How Attorneys Can Identify Tasks to Delegate

Originally published August 23, 2021. Updated May 11, 2023.

One of the biggest problems facing attorneys in a growing law firm is having too much to do. That can sometimes be a good problem to have, especially if it means your services are in demand. However, a jam-packed schedule can also become a major hindrance if left unaddressed.

The best way for lawyers to make their lives simpler and more manageable is delegation. You’ve probably heard a lot about the wonders of freeing up your schedule through delegation, but it can be challenging to know where to begin.

Let’s look at the most important aspects of finding which tasks to delegate and who to delegate them to.

Identify Your Weaknesses

Which tasks do you regularly do that don’t match your skills? If you aren’t great at doing them, and it’s not essential that you perform these tasks yourself, then you’ve just identified to-do items that should be delegated to others at your firm.

Know When You’re a Bottleneck

If you are constantly late on certain tasks and these delays are creating roadblocks for other team members, consider it a sign that you should take those responsibilities off your plate. Again, it’s important to ask yourself if it really needs to be you that has these duties. If the answer is “yes,” then look elsewhere to free up more bandwidth. If the answer is “no,” then feel free to delegate away!

Purge Your Calendar of Administrative Tasks

If your role as a practicing attorney is being hampered by administrative tasks, such as filing legal documents or addressing employees’ questions, then you’re not able to fully focus on your priorities.

Many lawyers face this fork in the road as their firms grow. They can choose to either focus on the business and/or administrative side of running their firms or on the legal aspects of handling cases.

If you’re currently juggling all these responsibilities, then it’s time to decide which path to take. If you’ve made the decision to focus on casework, it’s time to delegate as many administrative tasks as possible.

Ask Yourself Which Small Tasks Eat Up Your Time

If you dive into how you spend your hours every week, you might find that several “small” tasks aren’t even worth real estate on your calendar. Taken individually, these tasks are so small they might even be overlooked. In aggregate, however, they become a serious time suck.

You’ll likely notice that many of these tasks are administrative in nature, such as booking appointments. But you might also encounter basic research tasks or other responsibilities that could easily be delegated to other team members or removed from your schedule entirely. Routine phone calls and unnecessary meetings are common culprits to be placed on the chopping block.

The burden of your tasks could otherwise be greatly minimized by using practice management software to centralize and manage it all. 

Identify Team Members Who Are Ready to Take on New Skills

Some of the tasks you regularly perform might be, from your perspective, a misallocation of your time. However, those same tasks could be a great opportunity for other team members. For example, if you typically pull public records from a county clerk’s office database, it might affect your workflow. Yet, for a legal assistant, doing this task could be a chance to learn something new.

Once You’ve Made the Hard Decisions, Avoid Backsliding

It’s not easy to change habits, and that includes performing certain duties as part of your job. You’ll be tempted to do “just this one thing” that you’d sworn to delegate. You’ll feel the urge to micromanage those you’ve trusted to take on these tasks. Barring a crisis or unforeseen circumstances, DO NOT give into this urge.

Once you surrender yourself to the process and start focusing on those tasks you deem most important, you’ll find your work life far more manageable and engaging. Stay the course and focus on what you’re best at!

Want a More Efficient Law Firm? Let backdocket Help!

Through backdocket’s customizable dashboards, you can easily see all the tasks you have on your plate. You can also communicate easily with teammates to help free up your time and focus on the work that matters most.

If you’d like to learn how backdocket can help your firm grow, contact us today to schedule a free demonstration of our practice management software.

Back to Blog

Related Articles

Request A Free Demo