In this week’s edition of “Things I Wish I Knew,” solo attorney Joleena Louis discusses her best strategies for spring cleaning your solo law practice.
Spring is finally here and now that the sun is out I am full of joy and energy!
I have packed away my boots and sweaters and I even got the urge to do some spring cleaning in my solo law practice.
With several trials on the horizon, now is the best time to clean and get organized before things start to become crazy and time consuming.
Here are four helpful strategies I have implemented in my own solo law practice.
1. I’m decluttering my office.
I like to be prepared for everything and this need for preparation has really caused me to develop the bad habit of keeping things “just in case.”
I have a ton of books and office supplies that I no longer use and I really had to be ruthless in getting rid of unnecessary items.
A cluttered space will have a negative effect over time and it really felt good to have my space clean and organized for a change.
2. I’m going through all my client files.
Now is the time for me to go through each of my cases and make a list of actions to take and see if there are any important documents missing.
Doing this also serves as a reminder for me to reach out to clients I have not heard from in a while and to close out files of cases that are complete.
3. I’ll be cleaning out my briefcase.
I carry my life in my bag, even though I honestly do not need most of what I carry.
After paring down my bag to the essentials it was much lighter and I found about $10 in change and small bills! I also found a handful of business cards I had forgotten to store in the appropriate area.
I’m going to make an effort to try not to carry anything that I don’t absolutely need. It just ends up being dead weight.
4. I will organize my digital life.
I previously shared that my office is paperless. While I may not have a ton of physical files and papers laying around, I did have a lot of random scanned documents on my computer.
These documents needed saved to the cloud for proper organization.
I also went through and deleted old emails (non-case related) and unsubscribed to a lot of things I was no longer interested in receiving.
5. I’m going to scrub my list of referral sources.
I can think of at least three people who referred me business over the past year who I really need to catch up with.
I’m going to use this time to scrub my list of referral sources and networking contacts. I’m also going to try to pick out the 20% of my contacts who sent 80% of my referrals, and get them on my calendar for coffee, lunch, or a Skype call.
For the referrals sources that sent me business in the past but haven’t been recently, I’m going to think about whether I should find out why, or just remove them from my active contact list.
Finally, I’m going to make a list of my most promising networking contacts, and schedule a time to reach out to them to continue to nurture the relationship.
My guess is that I should see a little spike in referrals over the next month if I do this well (I’ll keep you posted on how it goes).
What are you doing to spring clean your solo law practice? Comment below and tell us your thoughts!
A law practice only works best when it is clean and organized.
Joleena Louis is a matrimonial and family law attorney at Joleena Louis Law, a ﬁrm she founded after leaving a boutique matrimonial ﬁrm in Brooklyn. Joleena is a client in Law Firm Suites’ start-up program in Downtown, New York. Her weekly blog series Things I Wish I Knew… explores her thought process and experiences in her transition from small law ﬁrm employee to successful solo practice entrepreneur.