How attorneys can keep up with change by working smarter, not harder

You've likely grown accustomed to adapting to the ever-changing needs of your clients. Whether they are simply requesting quicker response times, or their circumstances have been impacted by world events, the need to evolve along with them remains steadfast.

The pressure to shift right along with your clients can be compounded by the fact that you're required to get more done while maintaining the same level of client service and quality standards. Given that the amount of time in a day hasn't increased, this all means you need to focus on working smarter.

How, exactly?

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Laws are constantly changing. Breaking legal news feels like it's nonstop. The practice areas you need to stay current on continue to expand. There's so much to keep up with, and seemingly less time than ever to do so.

That means you must utilize every available avenue to make things more manageable. To start, setting customized alerts that notify you however you prefer—directly to your mobile device, email, or through the website itself—can reduce the amount of time you spend researching that information for yourself.

Of course, it's only helpful if the information comes from sources you trust. You need to ensure it's not only conveniently delivered to you, but that it's also from credible, authoritative legal news providers. If you have to fact check your sources, you aren't saving yourself any time.

Next, take it a step further. Make sure that the information is more than just facts—it's analysis. Just like your clients expect you to provide them with critical insight, you should expect that as well. For real value, you need to know more than just what happened, you need to know what it means; to your clients and to the legal industry at large.

Find “know-how" when you need it

As your clients' needs have changed, it often means the practice areas they need counsel on change as well. If those practice areas are outside of your usual focus, you need to get up to speed quickly.

You could leverage your colleagues' knowledge, and you often do. But when they are also expanding and evolving—doing more with less time—their availability is limited. Because just like you, they are doing what it takes to keep up with their clients.

There are online legal research tools that, in essence, provide that “colleague knowledge" without having to take time out of their day. It's like having a large law firm full of attorneys whose entire job is to expedite your learning process.

When you have immediate access to this information, you have the answers to all your “how do I" questions before you ever even need them. Instead of scrambling to find these answers while your clients are awaiting a response, having these types of resources ready before you need them is crucial.

Know when news becomes legal news

With a 24-hour news cycle, viral videos, and nonstop social media updates, there are more trending topics than any individual can keep up on. But what happens when some of those seemingly endless hot topics turn into legitimate legal news?

Most attorneys likely do not have time to navigate these stories, trying to guess which ones may be of legal importance somewhere down the road. But that doesn't mean you don't need to have familiarity with them. Having someone curate these critical happenings that may be of legal significance is your best option.

Some legal news offerings, such as Westlaw Today, provide a daily newsletter to deliver the most relevant legal news to you. You can get a smart look at the day's important headlines concerning the courts, law firms, and practice of law to quickly know what to expect today, tomorrow, and over the next week.

Keep yourself and your clients in the know

Being there for your clients is and always will be one of the most important aspects of your role. As that role evolves—whether it's taking on new practice areas or keeping clients up to date on ever-changing practice areas—you can be confident in your ability to not just keep up, but to stay ahead. Finding the right tools and enhancements for your law practice is a critical component to providing the trusted legal guidance your clients have come to count on, no matter what the circumstances.

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