There are two types of attorneys: those that spend their day worrying about what their admin team is (or isn’t) doing and those that spend their day micromanaging their admins to relieve this worry. Neither is good—not for you, not for your firm, and not for your ability to retain talented employees—and yet it’s easy to feel as if there’s no alternative. This article exists to tell you that there is but to see it, you need to learn the value of transparency.
T.J is a client of mine who fell into the camp of constantly worrying about what his admins were doing all day. However, like so many, he didn’t know how to ask without offending or alienating his team—or worse, looking like he was out of touch with his own operation. Instead, he hired a paralegal assistant (PLA) to keep tabs on the firm’s key performance indicators (KPIs) in the hope that the data generated would tame his anxiety.
So far, so good, and yet, like so many plans, things fell apart at the execution stage. T.J. did what any attorney would do in his position and directed his new hire to focus on his firm’s legal and paralegal staff. Logical? Yes. The right move? No.
While you’re not wrong for thinking that your attorneys’ and paralegals’ productivity is paramount to success, you’re nonetheless missing a crucial detail: your clients.
Ultimately, revenue comes from your clients. And who brings clients through the door? Your Client Services Coordinator (CSC).
Sure, it’s your broader team’s collective effort that gains you referrals and repute but it’s your CSC who does the work of arranging initial consultations and inviting new clients into your office. If you’re not leveraging the power of their position, you’re losing out.
Ok, but how, you ask? The answer is transparency.
Transparency in relation to your Client Services Coordinator takes two forms. First, your CSC needs transparency concerning how their position creates value. They need to know why they matter. Second, you need transparent access to the information they are able to provide. Together, you need to set up an open line that communicates where calls are coming from, whether prospective clients are moving forward, and if not, why.
Once, I’d relayed this to T.J., big changes took hold. After just five days of tracking KPIs related to his CSC, we discovered:
1. The firm was exceeding its weekly goal of initial contacts (the goal was 20, and they were at 44—not bad!)
2. The conversion rate from initial phone call to booked initial consultation was only 22.5%.
3. The conversion rate from initial consult to hiring the firm was 48.6%.
4. Follow-up with consults who hung up the phone or walked out needing to “think about it” was 0% (ouch!).
After thirty days of consistent tracking and measuring, these numbers ballooned. T.J.’s CSC was thrilled to see how her work made a material contribution to the firm achieving its business goals and T.J. was thrilled to release his worry related to admin productivity.
Getting there wasn’t a simple matter of having his CSC make a few notes after each call, however. It came from building an integral and transparent understanding of how legal admins create value and this came from my Law Firm Admin Bootcamp
No law firm reaches its potential without paying thoughtful attention to those team members that support its basic operations. Overlook your admins and you overlook a tremendous opportunity to build value and accomplish your business goals.