May is Attorney Wellness Month. All month long, the Alabama State Bar is providing tips and tools to create healthy habits and environments, which are critical for lawyer wellness.
Operating a solo firm can provide you with the opportunity to build your practice the way you want. It also lets you to be your own boss – which can allow for flexibility with your work schedule. But running a successful small business requires organization. Without organization, it can be much more difficult to succeed.
Follow these tips to stay organized and lower your stress levels as you develop your solo law practice:
- Reach out to the Practice Management Assistance Program (PMAP) at the Alabama State Bar. In addition to other items, PMAP has software directly relating to management issues, such as attorney compensation, billing, business planning, client relations, employee relations, ethics and professionalism, loss prevention, marketing, retirement planning, and technology. The Director is available for a confidential telephone, email or on-site office consultation with members as requested. 2,700 Alabama lawyers have used PMAP to help streamline their practice. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Reach out to your local bar to learn about practice management opportunities, services and counseling.
- Be deliberate with business development efforts. Each week, schedule one event (dinner, cocktails, a meeting, etc.) that is designed to lead to business development. Over committing and not being targeted is a sure way to increase stress and realize less results.
- Schedule a time on your calendar each week (maybe on Monday) to pay invoices, experts, office bills and to address any payroll issues. If that time doesn’t work, re-schedule as you would any other important meeting.
- Calendar 45 day, 25 day and 10 day alerts prior to any court or work deadlines to ensure that you are prepared and not caught off guard.