4 Processes That Take Up Too Much Time at a Small Law Firm

//4 Processes That Take Up Too Much Time at a Small Law Firm

A recent article published by Fast Company claimed that the average CEO wastes about 70 percent of his or her time at work on inefficient, time-sucking tasks. Lawyers and CEOs aren’t much different, and the processes that bog down one professional often affect the other. With the amount of work lawyers like you are constantly balancing, it’s important to streamline processes and workflows wherever possible.

Here are four processes that take up too much time at small law firms and what you can do to avoid them:

  • Emailing: Answering emails as they come in can help keep your inbox under control, but it can also limit your focus and prevent you from making progress on projects that require a more intense thought process. Instead of fielding emails one-by-one, block off time in the morning and late afternoon for responding to the non-urgent emails you couldn’t get to throughout your day. This will help you waste less time in your inbox and focus on more pressing client matters.
  • Filing: Organizing, searching for and sorting through your clients’ paper files can take up a significant portion of your day, especially if they’re managed by multiple people at your firm. Implementing a case management program like Smokeball that allows you to store and manage documents electronically will enable you to find documents quickly and limit the time wasted on organizing and sorting.
  • Meetings: Regardless of the industry, business meetings are often an inefficient use of time. To prevent them from bogging down your small firm, make sure you and your colleagues create a meeting agenda; come fully prepared to discuss those points and try to not deviate from it.
  • Document Creation: Oftentimes, law firm staff devotes hours per week writing and re-creating documents for their clients. With Smokeball, lawyers and legal staff can easily create specialized templates and auto-populate them with their client’s information, making document creation fast and easy.

Wasting more than half of your workday doesn’t have to be a reality for your small law firm! By streamlining processes and implementing helpful technologies like Smokeball, your firm can make the most of the hours they spend at the office.


Think your law office is ready for a technology upgrade?


By |November 20th, 2014|

About the Author:

For years, Josh has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. A trained litigator, Josh came to Smokeball from a large east-coast law firm where his practice focused on franchise, insurance, marine, and general litigation. His work with Smokeball, and his continued passion for what he does each day, is driven by a desire to help lawyers and their staff do better in every way. Knowing well the stress and strain put on today’s legal professional, he regularly focuses on improving work and life in the law. He has traveled the country working with and learning from lawyers and their staff. Josh speaks regularly to bar associations about successful law firm practices and other legal topics. Recent notable engagements have been with the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. In addition to his work at Smokeball, Josh serves on the Writing Resource Center staff at The John Marshall Law School. Besides legal technology, his research interests include judicial decision-making, jury decision-making and psychology, and legal writing. He has written and overseen research exploring causal effects of sex/gender on federal appellate court decision-making, and assisted with research for a forthcoming textbook on judicial decision-making. Additionally, Josh sits on the Board of Directors of Chicago-based Community Activism Law Alliance and on the Board of Directors of Chicago Fringe Opera Company. Josh holds his J.D., cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Wash. U. Law Review, held the prestigious Thompson Coburn Research Fellowship, served as Research Assistant to then-Vice-Dean (now Chancellor) Andrew D. Martin, and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance with Honors Scholar distinction from the University of Connecticut, making him a Huskies basketball fan through and through. Follow Josh’s activity on LinkedIn, and keep up with new articles on the Smokeball Blog.