Login | February 19, 2019

The value of health checking the office system

Technology for Lawyers

Published: June 15, 2018

The ABA is here again with some useful tips—this time on running a health check on your systems. As in, you need to do this regularly as a user. These tips aren’t the same as IT tips—like making sure your software is always updated and patched. This is more like what users (that’s you) should be doing regularly to make sure your system is operating at peak efficiency. Scheduling time to take a look at these parts of your system on a regular basis will help your office run the way the systems were designed to run it.

First, make sure your conflicts-checking system is operating properly. By now, this should be a computer-based system and not a series of note cards passed around the office. Most large law office systems include this as a module, but there are stand-alone conflicts checking apps like clientconflictcheck.com, LSS Conflicts of Interest and RTG Conflicts, among others.

Next, clear your calendaring system. Calendaring should be used for tickling or notifying you of upcoming tasks like court appearances or filing deadlines. It is also used for docketing, or scheduling specific events, which include both work-related and non-work events (like vacations, dinner dates and ballgames). A good calendaring system should be accessible to those who need access, so it should be cloud-based. It should also be easy to use, have a reminder setup that can be used far in advance, and be backed up on a daily basis.

Third, check your accounting and billing systems. Make sure you’re tracking every possible billable hour and every penny, and that your trust account is set up properly.

Next, keep close tabs on filing. Make sure you can have instant access to whatever file or document you need when you need it. File every document when you get it. Make sure your filing system is as efficient as possible with a system that makes sense—numbering, lettering, filing by date, or what ever you need to be able to pull the right document without wasting time.

Last, “master your marketing system.” Make sure that you spend the necessary time on getting new business through the door, instead of wondering how you’ll get new business through the door. You know—social media, press releases, blogging, whatever.

Get to it!

Oh, and-- pro tip—if you send out a press release, make sure you respond to the journalists who call you to follow up. Bad look if you send out a release and then ignore the calls it generates (you know who you are).