The way most personal injury lawyers think about law firm task management procedures is how many teenagers regard their parents—they don’t realize their importance until they mess up. The difference is, for law firms the consequences are way more damaging—for teens, forgetting to get gas may cause them to be late to a party; but if your team members forget a deadline, you could lose a case, a client, and, even worse, your reputation. That’s why it’s so important to have a proper personal injury law firm’s task management plan in place—not only to avoid the consequences but also to reap the benefits.
We promise getting organized isn’t scary…but it can lead to some scary-good results for your personal injury law firm. Better organization= a much more efficient firm which allows you to take on more business, fewer costs, and faster paychecks—so if you’re ready to cross productivity off your legal to-do list, here are a few task management best practices to get you going:
Gather your tasks
If you’ve ever cooked, you know you want all your ingredients in one place—and the same goes if you want to get things cooking for your firm. All relevant task ingredients—case updates, due dates, calendar events, contact info, staff workload, etc.—should be captured in one place so you don’t get burned by a missed deadline. That means no more multi-version spreadsheets or drawers full of sticky notes; instead, you should implement a system that seamlessly integrates with your personal injury law practice case management software—ensuring you’re always prepared for what’s ahead.
Prioritize your tasks
Just as with cooking, the order you carry out tasks in is important. It’s important that you assess the urgency and importance level for each and every one of your firm’s tasks before tackling or assigning them. It goes without saying that you should focus on getting the most urgent and important tasks handled first, so you’re not out buying pens when you should be filing that brief.
Assign your tasks
This one’s simple: you can’t do it all yourself. When assigning tasks, begin with your priorities and delegate down your to-do list (including admin and documentation tasks), taking into account your team members’ strengths and current caseloads. Teamwork makes the dream work—so stop hoarding your tasks and you’ll start moving your cases faster.
Track your tasks
You wouldn’t leave your fully compiled dish in the oven without checking in—and the same principle applies to your assigned tasks. You should constantly track the progress of your delegated tasks to make sure they’re on a timely path towards completion. And to ensure you’re not over managing, encourage your team to check in regularly with updates—that way you can reassign tasks or add additional help if things veer off track.
Share your tasks
Don’t keep your tasks to yourself—having your team share what they’re working on (with the relevant parties) helps keep everyone accountable and motivated. And it allows you (or your team) to reallocate resources to areas of need before they become a problem.
Evaluate your tasks
If you ever run out of things to do, then your firm is probably in trouble. Task management isn’t about getting rid of tasks; it’s about managing them efficiently. That’s why it’s important to always be evaluating. Focus on a few key performance indicators, like completion rate (tasks completed/task assigned as a %) and task age (how long it takes to complete a task), while playing around with different metrics (e.g., time period, priority status, teams, individuals). This should give you great insight into what’s working (and what’s not) and help you improve your efficiency.
One surefire way to improve your personal injury firm’s task management is CloudLex—we’re a one-stop solution for all of your firm’s needs. Put “sign up for a free CloudLex demo” at the top of your to-do list and see how our top-notch task management features can make everything your firm does more efficient…including getting paid.