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Gimbal's Tip of the Week

The Lean Law Firm Blog

E168: Want to hire new staff at your law firm? Try process improvement first

process improvement Jan 24, 2023
help wanted

One of our friends owns a restaurant. When David’s not busy here at Gimbal, he often helps out behind the bar. Why? It’s not because he loves mixing cocktails (he makes a mean magarita!), it’s because our friend can’t hire enough staff.

Your law firm isn’t a Mexican restaurant, but most law firm owners we talk to are in the same boat: the labor market is tight. They just can’t hire enough staff to do all the work.

This week’s tip: when you streamline your processes, you’ll be able to accomplish more without increasing your headcount.

One of our clients experienced exactly this outcome. We were working with their operations and accounting team to speed up expense reimbursements and streamline the whole process before they implemented a new expense reporting system. .

We mapped out their entire process and redesigned the workflows. We identified where technology would add even more improvements, and developed a list of business requirements for automating as much of the system as possible.

The result? They cut the turnaround time for reimbursements from over 2 weeks to just a few days and they eliminated 3 full-time employees.

This was a massive win for them, given the labor market. Two people were retiring. The new process meant the firm wouldn’t have to replace them and the other employee could be reassigned within the firm.

The savings more than paid for our work AND the implementation of the new system. All by using simple strategies and the power of automation.

So if you’ve been thinking about adding to your team, your action item this week is to check your instinct to hire someone. Instead, focus on streamlining your processes.

If you add more people to an inefficient process you will not make that process better. You’ll just end up with another person doing the wrong work the wrong way.

This is precisely the kind of thing we talk about in Practice Accelerator Coaching. Get the support you need to run your practice, instead of letting it run you.



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