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Law Firm Checklist

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  1. 1. Managing Your Time and Office With Systems And TechTools: Getting More Done With Less Carolyn Elefant
  2. 2. Why Systems… if you work alone?
  3. 3. Run on Autopilot
  4. 4. Prevent Mistakes
  5. 5. A total of 16.63 percent of malpractice claims [for 2008] resulted from the firm not knowing or not properly responding to the court calendar: •7.09 percent were for failure to know/ascertain a deadline •5.19 percent were for failure to calendar properly •4.35 percent were for failure to react to the calendar ABA Profile of Legal Malpractice Claims 2009
  6. 6. Facilitate delegation
  7. 7. Avoid client surprises
  8. 8. Compare apples to apples
  9. 9. How does your checklist of incorporation services stack up?
  10. 10. Systems/business process can build monetary value for a practice
  11. 11. Achieve balance and less stress
  12. 12. What Kinds of Systems?
  13. 13. Categories Substantive  Procedural  Marketing
  14. 14. Tools & Tips for Setting Up Systems
  15. 15. Step 1: Define Purpose Step 2: Who’s the User? Read-do (before) vs. Do-Confirm (after) Step 3: Simplify but sufficient detail Step 4: One page! Step 5: Coordinate with calendar Step 6: Give to clients (if relevant) Step 7: Re-evaluate
  16. 16. Step Performance Date Client Call to Office Ask how client found the office If interested, set meeting w/in X date If just asking price, send email w/FAQ Client Intake Conflicts Check If no conflict, send Client Retainer If retainer not returned, call client If no retainer by X date, send declination letter If yes signed retainer, did payment clear? If no, notice to client (and declination letter) If yes, enter client in data base, prepare draft document Client Review (one round) Finalize documents Is bill paid? (If no, begin process forpayment. If yes, send final materials) If unbundled (e.g., client files) send documents, instruction letter, end of engagement letter and client survey If full service, file documents, then send filed copies, end of engagement letter and client survey Send requests for testimonial Start newsletter or holiday cards Client Intake Process (Table)
  17. 17. What systems do you have for handling paper or email communication s that come through the door….
  18. 18. Rocket Matter Checklist Tools Printable Checklist ToodleDo Outlook To Do List Clio Phone Apps TaDa List
  19. 19. Flowcharts & Mindmaps
  20. 20. Flowchart & Mindmap Tools (beta)
  21. 21. Forms Facilitates gathering of routine information needed to evaluate or handle case Staff can complete forms Client DIY* (ethics caveats for initial intake)
  22. 22. Templates Form letters and documents that can be customized for individual matters Create templates for each stage of a matter Word processing v. Hotdocs or automation
  23. 23. Template Tools
  24. 24. Collaborative Tools Zoho Projects ( Google Docs BaseCamp (
  25. 25. Knowledge Management Tools Google Wiki Evernote
  26. 26. Time Your Turn to Put A System in Place
  27. 27. Thank You! Contact: Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant 202-297-6100