Small and solo law firms said that only 60 percent of their day is spent practicing law, according to findings of the 2019 State of U.S. Small Law Firms Report. The remainder of their time is devoted to managing their practice.

With more than one-third of their time consumed by challenges such as acquiring new clients and dealing with the increasing complexity of new technologies, generating billable hours can be difficult.

This struggle to find time for lawyering may help explain another key finding of the report: fewer than half of firms are taking any action to address the challenges they’re facing.

Uncertainty about how to move forward prevents some firms from moving at all. This sounds dire, but the report outlines specific changes small firms can implement to confront these challenges and, in turn, make themselves more efficient.

Among the steps firms can take are to adopt new workflow technologies, improve their marketing strategies, engage with alternative legal service providers and implement new billing strategies such as fixed fee arrangements. Limited bandwidth may prevent firms from tackling every challenge simultaneously, yet firms willing to prioritize and solve even one problem can overcome what’s holding their practices back.

In other words, any attempt to innovate sets a small firm apart from competitors stuck in the status quo.

For more insights into how small firms can innovate and improve efficiencies, download the 2019 State of U.S. Small Law Firms Report.

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