Valerie Wade is a Law Firm Administrator of the Pierro Law Group in New York. She has been the Administrator for the elder law practice for over eight years, and in that time has worked to create systems to both build efficiency and profitability for the practice. In that time Valerie has gained a keen understanding of the real value in implementing solid office management tools for elder law attorneys and practices looking to increase efficiency, manage staff effectively, and boost productivity.
Lawyer staff training and employee management are important in any law firm and Valerie has found the staffing resources in ElderCounsel’s Practice Enhancement Program assist her in really streamlining and enhancing this area. For example, in the interview process it is imperative to understand the ability of the candidate to organize and systematize operations. EC Practice Enhancement Program supports a five-step interview procedure for each of the nine potential support staff roles in a law firm complete with sample job advertisements and interview questions. In Pierro Law Group’s case, the firm has compiled a list of questions to gauge the skill level and background of each candidate. One of the questions they would typically ask of someone interviewing for this role would be, “Are you organized?” to which the answer is invariably, “Yes!”
How can you determine that the candidate will actually be able to manage the office in an organized manner? One way that Valerie has managed this is to ask a follow-up question that can determine the truth behind the “yes” response. She asks for an example of how the person has been organized in the past or to share a relevant story of how that person has implemented systems or managed tasks throughout his or her career. This simple question has helped to illuminate whether the candidate will actually be a viable fit for the role and the best person is hired for the job.
Valerie has created many systems within her elder law practice to promote drafting efficiency. Not only has this helped support staff but it has allowed for even greater organization from the attorneys. She believes that implementing the process of providing each elder law attorney with the necessary questions to be answered during the initial interview in a consistent way is crucial in making the drafting process smoother. Ultimately, she has seen this process increase the profitability of the practice through a decrease in the time spent managing each case file. Support staff no longer needs to decipher attorney notes and track down unasked questions from the client. This process saves time, money, hassles and additionally supports the attorney in clarifying the objectives needed to be covered during the initial client meeting.
Like many elder law attorneys, Valerie used to rely on design sheets she had created herself, and says Practice Enhancement Program’s design sheets and other systems are very intuitive to and in line with self-created things she was already using. When asked about what tips she would recommend for firms in regards to elder law practice development and attorney staffing training and hiring, she mentioned one webinar that many attorneys in her firm found to be very informative, the Practice Development Session, “Yes! In Every First Client Appointment.”
The attorneys in her firm are so impressed with this webinar that they now make watching this video a standard part of the on-boarding process for each new staff member. Valerie explains that this is a specific example where having the entire staff be clear on the objectives of the first client meeting and trained the same way, benefits the entire law firm in tracking the success of closed first client appointments. Effective, streamlined processes from daily events like first client appointments increase efficiency while simultaneously creating a cohesive team approach and increasing the overall profitability of the law practice.
The proper support and tips can help you navigate the growth and vitality of your elder law practice. If you’d like to learn more about how ElderCounsel and our EC Practice Enhancement Program™ can partner with you to increase your practice efficiencies — from education to document drafting software or practice development systems — please schedule a brief consultation, call us at (888) 789-9908, or email us at email@example.com.