Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Bad Habits That Are Hurting Your Law Practice Bottom Line

There are bad habits, and there are worse habits.

In a law practice, there are also those habits that are so bad they cost you time and money. Those are the worst. 

We're talking about those time-sucking, senseless habits that should have been thrown out with last year's trash. Here's a quick self-test to determine if you have fallen into any of them. 

Worse to Worser

Like bad grammar, bad habits can turn a respectable practice into a shabby one. Michelle Motyka, a business consultant, sees law firms wasting time and money all the time.

If you answer "yes," to any of her questions, then you might have a problem.

  • Are you still hand-writing your time entries for someone else to enter into a program?
  • Is someone printing out documents, then scanning them into a .pdf?
  • Are you sending your clients invoices by snail mail?

Those lawyers who answer "yes," Motyka says, typically explain that they have always done it that way. After all, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

Wrong on the Money

Sometimes things are broken, but we just don't know it yet -- like falling profits that don't show up until tax time. But now is the time to figure out where the money is before it's gone.

"These antiquated procedures are costing you money that you do not need to spend, and creating busy work for many people at the firm that keeps them from working on what truly matters -- and, what you can actually bill for!" Motyka says. She suggests:

  • Take a task inventory to find out what people are doing
  • Listen to suggestions about what could be done better
  • Review procedures and programs to remove inefficiences
  • Make a plan to implement changes

A quick technology tweak or a new procedure could break some of those bad habits. But other things may take longer.

It make take an independent review, or even a non-lawyer to manage the firm. Of course, some law firms will keep doing things the same way because that's how it's always been done.

Related Resources: