Around the new year, many law firms become motivated to set or reassess goals, plan for the coming year, and improve current processes. Unfortunately, time passes quickly. The new year may be ticking by, but spring is another great time to realign your law firm’s goals, assess what went well or needs improvement, streamline operations, and get a “fresh start.” for the rest of the year.
Law firms should take advantage of spring cleaning and use it to refresh and realign law firm goals.
Review of Law Firm Objectives
Before law firms can make any major “spring cleaning” changes, they need to check the goals set for the new year. Spring is the dawn of a new quarter, so it is good for law firms to check the goals that have been set for the new year and the performance of the first quarter.
If the law firm is on track to achieve its goals by the end of the year, great! If not, now is the time to reassess needs, priorities, and goals, and take the pulse of the health of the business as a whole.
Ideally, the year started with SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) goals. These goals are clear and measurable, which means they are easy to assess.
The key to SMART goals is measurement. While it may seem obvious, law firms need to measure their goals to see if they are on track to achieve the desired outcome, and what can be adjusted to put the firm in a better position to succeed.
Whether big or small, law firms of all sizes need a functional website to grow and evolve. Websites can quickly become outdated, impacting a law firm’s brand and reputation.
Websites should be updated regularly, but if a law firm has grown or made major changes in the past year, an update is essential. Perhaps there’s a new practice area or office for the firm, or an overhaul of branding aspects like the logo or mission statement.
Regardless of the change, this is a great opportunity for law firms to revamp the website and ensure it accurately reflects the brand.
Cleanup of recordings
A law firm’s records are important for tracking business and financial transactions. Without clear and accurate books, a law firm cannot make sound business decisions regarding the company’s future or its financial health.
Spring is a good time for law firms to “deep clean” the books. They should review files and accounts, cancel unused subscriptions, and organize receipts and records. Although it may be the start of the year, there are things your business can do to prepare for the year-end frenzy. Now is the time to assess your future needs and goals for the rest of the year. A law firm management solution, such as PracticePanther, offers streamlined online invoicing and payments, as well as reporting, making case cleanup a simple, straightforward, and fast process. This not only helps with the spring revamp, but businesses can monitor their books more easily throughout the year.
Like goals, marketing strategies need to be evaluated and revamped regularly to stay ahead of the game. Spring offers law firms the opportunity to update marketing strategies and see what works (and what doesn’t) to develop more effective solutions.
What has worked in the past may not work this year, so law firms should consider changes in the new year, such as:
New marketing trends
Updates from social media accounts
Automated email template updates
New SEO best practices
Marketing analysis and KPIs
All businesses need marketing no matter how big or simple the business or its business development is. PracticePanther makes it easy to track the success of your marketing strategy with features like Legal CRM to track and tag leads based on a custom source.
Busy law firms can accumulate many files, documents, spam and old client correspondence in a physical or electronic inbox. Left unchecked, the inbox can become disorganized, overwhelming, and harder to manage in a timely manner.
Inbox cleaning always takes time, but law firms should schedule time to completely clean up the inbox (both physical and digital) to bring it back to a “clean slate”.
It is also a good time for law firms to make additional digital cleaninglike deleting old files and folders from the computer, updating apps and programs, and running a cleanup program to remove any “junk files” that can slow down a system. operation.
Fee Agreement Updates
Fee agreements are ripe for compliance issues. In the spring, law firms should review and revise fee agreements to ensure they still comply with local jurisdiction ethics rules. This is especially true if the law firm has added a new practice area in the last year.
Other changes may cause the fee agreement to be updated, such as changes to the payment methods accepted by the law firm, file destruction policies, etc.
Verification of continuing legal education (CLE) status
Compliance reports come quickly, and if a law firm isn’t prepared, it can be a rat race to get it all together. Even if the deadline isn’t until the end of the year, it’s best for law firms to take advantage of the spring cleaning period to check for CLE status.
If the state requires a report on all courses and some certificates are available, they can be sent sooner. If the state declares itself, the certificates must be organized for a possible audit. It is important that the certificates are backed up, as with a cloud-based digital storage solution.
Law firms have many technologies at their fingertips, whether it’s an all-in-one practice management solution or individual apps and subscriptions. It can all add up, especially if certain apps or features aren’t used enough to make it worthwhile.
Along with the rest of the spring cleaning, law firms should take stock of all firm technology spending and assess which options are beneficial. For example, the company may have tried a trial subscription service or app (which has since become paid) that no one is using. These costs can go unnoticed, especially if they are low.
PracticePanther all-in-one law firm management software eliminates the need for expensive subscriptions by keeping many operations in-house. Your business can process online payments with our built-in payment processor, send documents for signature with native e-signature, and even text customers with two-way business text messaging without leaving the platform.