Increasing workloads in the legal department can make it seem as though the work is never done. Juggling cases, holds, regulations, and pressure on the bottom line, your legal team could fall behind. When your team is struggling against their high volume of work, team productivity suffers, not to mention that your business is billed for the extra hours spent.
For enterprises looking to improve productivity and their work environment, consider implementing these methods for achieving efficiency in the legal department.
#1 – Utilize outside counsel effectively
Outside counsel can complement your in-house team by dividing some of the workload. Matters that directly involve your business (such as regulatory matters) are best suited for your in-house team due to their familiarity with your practices. On the other hand, outside counsel can handle areas your legal team may not have experience in.
#2 – Lay down expectations
You need to provide your legal department with clear expectations. Let them know what metrics they are expected to meet, what cases should take priority and what the business requires of the department. This knowledge enables the team to figure out the best areas to place their efforts.
#3 – Track metrics and expenses
To get an accurate picture of your legal team’s productivity, you must analyze the metrics. Tracking hours and expenses can allow you to see relevant patterns, daily productivity levels, the progress of cases, and how much is being spent.
Instead of waiting for annual reports to discover where significant time and money is spent, start tracking productivity to see where improvements can be made.
#4 – Delegate work appropriately
Paying your team for tasks that should be performed by other staff (paralegals, vendors, or other paraprofessionals) is costing you. Not only are you paying higher fees, but your team is also preoccupied with busy work instead of with your cases.
Refocus your team on high-priority tasks while appointing professionals to take care of other work. For example, administrative tasks can be handled by professional support staff. Hiring competent employees frees up your team and may even reduce the number of staff in the legal department overall.
#5 – Embrace technology
From managing billing and paperwork to issuing legal holds, there are plenty of tasks and areas your legal team is spending way too much time on. Why not embrace automation? Digital solutions such as the ones delivered by Acuity ELM can reduce time and costs.
Automation improves staff productivity by reducing the hours your team has to spend on tasks. For example, auto-billing software enables you to automatically review, track, and approve invoices.
Equipping your legal team with the right legal software redirects their energy away from tasks that aren’t directly related to legal practice.
Stop wasting time and start automating.
Acuity ELM’s software can take the load off your legal department with the following features:
- Matter management
- Invoice review
- Legal hold management
- Document storage
Ready to learn more about how Acuity ELM’s software can transform your legal department?