As I work with small law firms and solo attorneys, I see time and time again, attorneys doing work and not getting paid for it. It isn’t marketing or CLE sessions that I’m talking about. It is work that someone else can do for you. Someone who is an expert in their field.
For example, should a partner be a project manager for a software roll-out?
A breakdown of the lower-end estimates of time needed for a smooth software roll-out is below. There are hundreds of variables that can increase the time it takes. Some of these projects take on a life of themselves and people find they spend hours upon hours focusing on projects.
Let’s say your firm has decided they need a new time and billing system –
Email colleagues on what they use/review responses/respond: .5
Web Research on same: 2
Demos of 3 finalists: 5
Summary of findings to report to partners: .5
Contract review and execution: .5
Meetings regarding customization: 8
Coordination of 3-month project (1 hour a week): 12
Roll-out week: 20
Questions, Comments, Complaints Following Roll-out: 10
Total: 61.5 hours
Billing Rate of $350 per hour Cost to Firm: $21,525
If you hire someone or have someone on staff who can handle:
Time you will need to take as a partner to stay on top of the project:
Meetings, emails, partner discussions: 12 hours
Billing Rate of $350 per hour Cost to Firm: $4,200
If you had to pay a project manager ½ that amount, would you hire them?
What would you rather do with your time?
Is the managing of this project gaining new clients?
Is the managing of this project reducing your stress?
There are many of us out here who can help with projects like this. We are legal managers with years of experience. We have the resources and abilities to help you improve your practice without sacrificing your billable and/or personal time.
The next time you need to manage a non-billable project, such as an office move, software implementation, write-up of the systems in your office so everyone does it the same way, re-brand your firm, put on a client event, or any number of tasks you can’t bill for and take up valuable time, hire an expert.
No one says you can’t manage non-billable projects, what we are saying is there is a better use of your time.