For Solo Attorneys and Small Firms, Wasted Time is Wasted Money

By Law Firm Suites - March 28, 2017
For Solo Attorneys and Small Firms, Wasted Time is Wasted Money

A shared law office is a unique space arrangement. Our clients have personalities as vibrant as the space. These are their stories.

I work at the reception desk at Law Firm Suites, a shared law office. Law Firm Suites has two office suites in both Downtown and Midtown Manhattan. Needless to say, with so many lawyers, I witness a plethora of quirks and odd behavior on a daily basis.

One of our shared law office clients is a coffee aficionado. In fact, coffee “obsessed” might be a better description. On a weekly basis, I accept packages on his behalf from far off places like Italy, Uganda and Bolivia. They are all small production coffee beans. Once, he let me in on a “tasting.” It involved grinding the small amounts of beans, steeping them in hot water for a pre-determined time and miniscule sips. It was more formal than a wine tasting.

His love of coffee dominates the day. It is not uncommon for him to have 6 to 8 cups during one work day. Yet, there is an unintentional by-product of his “bean love.” He constantly is shuffling by the reception desk and grabbing the men’s room key. He seemingly spends a good portion of his day walking to and from the bathroom.

This behavior, in and of itself, is not necessarily odd.

One study found 54% of Americans drink coffee on a daily basis and the average consumption is 3.1 cups a day. The financial consequences of our lawyer’s coffee obsession are devastating.

The coffee loving lawyer practices corporate transactional law. As a solo attorney, his income is dependent on the amount of work product he can produce and bill to clients in a given day. Our lawyer’s time is literally money. From what he explained to me, he generally charges clients by the hour as opposed to flat fee arrangements. With his experience, I would guess he charges clients $400.00 an hour for his services.

I thought about this. Then, I thought about how much time he spends each day shuffling to the men’s room as a result of his love of coffee. It hit me. He was losing money.

His love for coffee is not only a physical addiction but, a financial burden as well. It goes well beyond the cost of a pound of rare, locally sourced coffee and shipping.

My suggestion: solo and small firm lawyers should audit their time. Take a look at your behavior on a daily basis. If necessary, keep a calendar of your every activity you do for one whole day. Make detailed notes about every action you perform and the time it takes, down to the smallest bathroom break. I think you would be surprised about how much time you waste in a day on non-incoming producing behavior.

The bottom line is this: for solo attorneys and small firms, wasted time is wasted money. By auditing your time, you can reclaim billable hours and profit you never even knew you were losing.

Organize for Success



About Law Firm Suites

Law Firm Suites is the leading NYC shared office space for solo attorneys and small law firms. At Law Firm Suites, attorneys get headache free sublet office space, virtual office rentals and litigation hotel services. Law Firm Suites has two locations in Manhattan, one in White Plains NY, and one in Annapolis MD. Law Firm Suites' community of self-employed lawyers are eager to help colleagues succeed, and routinely exchange over $2.5 million in legal business every year in each LFS business center. Connect with Law Firm Suites on Twitter and .

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