How to Run a Lean Legal Department

lawtrades lean legal team

Businesses are always looking for ways to eliminate waste and increase efficiency. Many industries have seen innovations in processes to drive efficiency, and the practice of law counts itself among them. Both outside firms and legal departments are being pressured to account for cost in ways that they have not in the past. These demands, in turn, have driven many departments to lean up. Here’s how you can become a part of that trend.

 

Eliminate Waste

When you’re working with limited resources, the last thing you can afford are inefficiencies. Regular audits of systems and processes in your legal department are necessary to identify which aspects are performing effectively and those that need to be changed. Getting this down on paper allows you to consider aspects of your legal services. Mapping out your systems will show how organized they are. The difficulty of getting them onto paper will also be revealing.

 

Take Advantage of Outsourcing

Determining what your bare necessities are varies from firm to firm. Some smaller firms have a large enough caseload that operation can’t move forward without a paralegal or assistant, whereas some run the practice by themselves. Whatever your organizational capacity, outsourcing services that don’t need to be handled in-house allows you to focus on your remaining staff.

 

Connect with Technology

DropBox, Google Docs, and Slack provide a paperless platform for immediate collaboration, saving you both time and money on stationary, copies, faxes, and filing. Going anything but paperless with the wide array of options for cloud-based services is no longer a viable option for any group of practicing lawyers, let alone one trying to maximize efficiency from limited resources.

Then there are virtual assistants. Although not quite at the level of paralegals just yet, they’re a step up from manually performing simple tasks and do well with scheduling and reminders. The more that you enable collaboration with your clients and automate aspects of your daily practice, the higher output you’re capable of pushing with the free resources. In this regard, the legaltech industry has been seeing massive innovations that prove useful to players on every level of the market.

 

Keep it Simple

With all this in mind, the goal is to keep track of concise processes that don’t interfere with your focus on the larger aspects of your practice. Any aspect of operations that leaves you overthinking and constantly planning outside of your actual legal duties is an inefficiency, be it through juggling extra tasks or getting the handle of a technology that you don’t quite understand. The most surefire way to maximize output with a lean organization is to have a sensible and straightforward workflow.

Getting a Hand

Whether you’re looking to onboard a specialist to replace redundancies within your team or looking to outsource work that’s bogging down your in-house department, outsourcers, staffing agencies with temp workers, and legal staffing companies are booming in the current market as many businesses increasingly turn to them for their legal needs. Turning to these providers is a surefire way to run a more lean in-house legal team. Schedule a free demo to start interviewing candidates today.