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Before the pandemic, only one in four law firms allowed lawyers to work remotely. Fast-forward to 2023, and only 22% of law firm leaders and 7% of associates and support staff have returned to firm offices full-time.

With remote, hybrid, and split work models flourishing, law firm leaders are experiencing new challenges when it comes to:

In this article, we’ll cover the importance of staff alignment in law firms and some strategies firm leaders can use to start making improvements.

Why Staff Alignment in Law Firms Is Important

More than 90% of law firm business leaders cited firm culture as the biggest challenge they face in managing a hybrid workforce.

When firm employees don’t feel personally connected to their company, they typically don’t feel connected to the firm’s goals or mission. Both of these feelings can lead to job dissatisfaction. In fact, less than half of lawyers said they were satisfied with their job in the first half of 2023.

Emphasizing firm organizational alignment can help team members feel like they can:

  • Share knowledge across departments
  • Align on firm values and goals
  • Expect honesty and transparency from firm leaders
  • Contribute to the firm’s overall success

4 Ways to Achieve Staff Alignment in Law Firms

Instead of relying on marketing and communication specialists, internal communication responsibilities are increasingly falling to firm leaders, who are expected to increase workplace transparency. Here are a few ways firm leaders can take charge of this new expectation to improve internal alignment.

Create Clarity With Project Management Tools

Enhance firm assignment expectations and create a culture of accountability by implementing a project management tool. These tracking tools create organizational alignment by providing visibility into:

  • All active client engagements within the firm
  • Who’s working on each client engagementWho’s responsible for each task associated with a client’s engagement
  • Project deadlines
  • Team Lead, partner, associate, and support staff workloads

These features give you and your staff enhanced visibility into project progress, milestones, and how each project is contributing to the firm’s overall success. Many project management tools also enable you to see these metrics in real time.

Promote Workplace Collaboration

Lawyers often work in silos, which doesn’t do your firm any favors. You can improve efficiency and contract flows by encouraging interdepartmental collaboration between your firm’s operations, leadership, and those outside. Firm (e.g., a legal department).

To promote collaboration, consider using tools that:

  • Give visibility into who’s in the office, who’s working remotely, and who’s off on any given day
  • Keep teams connected with employee social networks
  • Enable shared meeting notes and agendas
  • Allow everyone to see when a milestone is reached so it can be celebrated accordingly
  • Help ensure key client deliverables remain on track

Encourage Work-Life Balance

Burnout is a significant issue within the legal industry. Nearly 60% of lawyers struggled to disconnect from work in the first half of 2023, contributing to their feeling burnt out 48% of the time during that same six-month period.

Improved work-life balance ultimately starts with internal communication. Firm leadership should encourage staff to take the time they need to produce their most efficient work when they’re on the clock. If it’s not a priority to leadership, it will be less of a priority for staff.

Firms can implement tools to promote work-life balance. For example, workfforce management software can send timely alerts to remind staff to start and end on time. These tools can also alert employees when it’s time to take their regular meal breaks so they don’t always work through lunch.

Lead With Micro-Information, Not Micromanagement

Most of the tools discussed enable firm leaders to track employee accountability without coming across as over-controlling. If you implement a workforce management system, for example, you’ll have access to precise business analytics that give you the information you need to ensure team and individual success. This includes:

Billable hours tracking (which helps capture all billable time and minimizes write-offs and write-downs)

  • Resource allocation and utilization
  • Employee productivity and focus levels
  • Real-time project progress

Since you can see all this data in your platform, you can leave employees to do their best work without being overly involved.

Minimize Staff Alignment Woes With an All-in-One Solution

coAmplifi’s workforce management system for law firms includes tools to accomplish everything mentioned above and more – all in one system. This means you no longer have to switch between multiple time-keeping programs, task management tools, and communication channels.

Find out why other law firms are using coAmplifi. Schedule your demo now!



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