The support that office management provides within an elder law practice usually goes unnoticed. For most busy elder law practitioners, the development of an efficient office feels like a mundane task when compared with the daily challenges they face in their practices.
Is that how you feel?
Elder law office management is likely also outside your comfort zone. After all, you were trained to be a lawyer, not a business owner, right? To that end, you may justify your decision to ignore the consistent development needed in your firm with statements like, “It’s working well enough right now” or “I can handle any crisis that comes my way,” or “I will focus on office administration when I have time.” It’s the last statement that’s the killer.
Busy lawyers never have time.
As an elder law attorney, you certainly have more to do on any given day than many other professionals, and there are more important things to focus on than office development and management. You’re busy figuring out how to attract elder law clients, developing new referral sources, and billing on active cases — not to mention getting case work done.
Avoid a Crisis
For all of these reasons, practice management for elder law attorneys gets ignored, and typically continues to be ignored until a crisis completely interrupts the daily routine. But nine times out of ten, it’s a practice nightmare that could have been avoided had the right administrative tools been in place.
Law office crises come in all shapes and sizes: a key employee quits without notice, you don’t close the majority of your first appointments, crucial information can’t be found in the file, you lose information within your document drafting software due to a power or technical failure and the client is arriving in 15 minutes… the list goes on.
It’s at these critical moments, the ones that render you ineffective and unprofitable, where you’ll kick yourself for not having office management processes firmly in place. There is a better, and more efficient way to run the show, but it’s going to require time to establish elder law office management practices and put the processes in place to ensure they’re executed.
So why do so many attorneys wait? After all, lawyers help the unprepared prepare. You solve the problems resulting from a client not having a plan. It’s equally important to have your own plan for both the expected daily office occurrences, and the unexpected ones.
Don’t wait until a crisis happens to put a plan in place, or it could bring your practice to a screeching halt. By taking the time now to establish office management standards and processes, you’ll be better prepared for all the curveballs that come your way on a daily basis.
Let this be the year you change your elder law practice for the better. If you’d like to learn more about practice management strategies for elder law attorneys, contact ElderCounsel today. We have an abundance of resources and tools available to help you keep your practice running as efficiently and smoothly as possible.