As a busy solo or small firm attorney, your time is precious. It is vital that you use your time to actually practice law and bring in more business. However, there are always other matters in your practice that absolutely need to be tended to, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be the one to do them. Some things are better left to a legal assistant. It may be tempting to try to keep costs low and handle everything yourself, but doing tis only hurts your practice and your sanity in the long-run.
So how do you know when it’s time to hire a legal assistant? Here are 3 signs.
You’re Spending Time on Administrative Tasks
If you are regularly spending time on administrative tasks that do not bring revenue into your practice, strongly consider hiring a legal assistant. It may seem like it’s faster and easier to make those copies, answer the phone or docket matters into the calendar yourself, but it’s not a valuable use of your time and energy, especially if you bill by the hour. Every minute adds up and time spent doing non-revenue generating tasks is time away from focusing on work that you can bill more for or time to bring in more business.
You Lack Organized Systems
If your office is inundated with piles of accordion folders and papers with no rhyme or reason to it, you likely need an assistant. A part of being a good attorney is being prepared and it’s hard to be prepared when files are incomplete and in disarray. The time wasted scouring the office looking for a document could have easily been properly filed away by an assistant.
Your Clients are Complaining
If your clients are complaining about the quality of service you are providing, it is time to hire an assistant. When you are overworked, stressed and trying to wear all of the hats in your practice, the quality of client service usually suffers. A disgruntled client can eventually take their business to another attorney and/or file a complaint with the bar association. Either scenario is completely avoidable and preventable by staying on top of cases and client communication with the help of a legal assistant.