April 4, 2018 – Looking to improve efficiency, maximize time, increase profits, deliver consistent results, spend more time with family? In this video, Wausau attorney Sarah Ruffi explains how systems and processes can help lawyers do all of these things.
“The best way to think about what processes would work: ask what things am I doing over and over and over again, and what things would I prefer not to be doing over and over again,” said Ruffi, who runs Ruffi Law Offices S.C., a three-attorney firm.
“For example, no matter what practice area you have, if you have clients, you are opening a file. It doesn’t matter if it’s a digital file or a paper file. That file needs to be opened,” said Ruffi, a business and real estate lawyer who spoke on this topic last year at the annual State Bar of Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference.
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“How is that going to be done? How are you going to assign a number? How are you going to decide what it looks like? What information are you going to collect? All of that needs to be a process, no matter what. Because that drives everything else.”
Now think about other aspects of your practice, from retainer letters and other client communications, to closing files, calendaring. “Start on the presumption that no matter what you do, a process can be created and then work backwards,” Ruffi said.
“Start with the simple things, start with the everyday things, and work from there. You can test the process by having somebody else walk through it and see if they get stuck or something doesn’t get done. Then you go back to the process and take a look.”
Ruffi says that when successful processes and systems are implemented, tasks can be streamlined and delegated. And lawyers can free more time for other activities, such as business development, more billable work, or personal and family time.