Getting Efficient: Minimizing, Delegating and Outsourcing Things You Should not Do
By J. Christopher Toews
J. Christopher Toews is senior partner with Toews Law Group, Inc. in San Luis Obispo and specializes in estate, business and tax matters. He was formerly a Vice President of Citibank, N.A. and has written several articles on practice management issues. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Solo and Small Firm section of the California Lawyers Association.
One of the basic realities of running a law practice is that most of the tasks needed to deliver legal services do not involve the practice of law. These tasks range from simple things like keeping the floor clean and stocking the kitchen to more complicated stuff like bookkeeping, filing payroll tax returns and updating computer software.
Another reality is that even tasks that are integral to providing legal services – e.g., information gathering, setting up files and drafting form letters – do not require the services of a person with a lawyer’s level of training to perform. Well-trained staff can do them just as well, and can be billed out, profitably, at a fraction of the lawyer’s hourly rate.