How Do Lawyers Spend Their Time?



Most of us realize that lawyers don’t usually spend their days in court offering exciting arguments and eloquent rebuttals like what we see on TV. In fact, depending on the lawyer, they may spend very little time actually in court fighting on behalf of their client. Most of their days are filled with research, paperwork, communication, and/or travel. However, only some of that work is billable, which is why many lawyers put in more than the standard 40 hours per week to see profit. What is taking up so much time and how can lawyers capitalize on their available, but limited, time?

How Lawyers Spend Their Time

According to one study, up to 21% of an attorney’s time is spend on managing the firm or administrative tasks. Another 6% is spent on marketing. For larger firms, these numbers can soar even higher. Even trial lawyers may spend less than 50% of their time actually in court. On average, nearly half of a lawyer’s time is spent on procuring and processing documentation, as well as communicating with clients and staff. All very important tasks but all that could be performed more efficiently with the right tools. Smart firms are finding ways to maximize their efficiency in these areas to increase their overall profitability, and maybe see their families every once and awhile.

Analytical Software Changing the Game

There is now management software on the market to help lawyers track their time and view ROIs, like that of https://www.smokeball.com/features/automatic-time-tracking/. With these types of programs, time sheets are automatically generated for everyone working in the office and will track how much time is devoted to certain tasks. When the analysis shows that a huge chunk of time is used on documentation or other administrative tasks, the practice owners may find it beneficial to invest in other automated programs to consolidate workflows and save on time and money.

Not only can firms see which clients are taking up the most time, but they can also automatically generate billing based on the billing structure of the firm. These types of programs are helping firms cut down on time spent on administrative tasks and filling out documents, so lawyers can get back to practicing the law they wanted to.

Technology Increasing Law Professional Productivity

 Management software is no doubt helping law practices stay on track in terms of ROIs and communicative avenues, but cloud technology is also increasing productivity on-the-go. Having access to documentation even disconnected from the internet has helped tremendously in achieving productivity in one of the biggest time-suckers that a law professional will face day to day. Not only can firms find ways to maximize their efficiency in the areas that take up the most time, but they can also use it to better reach new clients, effectively communicate within the team, and keep their cases organized. As technology advances, it’s clear that the firms staying on top of the newer developments will find more efficient uses of their time, and thus see higher profit margins, than those that don’t.