As they struggle to fill open positions, law firms are offering more than just competitive salaries to attract premium talent. Top law firm candidates are looking for training and mentorship, sustainable work performance expectations, and the ability to work remotely or in a hybrid environment. And workflow software for law firms makes those dreams a reality.
Smokeball’s Law + The Great Resignation survey participants were most likely to say employees expect to work from home 1-2 days a week (38%), followed by 2-3 days a week (31%). Firms recognize the importance of a hybrid workplace to attract and retain employees.
But it seems that the desire for training and the desire for remote work are at odds with each other. In a remote setting, it’s harder for new hires and inexperienced team members to observe senior lawyers and other experienced colleagues in action. This raises an important question for firm leaders: is it possible to provide training and mentorship in a remote or hybrid workplace?
The answer is yes—if you use legal workflow software to make information accessible from anywhere. Let’s explore how Workflows, a feature in Smokeball’s legal practice management software, does it.
What are Workflows?
A Workflow is a series of tasks. Much like project managers, attorneys manage their cases by creating to-do lists. A Workflow takes those checklists and automates them. It improves case management visibility, showing you key dates and deadlines, attached templates, and an assignee responsible for completing each task.
Workflow legal case management software helps you manage timelines from start to finish, helping you map out what should happen when. For example, you can enter a statute of limitations deadline and work backward to create a timeline for all other important due dates.
How Workflows help with training and mentorship
While working remotely, new hires and seasoned staff may struggle with a lack of onsite supervision and guidance. They lose the ability to lean across the desk and ask, “Which pleading template am I supposed to use for this case?” Or “What information are we still waiting on so that we can finish the production request?” Workflows mitigate some challenges of remote work and provide clear processes, expectations and performance metrics.
With Workflows, training new hires is seamless and repeatable. When case management timelines are organized and accessible to everyone, law firm veterans can spend more time mentoring. Real professional growth comes from thoughtful discussions where mentors can become true coaches instead of a mere instructor. With Workflows, mentors and mentees have time to explore goals, career advancement, and business development. Spending time on mentorship shows employees you care about them. That means more loyalty to you as an employer, and less employee attrition.
What Workflows look like in Smokeball
Workflows eliminate confusion. They give employees a clear sense of the work that needs to be done and how to do it. They give employees the structure they need to exceed expectations. A defined system brings sanity to a team; everyone knows exactly what their responsibilities are and how they’ll contribute to the bigger picture. Workflow software for law firms is an empowering way to work — and empowered people are productive people.
Smokeball lets you create a Workflow specific to your area of law, so the automated processes align with how you practice. For example, here’s how a personal injury firm might map its litigation to-dos:
And here’s how those tasks translate into a Smokeball Workflow:
Workflow software for law firms also shortens the learning curve, meaning new staff members can join the team and immediately tackle their to-dos. They make training employees easy and efficient. Each Smokeball Workflow task includes a section where you can provide details and instructions to complete the task. Furthermore, you can attach a document template to any Task, so there’s never a question about which document to use.
Here’s what your team members see when they look at their Tasks during training or a regular work day:
Troubleshooting your Workflow training
Time is the only obstacle to making Workflow a part of your practice’s training process. But a bit of time investment upfront leads to hundreds of hours saved in the future.
And a good provider of workflow software for law firms will offer all the guidance and support your firm needs to reduce the time you spend building workflows. Smokeball offers ready-made Workflow templates by area of law, which are terrific starting points and are easily customizable. Our training team can walk you through the build-out process and set your team up for success.
While the process of creating Workflows requires some effort, it also allows members of the firm to carefully think through and detail their day-to-day processes — recording important historical firm knowledge that can be passed down through training. The exercise of creating Workflows enables each person to realize their actions are part of a larger whole. Everything becomes neatly compartmentalized and repeatable, ensuring critical information and deadlines are not forgotten. In other words, workflow software for law firms creates a system that lets you operate like a business, regardless of where your staff works.
Smokeball offers ready-made, area-of-law-specific workflows for you to leverage out of the box! Check out our Knowledge Base to get started >>
See Smokeball’s Workflows in action. Schedule your firm’s personalized demo today!