How Your Daily Routine Can Help Keep Your Law Practice Cutting Edge

20130730 Chelsea_WilsonIntroducing guest blogger – Chelsea Wilson

Chelsea Wilson is the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s online LL.M. degree program, @WashULaw, which provides foreign trained attorneys with the opportunity to earn a Masters in Law degree from a top-tier American university from anywhere in the world. Join the @WashULaw Community on Twitter.

Are you an attorney that has trouble managing time? If not, do you know someone who does? This post is for attorneys or people you may know who struggle to fit everything—online marketing channels, pursuing bar association activities, reading legal books, and participation in other professional and business development strategies—into their day.

One quick disclaimer: We all understand how busy the attorney life can get. Therefore, the following sample schedule could go right out the window the second a client crisis hits. For more sane workdays, however, the schedule below is an attempt to pursue a well-rounded day of practicing law while maintaining a successful practice:

8:00–8:30 a.m.
Arrive at the office and handle administrative matters, such as checking your email, planning the work that will need to be done for the day, reviewing your calendar, and performing other related tasks.

Better have a cup of coffee, too. It’s going to be a long day!

8:30–9:00 a.m.
Catch up on new practice area developments, and get active on social media. If you learn about a noteworthy case, you can share it with people and even prepare a blog post with your analysis (if there’s time and the case is not too complicated). If not, simply tweet a link and dive into your work for the day.

9:00 a.m.–12 p.m.

12–1 p.m.
If you can break away for lunch, this is a great time to eat and watch a webinar. Learn about a new topic and fulfill those CLE requirements!

On days when there is not a webinar to participate in, grab a legal book. You can delve into practice management, personal development, topics in your practice area, or any subject of your choosing.

This is also a good time to handle your bar association activities. If you aren’t already part of a committee at your local, state, or practice area bar association, joining up and volunteering is a great way to develop your skills and practice. Participation in bar association activities enhances your credentials, allows you to network, and can raise your profile if you take part in meaningful activities.

1–5:30 p.m.

5:30 p.m.–?
If this is the time you are able to leave the office on a sane day, try listening to practice management audio books during your commute home, or at the gym. You could also load your iPod with practice area or practice management podcasts. Great examples of podcasts include the Bloomberg Law Podcasts as well as the CLE Premier Speaker series.

Every attorney leaves the office at a different time depending on his or her practice. If that is 9:30 p.m. for you, you can still utilize your commute to better yourself and your practice. I hope you’re able to get home at a reasonable hour and if that’s not possible, invest in a good coffee maker!


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