A Law Firm’s Manual on Optimizing Remote Work

law firm manual on optimizing remote work

In today’s highly uncertain and rapidly changing environment, no single strategy or action is appropriate for all law firms to survive the Covid-19 pandemic. Much is at stake for these legal firms – employee, client, or partner relationships, culture, and resilience – those with a plan for long-term survival while prioritizing remote-working best practices will be likely to prosper.

Every day, legal teams work remotely using CoreMatter, and naturally, CoreMatter’s team is also working remotely. To assist legal firms in making a smooth transition to this new way of working, we’ve rounded up the most helpful tips for inspiring trust and performance, no matter your team’s location.

  1. Support your people

Your people are your law firm. You need to support them beyond the confines of regular check-ins. Create virtual office hours where reports can “drop by” and chat with their managers via Zoom. You can use the Memo feature to create a meeting with a Zoom link via Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook.

Find ways to support employee flexibility and regular interaction with firm leaders. Recognize humanitarian and personal Covid-19 crisis with empathy. Look for chances to build new firm capabilities and create meaningful work for employees.

 

  1. Focus on the clients

You need to be there for your clients. Now more than ever. Their situation has changed dramatically, and this could mean unusual challenges. A quick look into the Matter Workspace feature will give you an overview of your client’s matter and inspire ideas where you can best support your clients. Law firm leaders should actively reach out and listen to their clients and their needs. A phone call or WhatsApp message can send the right message. As your clients shift their focus to survival-mode – be ready to pivot your services to match them.

 

  1. Focus on results

Remote working requires a shift in mindset from focusing on employees’ time to concentrate on their output. Instead of worrying about what they do during the day, focus on assigning clear deliverables within set timeframes.

  • Host a progress meeting on CoreMatter – On your homepage, ask everyone to post their recent matter for the week, check if there are any hurdles or dependent parties so that the team can meet datelines.

 

  1. Make strategic financial decisions for resilience

When your law firm is working remotely, it is easy to slip when managing finance. Without an overall view of finances, law firms tend to increase their standard rates but partially offset that through one-time discounts or account receivable write-offs with no clear view of its potential outcomes. Here are a few tactics to overcome this hurdle:

  • Ensure that all your partners have access to CoreMatter’s Partner Dashboard to make financial decisions in a strategic and controlled fashion to meet the client’s needs while positioning the firm well to survive the pandemic.
  • Be vigilant on cost. The Unbilled Items feature on CoreMatter will help you ensure that your team accounts for the cost incurred when handling a matter.
  • Pull out CoreMatter’s Ledger Management, Payment Management, Trust Ledger, and Debtor Ledger to have a closer look at the financial situation.
  • Explore ways to offer flexible payment terms or alternative fee arrangements that will work better in the long-term. Strategically adjusting fees when using.

 

  1. Reach Out and Hang Out

You can’t hang around the water cooler or ask your coworkers to go out for coffee while you are all working remotely from home. Instead, here’s what you can do:

  • Start a Memo called #watercoolertalk for random conversations. It will lighten the mood and create opportunities for connection. Permit your staff for banter and chat on that Memo so that everyone can remain connected.
  • Don’t forget to celebrate. Working from home doesn’t mean we should forget birthdays or celebrate a coworker’s achievements. Host a toast on Google Meet on Microsoft Teams and take turns recognizing accomplishments.
  • Begin team meetings with an ice-breaker. Get your team members to show and tell – whether it’s a new baking hobby or a photo – this is a great way to foster closer ties in your law firm.
  • Please make time to check with your team to see how they are doing. Ask your team questions like “How can I best support you through this time?” or “What is your remote working style?” Questions like these are the equivalent of a fist-bump or a high five with your team members.

Conclusively, you know your law firm the best. So, leverage your experience and knowledge of your team’s dynamics and working style to support your partners, employees, and clients in a way that makes the most sense to you.

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