The best-run law firms use Clio. Learn more at clio.com.
Just 8% of people are successful at keeping their New Year’s Resolutions. However, taking care to set resolutions you’ll actually keep can help you achieve success.
Here are six resolutions to help you improve your practice this year.
1. Network more
The 2017 Legal Trends Report found that when looking for a lawyer, 62% of consumers seek referrals from friends or family, and 31% get a referral from another lawyer. In other words, you need to go to more networking events, both to meet other lawyers and to meet new clients.
These events don’t have to be boring either. The Clio Cloud Conference is an event for gaining inspiring ideas to make your practice more profitable—while connecting with innovative legal professionals. You don’t want to miss it!
To connect with potential clients, give talks at non-legal-specific events, get involved in your local community, and don’t forget to mention to new connections that you’re a lawyer available for hire.
2. Prepare your client intake before you meet your next client
A streamlined client intake system will save you time, plain and simple. More importantly, it will eliminate the potential for human error that comes with manual data entry.
To get you started, here are 3 ways to automate your client intake process.
3. Start accepting credit cards
Nearly 85% of solos and small firms haven’t set themselves up to accept online credit card payments. But, according to the 2017 Legal Trends Report, lawyers who accept credit cards get paid 39% faster than those who only accept payment by cheque.
Also, 28% of consumers surveyed said they wanted to pay law firms via credit card, and that this was a key factor for them when choosing a lawyer.
To get you started, here’s some information on choosing a credit card processor for your law firm.
4. Take better care of yourself
If you’ve been working long hours and neglecting self-care, use the new year as a turning point. Eat well, get enough sleep, and take care of yourself.
Don’t forget your mental health either. Try mindfulness exercises—meditation, even for just a few minutes each day, can clear your mind and set yourself up for success at work.
5. Manage your time more wisely
As mentioned above, according to the 2017 Legal Trends Report, lawyers log just 2.3 billable hours per day, based on an eight-hour workday.
In the new year, resolve to start managing your time better, so that you spend more time on billable work and less on administrative tasks. We’ve got a few time management tips for lawyers to start you off, but don’t try to do it all yourself—a robust practice management solution like Clio can help minimize time spent on non-billable work.
6. Bring technology into your practice
Legal tech is changing fast—firms that have implemented technology already are reaping big rewards, and those that don’t risk being left behind.
Make 2018 the year to adopt technology in your practice. The first step is to start using practice management software, if you haven’t already. Then, keep an eye out for new tools that could help you become even more efficient and profitable. If you’re not sure where to start, read about how Patrick Palace and Jordan Couch successfully implement new technologies at Palace Law.
Choose at least one of these New Year’s resolutions, and you’ll be on your way to a more balanced and successful practice in 2018.
Start the new year off right—Clio can help make your practice more efficient than you ever thought possible. Try it for free today.
Teresa Matich writes about legal technology and the business of law for Clio’s blog. She has previously worked as a reporter in the financial sector, and prior to that, she was an office clerk at a Vancouver real estate law firm.