Six Ways to Improve Legal Department Productivity

In the legal department, work is never complete. A lawyer finishes one case, only to have to deal with another. The work just keeps piling up and the best thing that an attorney can do is try to manage each case as efficiently and as fast as possible. However, such a strategy is not very productive since some cases tend to become a problem later. Therefore, it is advisable that the lawyer focuses on quality instead of quantity. Below are six strategies that any attorney can use to improve the productivity of his or her legal department. 

1. Triage 

More often than not, people visit the legal department thinking that they need an attorney, only to realize that they just need guidance to certain resources. Such visitors distract the legal department staff by engaging them in unnecessary issues. 

The number of lawyers in the legal department is limited; therefore, they should be focused on what is important since most cases have a deadline. For this reason, the department needs a triage system that directs clients to the right person within the legal department or any other office within the corporation. 

2. Office Hours 

It is preferable that an attorney meets a client in person to discuss legal issues related to them. Unfortunately, most lawyers are busy, they are either in court or at the office dealing some paper work, and barely have enough time to meet the client. 

In such a case, it is advisable for the department to allocate specific hours for client meetings. The meeting time can be mandatory or scheduled according to the requirements of the client. A lawyer is able to tend to the needs of his or her client better after a face-to-face encounter. 

3. Stick to Specialty Areas 

Although most lawyers in the legal department would like to help everyone as much as they can, they are limited. While it is true that lawyers have a social responsibility, they have different specializations: some are experts in criminal law and others are knowledgeable in civil law. 

The legal department should focus on what it is good at doing instead of engaging in unfamiliar cases. The lawyers add value by knowing their clients better than any other person. Additionally, the department is more likely to succeed in familiar cases than others. 

4. Create Client Expectations 

In-house lawyers should sit down with their clients and ask them what they expect to gain from the case, the kind of service that they want from the attorney, and areas of clarity. Such a move makes sure that the lawyer is doing the right thing according to his or her client. 

It helps for the attorney to have a settled expectation of where the legal work starts and where it ends. As a result, the lawyer uses his or her efforts in areas where they matter the most. 

5. Enable Clients 

As businesses become more regulated, clients are faced with new legal and regulatory issues everyday. Since it is not possible for the person to meet with his or her attorney on a daily basis and seek clarity on such issues, it is important to enable clients. 

Enabling or empowering clients is giving them some legal guidance on an issue, and then letting them figure out certain things by themselves. That way, your legal team can focus on the really urgent matters. 

6. Give Technology a Try 

Nowadays, one can get documents related a certain case with the click of a button. As a away to save on costs and time, the legal department ought to consider secondary digital data platforms such as File Thru Trial and Lexis Advance. 

There is no need to send attorneys to physical locations to collect data and carry out investigations, if there is a secondary source with all the information. This strategy reduces some of the attorney's workload and increases their enthusiasm for work. 

Conclusion 

The best way to improve the productivity of the legal department is to make sure that the in-house lawyers focus on urgent cases. This way, their efforts will yield direct results.

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