What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “science”? Smart Guys in white robes? Flasks with chemicals? Elon Musk? Jimmy Neutron? Anyway, it is unlikely that most of us can think of someone who deals with business processes management in the context of science. And that is a massive underestimation of business processes’ complex and diverse nature.
Roxana-Maria Petculet dedicated a well-crafted research paper toThe Management of Law Firms Using Business Process Management, Document Management and Web Services Integration. It is thorough and easy to read. The group of activities performed within a law firm in regard to business process, laid down in a mentioned paper, seems reasonable. Thus, this article will describe how to deal with business processes building based on the following groups of activities chain: initialization – contract management – services implementation – invoicing – collection.
Improvisation is great, but only when it is based on a sturdy experience and a bit of luck. It is much safer to put your creativity into the development of a workflow plan prior to the service provision. Treating each client with a new service provision algorithm might be fun and engaging at the beginning, but it will turn into a disaster when you achieve +10 simultaneous clients.
Thus, it is crucial to plan everything before kickstarting an ad campaign and actively engage clients. Things to consider at this point:
- Are you remote-ready? Even if you like to get your job done in your cozy office, there is a high chance that your client won’t enjoy traveling around that much. You know, there is some kind of virus that roams in the air lately. And even if you live in a COVID-free safe haven, being able to deal with your documents in the comfort of your own home is just great. With toolkits like Microsoft 365 and Google workspace, you will be able to amend documents on the fly – quite literally. You can draft a contract at home, store it on Onedrive or Google Docs. And if something would require an amendment during the negotiation – you can perform that just using your phone (provided that your phone can handle mentioned standalone apps or at least a browser).
- Software and workflow. All-in-one tools are great, but specific legal software is what really makes life easier. If to speak about a solution that serves both as a small law firm software and big law day-to-day tool – Loio would be the best example. It helps with contracts by fixing the wording of your clauses, helps with formatting.
- Specialty and preferable clients. If you only start your business, it is better to focus on an industry that is the most familiar to you. By dealing with tasks at which you shine the most, you will gain long-term clients and a solid reputation faster.
- Advertisement. We know that you excel at being a lawyer. That is not mere flattery – the fact that you are reading this demonstrates your ability for self-development. However, without a proper marketing strategy, unfortunately, no one will get to know how well you handle the legal stuff.
The second aspect of initialization comes into play when you get a new client. Developed workflow does not mean that you don’t have to treat each client with individual care. It is great to have a couple of legal workarounds for a case already prepared, but the final roadmap to your client’s satisfaction must be drawn up with a consideration of his unique story.
2. Contract Management
It is strange to tell a lawyer something about contracts, but hey, it won’t hurt to remind that being buried under a pile of chaotic paperwork is no fun. You know the drill: proper file naming, folder systematization, and all that. Actually, Loio can help with that as well: its AI can highlight the key points of a document, like deadlines, addresses, and counterparties. By storing that information in a notification app, you won’t miss a deadline ever again. Contract management is disclosed quite thoroughly in this article.
3. Services Implementation
This part can be just as creative as everything previously mentioned. How do you want to treat your clients? Send them a document when it is done? Or create a document on cloud storage, provide access for your client so he or she can oversee how you deal with the client’s legal matters? How should your consultation look like: a thoroughly crafted 30-pages long read that will impress your client with your academic knowledge, or just a 2-pages note that will swiftly explain to your client the important stuff without any unnecessary parts? Will you use top-notchsmall law firm software or handle everything using only your brain and pen & paper? Those are only a few questions that require your unique answers.
It is great if you treat your work as art and a solid idea serves as the best fuel for you. However, you will not get too far without at least a bit of money. Thus, even if you sincerely love your clients – you still need to remind them about payments from time to time. If you want to be as diligent as possible – make sure that your work reports are transparent and trustworthy. It is always a pleasure to know what you are paying for exactly.
Invoicing is a bit intimidating and nervous topic, but there is something even more morbid than that. Asking for your hard-earned money does not guarantee that you will get what you deserve. To deal with that swiftly, you can use smart contracts. Freelance platforms, like UpWork or Fiverr, can deal with billing for you. Some of the platforms even provide dispute resolution services. If you prefer a standalone approach – make sure to back up yourself with a solid contract. Additionally, some online payment platforms, like WebMoney, provide an ability to conclude smart contracts that will automatically make the payment when you deliver your services.