Are you feeling overwhelmed with the day-to-day tasks of running your legal practice? You’re not alone! It’s not uncommon to feel bogged down by all the different things you need to do to succeed.
But don’t worry, there are ways to avoid common pitfalls and stay on track. Here are six of the most common mistakes that can happen in a legal practice and tips to help you stay organized and focused.
Pitfall #1 Cutting Corners on Legal Research
While it’s tempting to limit your legal research to just the bare necessities, don’t fall into this trap! Allowing yourself to cut corners on legal research will only lead you down a slippery slope where more and more time will be devoted towards returning briefs that need revisions.
At first, these changes may require minor changes or fixes, but as time goes on, these changes will take more time and will eventually snowball into a much bigger problem. It is important to realize every case is different, and even if you feel you have a pretty good handle on a legal issue or topic, research should always be done before a brief goes out the door.
Pitfall #2 Overcommitting Yourself
Your clients deserve your undivided attention when they come in for their appointments or meetings. Still, if you’re neglecting your other responsibilities in an attempt to give them the time they deserve, it can quickly lead to you feeling overwhelmed.
While taking on too much may seem like a good idea at the time because it could bring in more money, this is not the case, as it will eventually lead to disgruntled clients who may choose to take their business elsewhere.
Pitfall #3 Forgetting to Manage Your Finances
It’s easy to think that it will be fine if you forget to send out bills for a couple of months while trying to get your practice on track, but this is one of the biggest mistakes many new lawyers make. If you allow your financial situation with your clients to get out of control, they may realize what good clients they are and decide to find another lawyer.
While it may also be hard to ask your clients to pay their outstanding balances, this is a necessary step in the right direction. This is because you will want to get paid for your work and feel more confident about turning those project files into money-making transactions if you know everything has been taken care of.
Moreover, it could be wise to get capital allowance advice for law practices if you need further clarification on whether you qualify for tax deductions. And, if you are contemplating buying new equipment, it might be worth getting some advice so that the expense is tax-deductible.
Pitfall #4 Ignoring Potential Clients
While you may be tempted to turn down new potential clients because you feel overloaded with existing cases, don’t fall into this trap. Every new client means more income for your practice and is worth taking the time to speak with, even if it requires a bit of juggling on your part.
There are times when making one phone call or sending out one email can immediately turn into a new, cash-paying case. So, even if it takes you away from other tasks that are more pressing at the moment, your time is worth it!
Pitfall #5 Skimping on Quality of Service
Many new lawyers are tempted to try to save money by skimping on the quality of service, but this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Clients will quickly lose confidence in your practice if they feel like they aren’t receiving their money’s worth.
If you want clients to come back again and again, it’s essential to give them the best experience possible, and that starts with hiring a great receptionist to greet them when they walk in through your doors. The better you treat your clients, the more likely they will be willing to refer others to your law firm!
Pitfall #6 Proving Yourself to Others
For some lawyers, staying up late or pulling all-nighters may sound like a good idea because it can make you feel like you’re getting more done, but this is a bad practice to get into. Proving yourself to other people in your field should never be prioritized over taking care of yourself and ensuring that you are well-rested when going into the office every day.
All work and no play can cause you to burn out quickly, making you look like a bad lawyer to your clients and the other people in the profession. The best way to prevent yourself from experiencing these common pitfalls is by getting organized.
Although it can be overwhelming at first, having systems and procedures in place for everything you do can help you save time and avoid feeling overwhelmed as you try to manage all the demands of building a new law practice. While this can take time to make, it’s well worth the effort as it will help you save time and feel more relaxed when going through your weekdays.