• Elaine Burger-Pienaar

Productivity tips for lawyers from our Practice Management Alert

Mastering the art of productivity is becoming essential in this frenetically-paced professional world. The December edition of our Practice Management Alert contains some really useful articles to empower you with tips to effectively do more in less time.

Law Technology Today's 3-part series lists 12 Personal Productivity Tips for your Year-end Push. These tried-and-tested solutions can be implemented during a busy season, or at any time, as we strive to conquer distractions and work smart.

  • Part I explores strategies such as the Eat the Frog method; using a 'Waiting' list; sharpening up your routines, and using a Kanban Board.

  • Part II unpacks what it means to 'Triage' your to-do list, prioritise your tasks effectively, chunk your projects into tasks, and how to block your time.

  • Part III explains a 'macro technique' called 'Personal Quarterly Offsites', which talks about those 'important, but not urgent' tasks that you never get around to; game-changing 'micro-techniques' such as Weekly Reviews and Daily Shutdowns; how to do a brain-dump so you can capture and manage everything that has your attention; and the important skill of how to manage meetings.

Due to the incredibly complex and high workload of the legal practitioner, it is becoming necessary to incorporate technological tools into your workflow. The Impact Lawyer's Mariia Synytska guides you in finding the perfect apps and programmes - for your unique needs - in her article, Legal tech tools for lawyers’ productivity.

"The use of technology can help in 3 core ways:

  • (1) automating the more administrative aspects of legal work, e.g., generating initial drafts of contracts, sending reminders to clients/counterparties, automatically tracking legal matters/tasks and providing reporting for time spent, volumes, etc.

  • (2) augmenting more complex legal work, e.g., artificial intelligence-based redlining of contract documents or automated application of billing policies to law firm invoices (though this is typically applied on the client side, but law firms should be familiar with e-billing); and

  • (3) Document management systems (DMS). This is a critical factor for almost all law firms as file, email communication retention matter greatly, these allow for effective filing, saving from other tools like Outlook/Word and elaborate document tagging to make searching significantly more effective than your typical G-Drive/OneDrive solution, and accessible to the lawyer and other members of the firm from anywhere."

For Legal Analytics, platforms such Premonition, Brainspace and more are listed. For Contract Drafting and Management, Josef and Loio are highly regarded; and to assist with Time Management, resources such as RescueTime and Clio Manage are preferred by the legal writers and thinkers. Read the full article for the comprehensive list.

For Legal Research tips and resources on South African law, check out our Lexinfo article ''Legal research on a tight budget – make sure that you are familiar with the free resources available", including a handy Legal Research guide.

For more content like this, we recommend a subscription to our Practice Management Alert. Our client, Shaun Benater, says: 'If you want to run a successful legal practice this is the resource that you should be reading.'

More information about our newsletter is available here: https://www.lexinfo.co.za/lexinfo-practice-management-alert

Email us on alert@lexinfo.co.za for a complimentary copy of our Practice Management Alert for evaluation.

Date posted: 3 February 2022