, serve opposing party, file financial affidavits, etc.

Checklists also serve as quality assurance measures when a new staff member joins a firm, ensuring the new hire does not miss completing anything that is critical for a client. Checklists are a good tool in onboarding a new hire as they feel more confident that they are not missing any deadlines or neglecting any important steps.

Workflows take the simple checklist further by automating them and providing visibility across each step with attached assets, date stamps and responsible person. Workflows provide firms the added piece of mind knowing that they are competently and ethically representing the client. It’s a guide or playbook that standardizes a myriad of critical steps and allows attorneys to show their clients what was accomplished and when.

With Smokeball, you can apply workflows to any matter with alerts on deadlines. It’s complete visibility into all matters, all deadlines and all assignments. Smokeball’s new and improved Task View can allow managing partners to globally manage all the firm’s tasks from Workflows on just one screen.

Bottom line, you can’t afford to miss a critical deadlines and workflows ensure that you don’t. They include all the dates, tasks and responsible individuals. They ensure consistency in the quality of client care and provide complete visibility to help you manage and grow your firm.

You can watch this recorded webinar to learn more about Workflows and other features that can benefit your firm or schedule a free, personalized demo with our expert sales team.

About Our Author
Mark Petrolis is a Senior Client Success Manager and In-house Counsel at Smokeball. For most of his legal years he has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. Mark is a trained litigator and holds a J.D., from the University of Illinois – Chicago, School of Law and a B.S.E. in Engineering Management from Purdue University.

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