A solo lawyer can handle 20-30 active cases at any given point in time. An organized lawyer can even take on more matters with some cases being entirely managed by a lawyer, and others with the assistance of support staff to manage the cases partially. In both cases, finding ways to be efficient, organized, and precise is vital to maintaining an adequate caseload and driving profits upwards.
No matter the type of case, as a lawyer, you have to dedicate an adequate amount of time to achieve the best results for your clients. In addition, your existing caseload affects your ability to retain and attract new clients. Keeping all that in mind, here are some tips for you to manage the caseload to drive profit.
1. Track leads by source
Whether someone gets in touch with your firm through a website form, directly calling your phone number, or through a referral from another law firm, it is essential to keep track of the source of the lead.
Maintaining the data of leads will give you insight into which sources are bringing you the most quality and high-value cases and which source is contributing to the most client conversions.
With these insights, you can decide to focus on the channels that are giving you the quality, converting leads consistently.
For example, for the same marketing budget, a TV commercial that you paid to promote your law firm may get you 100 leads, but you could convert 1 out of that 100 leads vs. a Google ads promotion giving you 50 leads. You could convert 5 leads of those 50, and traditionally the average case value from google ads is high. Using your insights you could make the informed decision to ditch the TV promo and invest more in Google ads.
These insights may help you identify marketing channels that are giving the best ROI as well as trim your case docket to the cases where the average case value is high. Work smarter, not harder!
2. Organize your case files
To process cases faster, you need to drive efficiency. So, for example, when you get a new client, the first thing is to organize case files. To make things faster, you can use intake forms in the first meeting itself to collect all the required information and use it to create a case file.
As you start organizing the file, you may immediately see what information is missing and needs an update. Quickly following up will save you time, increasing your efficiency and giving you scale.
You can organize the case documents in the following categories:
|Discovery||Emails as notes|
3. Maintain checklists
Working on personal injury cases requires executing repetitive tasks that could be time-consuming and prone to errors. But here, creating workflows in case management software can help. You can automate the mundane and repetitive tasks, thus, enabling you to improve efficiency, streamline approvals, and reduce errors throughout the case lifecycle.
You could also maintain the checklist, which includes all the steps to follow and should use to track the workflow progress of the case. So you could create a checklist for car accident paperwork, or you could generate a list of mundane tasks that are common across car accident cases.
Working from a checklist or creating a workflow helps you track the status of a case so that anyone in the firm knows the next steps that need attention.
4. Manage and prioritize the tasks for each case
Even a simple litigation case can generate hundreds of tasks, so it is crucial to prioritize tasks according to what is urgent and important. When you prioritize the tasks for each case, it helps you focus on the right case at the right time.
For example, when a case goes to trial, a paralegal has to collect all the necessary information from witness reports and give them to a lawyer on a specific due date, this is a commonly needed task and a paralegal may be tasked with doing this for multiple cases. If you have an overview of all tasks for the firm you can help the paralegal prioritize the order they complete their tasks in, so that all cases are ready when their respective trials start.
When tasks are shared on a common platform, the lawyers, especially those managing the firm, can follow-up on the tasks that are immediately due, staying on top of progress and ensuring you never miss a deadline for any case in the pipeline.
5. Use templates for routine correspondence
Whether you are writing to the clients or conveying court dates or even filing a motion, you can create templates for this kind of correspondence because you are often writing out the same letter, time and time again, case to case.
No matter how many cases you undertake, you know which templates to use at any specific stage, and you can reuse them whenever you need. This helps save time and take away a high volume of tasks.
The way you manage your existing cases will define how many cases you can take on at any given point in time. You can always optimize your workflows and processes that impact the client base, profitability, and longevity of your law firm. And remember there is still room for improvement, it is just a matter measuring performance and acting to improve it.