Originally published by Bob Kraft.
For most attorneys, billable hours rule the day and a lack of sleep rules the night. In fact, according to Law Practice Today, many attorneys leave a law firm due to the demands on their time. Many of them don’t want to leave the profession per se. It’s just that they can’t reconcile what is expected of them versus the time that they have to do those tasks in. However, there may actually be other options. Here are four tips that attorneys can use today to lighten their workload.
Most attorneys eat lunch with one foot in the running position. They also get little exercise. However, since multi-tasking seems to be the name of the game for most attorneys, learning how to do combine important tasks with mundane activities like eating and walking can be beneficial.
Instead of eating lunch at their desks, attorneys can use lunch as an opportunity to network (by having lunch with others in the business) or get caught up with an important client. The same thing can be said about walking. If an attorney needs to give some important notes to a paralegal, the two can walk and record the conversation. Whatever transpires during such a meeting can be followed up on later.
2. Sending Out Services
There are some services that attorneys do that they can actually give to someone else to lighten the load. Paralegals can work on briefs or research. Attorneys can outsource their transcription needs to a professional, like those at Caliber Litigation Services. Attorneys can also even hire someone to do their errands. Basically, an attorney should hire people who work at a lower per-hour rate to take care of tasks that the attorney can’t get to. This frees up the attorney’s time to do tasks that only he/she can do.
3. Take the Train
It might seem counterintuitive, but attorneys who work in big cities with good public transit should avoid driving to work. Instead, they can use the time they spend sitting on the train. The average attorney who commutes 45 minutes each way can use the time to work on emails, to connect with clients, and to take care of other business. The attorney is going to spend those 90 minutes doing something. Using this time allows the attorney to hit the ground running once he/she steps into the office.
4. Become a Contractor
The web and modern technology has changed the way that some modern attorneys are now working, according to a Forbes article. Many are joining companies that allow them to work as freelance attorneys. This lets them set their own schedules and to work fewer hours than the average law firm job does. For attorneys who really can’t fit any more multitasking into their schedule, this type of setup might be pretty ideal. They still work in the legal profession, but they do so under their terms, including being able to work only the amount of hours that suits them.
Being an attorney means working long hours. It also often means having too much to do and too little time to do it. However, by getting organized and by learning such skills as multitasking and delegation, the average attorney can learn to better handle work responsibilities. That said, new employment opportunities that allow attorneys to freelance can help these time-strapped professionals get a new lease on their work life.
Author Info: Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. You can find her on Twitter.
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