What would you do with your 40%?

By: Sara Sawyer, Manager, Small Law Firm Marketing at Thomson Reuters
Published: November 26, 2017

Many attorneys work an average of 60 hours per week, which gives them about 3,120 hours in a year to make money. Unfortunately, most attorneys don’t get paid for each hour that they put in. Thomson Reuters did a formal study of over 300 solo and small law firms and found that 40% of an attorney’s time is spent on activities other than the practice of law.*

Where are you spending your time?

Running a successful small law firm requires business development, administrative tasks, staff management, and much more. When you do the math, you work approximately 1,248 hours a year on areas that you’re not getting paid for. That’s equivalent to 52 days – or more than 10 workweeks!

3,120 hours in a year to make money 

40% of your time is spent on activities other than the practice of law 

1,248: That's 1,248 hours/year spent on activities other than the practice of law

What would you do with an extra 1,248 hours or 52 days or 10.4 weeks?

Imagine what you could do with that extra time. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Take a luxury cruise from Barcelona to New Zealand
  • Complete 25 tandem jumps out of a plane, so you can solo skydive
  • Fly to Antarctica from the U.S. – 100 times
  • Walk from Los Angeles to New York – with at least 250 hours to spare

It’s pretty clear that someone would want this time back. So, why do you think only 16% of small law firms report having taken steps to map and refine practice workflows* regardless of their need for improved efficiency and increased client demands? Although a system might have worked in the past, it doesn’t mean it’ll continue to meet current necessities and expectations. This is one of the many challenges of running your own small law firm.

In today’s modern practice, business processes and systems are integrated not to only practice law, but also to run your firm, manage your finances and grow your business. What if your approach was to streamline these key business efforts:

  • Find, engage, and keep your ideal clients to increase business profitability
  • Understand a prospective client’s needs, know your competitive advantages, and move faster than your competition
  • Keep clients coming back to you for life and turn them into advocates for your firm
  • Strengthen your arguments and confidently draft compelling documents quickly
  • Get control over your matters, reduce wasted time, and protect yourself from cyber attacks
  • Anticipate your client’s needs, respond quickly to their questions, and avoid miscommunication

With The Modern Practice, you can do all the above, get the 40% of your time back, and even make more money. We’ve found that more than 75% of small law firms that change their approach to efficiency see increases in both revenue and profit.*

*State of the US Small Law Firm Survey, Thomson Reuters, 2016

So what are you going to do with your 40% in 2018?