The Exceptional Lawyer

December 3, 2008

Late Time Reporting Never Stands Alone

Filed under: Uncategorized — joshuahornick @ 12:29 pm

“Sure, Sarah’s a fabulous lawyer.  Only problem is she’s terrible about reporting her hours.”  That’s not true.  If Sarah’s not reporting her hours in a timely manner, she has other issues, too.  Late time reporting is a problem that never stands alone.  And, she probably doesn’t have to think too hard to identify correlating problems.

Anyone who has made a career of practicing law understands the business importance of tracking time [see, Avaro, Deborah L., Game Plan for a More Profitable and Productive Law Firm].  One reason that Sarah may not be efficient in logging her hours is because she doesn’t understand that importance.  For Sarah to miss that importance is, simply put, shocking.  It could only happen if she blinds herself to business realities.  That’s a big issue for a profit-conscious undertaking.

If Sarah understands the importance, she may have problems with time reporting because she’s bad at scheduling and prioritizing.  Maybe, she’s too overwhelmed with work to take care of administrative details.  Poor prioritization and scheduling skills or feelings of overwhelm will have a negative impact on all parts of her practice.  She’s apparently smart enough and hard-working enough to do a good job despite those limitations.  Still, she’s not on top of her game.

The good news is that if Sarah can extrapolate from her difficulty with tracking and reporting her time to understand the underlying issues, she can then deal with them.   This creates an opportunity to substantially improve her productivity, her understanding, her attitude, and–usually–her enjoyment of the work.  The result is a more powerful practice across the board.

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