Being a single practitioner or a small-firm lawyer is challenging. To be a good lawyer is just one aspect of your job. You also need to find time for marketing and growing your practice, managing relationships with existing clients, handling the billing and admin, and managing all the compliance and regulatory aspects. You’ll also need to be innovative and smart, and you’ll need to embrace technology in order to succeed.
At AJS we are often asked for advice on what is most important for small firm lawyers, and over the years we have put together a list of the most important critical success factors. While the list doesn’t cover every aspect of law-business, we are sure that you will be far more successful if you follow these simple guidelines.
100 billable hours
If you factor in leave, illness, non-billable work, public holidays, and social activities from time to time (golf, school functions and the like), there are only about 100 billable hours in a month. (5 hours a day!) That might sound like enough, but you also need to take into account that as a single practitioner you need to allocate some of those hours to finding new business, doing admin/billing, and managing all of the compliance and regulatory tasks that lawyers have to comply with. That doesn’t leave much actual billable time.
An extract from the Business Advice for Law Firms e-book by AJS