Being a successful lawyer generally means that you comply with a strict schedule. Most lawyers have to follow legal deadlines and client deadlines. Often lawyers find themselves meeting with new clients, working on active cases, and making court appointments all in the same day--especially when practice is good.
If you were starting as a lawyer or you want to renew your sense of duty as an officer of the court you need to properly know how you can be productive or how you can boost your productivity level as a lawyer.
With that in mind, here are five simple productivity boosters that lawyers have collectively found help when you’re close to burn out. Let us look at them one by one:
1. Make The Most Out of Your Existing Knowledge
One of the best things about being a lawyer is that you have come to know a lot of things. Even though you may not know everything, quite often you may be expected to know anything and everything under the sun. With this in mind, you should take advantage of disbelief and make yourself see that your existing knowledge can help you when taking on new cases.
One of the worst things you can do, however, is begin to believe you do know everything. Quite often, even in the court of law, there are nuances, and changes that will force you to continue to learn. Expecting to know everything about a case isn’t productive for your client or your practice. We also argue, however, that being too humble doesn’t get you anywhere either.
With that, you must find a middle ground. Where is the middle ground? The middle ground is in the existing knowledge that you have. Use your skills and expertise to build a foundation of knowledge you began in law school. Each new case, treat it like a new opportunity to learn, but also an opportunity to draw from your wealth of knowledge.
By relying on this knowledge you can be more productive in your practice and in your everyday life. You can keep in touch with your existing expertise and also accept changes that come with updates in the law.
2. Commit To Keeping Yourself Informed
As we briefly mentioned earlier, you must also commit to learning new things and be open to change. We believe that productivity is affected by two things - the things that you know and the things that you do not know. So by using what knowledge you have and informing yourself about things you may be unsure about, you will boost your productivity in the long run.
We recommend keeping yourself informed not just in each general case, but of the small modifications and the law that can later confuse you or surprise you in a future case. Make it a practice to keep yourself up to date on the changes that occur in the types of law you come into contact with in your practice. This mind maintenance will be beneficial to your productivity in the long run.
In our experience, we have seen that small modifications of the law can have some of the biggest impacts on the manner and effectiveness of one’s work as a lawyer. Practicing lawyers in the United States face ever-changing legislation both at the state and federal level. By keeping yourself abreast of the current changes you will find yourself in a more successful practice.
Though the more seasoned you become as a lawyer, the less you will need to review, we recommend continuously doing so, even if you have been in the field for a long time. Find the best way for you to continue to keep yourself informed.
If you are just beginning as a lawyer, the following are some steps that might help you out:
Talk to other lawyers.
One of the best ways for you to make sure that you are keeping abreast of the developments in the legal field is to talk to other lawyers. Other lawyers will be able to tell you about the advances and everything that is changing as well as discuss what they think about the new law.
The discussions will be able to show you that other lawyers are also developing themselves in terms of their knowledge of the law and this will boost your productivity more.
Teach in law school.
You also have to teach in law school if you want to be updated and be more productive. Teaching is one of the best ways you can stay informed and become an expert on legislation. Most law professors are continuously researching and publishing and this is a great way to stay up to date in your field.
Read up on the internet.
You should always read up on the internet, especially on legal websites and in peer reviewed journals. There are a lot of new changes and new developments that are happening every day and the best way that you can deal with them is if you read up about them.
3. Sharpen Your Legal Research Skills
One of the main reasons why lawyers are paid a lot of money to handle cases is not just due to their training, but also for their legal research skills. If you have been an intern or an associate at a law firm you know how much time it requires you to sit in front of a computer or the law library for you to research.
It takes a lot of time and energy for you to do proper legal research and be productive at the same time. With that, we always recommend that you hone and sharpen your legal research skills to make sure that the volume and the quality of your research matches your skills in the courtroom.
Legal research must never be only “good enough.” You need precise information--and with the many deadlines in each case, you need precise information fast. By honing your legal research skills you will be more productive, thorough, and will complete everything within the time frame required. It will be beneficial to both your client and your practice.
4. Quality Control Is The Only Control You Need
Some lawyers love controlling everything and every aspect of their practice. While this is admirable we suggest that the only kind of control that you really need, is quality control. Quality control should already be a part of your workflow, but rather than controlling the day to day workings of the staff in your practice, focusing on the quality of the output rather than micromanaging their tasks is a more productive way to use your time.
Being productive does not necessarily mean that you are producing a lot of pleadings or filing a lot before the deadlines. Being productive means that you never leave your work vulnerable and that you have quality control in every aspect of your work. It is important to curate your purpose and information that you share with your clients as well as in the pleadings that you file in court.
5. Believe in Yourself
Believe in yourself is a saying that we have always loved. When you believe in yourself you have already won half the battle. In general you will be more motivated and productive because you will be more inclined to finish projects, and meet deadlines.
Final Tip: Take A Break
One of the common mistakes that lawyers make is to dedicate their whole year and their whole lives to the practice. Since we all work billable hours and want to make sure that every single hour of our life is paid, often we forget to forget to take a break. Studies have shown that taking care of yourself replenishes your energy to make you more efficient, knowledgable, and focused when you do work.
This is the final step that we want to leave for you to be more productive in your work. You should always take a break every once in a while. When you take a break you are not just allowing yourself to refresh and replenish the lost energy that you have had for the specific period of your work but it also gives you a new perspective on what life is.
No matter how many billable hours you can charge your client you should always make sure that you have time to recharge for yourself. This will make you more productive in the long run.
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