Case management best practice for law firms is essential. It is said that the average lawyer manages about 20 to 30 cases annually. Whether these cases are fully managed by lawyers or partially by paralegals, the need to stay efficient, organized and precise is indeed paramount. Thus, managing cases effectively has a direct impact on their outcomes which impact your ability to retain and attract clients.
Building effective strategies is vital to keep your law management firm growing and moving ahead on the path of success.
A clear, concise case Management shows you the “how,” “why” and “what” of taking your business to the next level, introducing you to best practices and the thinking behind actions of some of the industry’s top-quartile firms. Whether you’re the head of a large advisory firm, part of a small practice or just starting out, you will discover a roadmap for turning your good business into a better one.
A well-structured case management setup will make your firm more successful and profitable. On the other hand, poor habits and a lack of best practices may result in lower profits and higher costs.
Having all these in mind, here are some tips to consider to help you become a case management pro and deliver the best client service.
Organization: – Getting organized may come as second nature to some of us, while others may choose to procrastinate on any “spring cleaning” or organizational tasks. For those people, just the mere thought of cleaning up and getting organized can be daunting. When you start organizing case files right at the start, you can immediately see what is missing or needs updating, saving you time and your client money in legal advice and trial preparation, in case the case goes into trial. What’s more, using a common system ensures that cases are always filed the same way, making it easy for anyone in the firm with access, to find information, even if they have not looked at that case file recently.
Organization allows for efficient administration and resource optimization to say the least.
Having a checklist is paramount: – Having a long list of things to do and keeping all of them in mind is not easy, especially if you are working on multiple cases, simultaneously. You can make sure not to skip any task by having a checklist for each case. This checklist should ideally include all the steps to follow and should be used to track workflow progress of the case. This way you are aware of where you are and what you need to do. You can create a checklist with all the administrative tasks which are common across cases, and then customize it to suit the individual cases you work on. Maintaining a checklist, helps you track the status of the case so that at any time you can know where you are and what more to do.
Prioritizing: – Prioritizing tasks helps you stay on top of key dates and never miss a deadline. When you have a long list of tasks for each case and many such cases to manage, it is important to prioritize tasks according to their importance and urgency so that you give attention to the right case at the right time. Most tasks are linked and need coordination. By taking into account how tasks are linked, you can make sure tasks are completed in due time by the responsible people.
Assign schedule and follow-up on tasks: – To ensure nothing slips through the crack, tasks must be delegated with their deadlines to people. Remember, your task has to be scheduled (one action followed by the other) and assigned to the paralegal (to execute the task) and the lawyer (to review). By delegating and scheduling tasks and monitoring the time taken to complete them, you can improve efficiency and better estimate the time needed for future cases.
To do this requires standardizing communication flows throughout case management. Also, it is vital to have tools to automatically save information you gather from face to face meetings, phone calls and emails must be stored in the cases they belong to.
To make sure you’re keeping up with client expectations, consider running weekly reports to make sure your clients have received their previously scheduled status updates.
Effective Case Management: How to Control Litigation Outcomes and Costs