The Santa Clause Law Firm: Productivity Tricks from The North Pole

Thursday 8 December, 2022

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One of the many mysteries that a curious child might seek to understand is how Santa manages to deliver presents across the globe in one night. In many ways, it could be a child’s first introduction to the concept of project management, and if that’s not what the magic of Christmas is about, then what is?

If you think about some of the practical questions and considerations of Santa’s logistics, you start to see that there are some parallels and lessons for law firms. Here are the top three that we’ve identified.

Lead times and document submission 

It must be frustrating for Santa’s elves to have a whole year between Christmases in which they could be making toys, but to only receive children’s letters to Santa in December. What could be a very manageable workload when spread over a year, has to be squeezed into a month. Worse, it’s a month in which requests for toys keep trickling in. That workload has got to be infuriatingly unpredictable and difficult to manage.

Perhaps that sounds familiar. Solicitors have to deal with a lot of factors that are out of their control, and clients are one of those factors. Like elves and Christmas lists, sometimes you need documents and information, or you can’t make progress.

With clients, there are plenty of reasons why they might only provide things late in the day. Perhaps the requirements were buried in a long email and they didn’t understand them clearly. Maybe they didn’t understand the urgency fully and didn’t prioritise it. Perhaps they simply forgot.

A client portal is a highly effective method to keep cases on track, and to keep clients informed, engaged, and updated. It serves as a central hub which tracks the progress of a case, and clearly states where actions and responsibilities lie. It means that should you need input from your client, there’s no chance of that getting lost in an email chain — it’s clearly presented for them, and it’s easy for them to upload whatever they need to.

Workload, stress, and employee wellbeing  

Given the pattern of work and the pressure to deliver so much in such a short space of time, elves will experience enormous stress, even though the boss is famously jolly. In much the same way, law firms have to deal with similar workloads, and it’s not even confined to one month.

Whether you’re an elf or a solicitor, unsustainable stress means you don’t won’t work at your best, and you’ll eventually reach burnout. That’s where support tools help. Case management software can handle automatically a lot of the tasks that a team member would normally have to do. With pre-populated forms, automatic time recording, and integrated correspondence-saving, there are hours to be saved every day, which will remove a huge amount of pressure from your support staff and your fee-earners.

Compliance and risk

Father Christmas not only has to process and fulfil billions of Christmas lists every year, but he also has to cross-reference them with his naughty and nice database. That is an intense administrative task, as you can imagine, and getting it wrong could mean a naughty child receiving undeserved presents, or worse, a well-behaved one getting a lump of coal.

Seriously as Santa takes that responsibility, at least he doesn’t have to worry about a regulator if he gets it wrong. Solicitors aren’t so lucky.

Whatever the conditions, human error is always a risk with compliance, but it’s more likely in periods of stress and pressure. Even the most diligent compliance officer will be outperformed in speed and accuracy by AI; automating due diligence, conflict, tax, accounting, and anti-money-laundering checks will always be more reliable and effective, and will relieve you and your colleagues of many stressful hours.

Becoming a Santa Clause firm

You can achieve all of that with one platform, bringing compliance, case management, and client communication into one piece of software. Over 1,000 law firms are doing that with Insight Legal.

Book your demo today, and just half an hour will show you how to be even more productive than Santa’s workshop, all year round.

“I have been doing legal accounts for 25 years and have used a number of different software before, Insight is by far the best. Their admin and support teams are friendly and helpful.”

“With Insight Legal, we’ve noticed a transformative change in productivity across the firm. Its ability to improve file organisation from a centralised system has dramatically reduced the time spent checking matters, managing ledgers and digging out files, freeing up time for staff to concentrate on value-added case work.”

“Probably the most straightforward user-friendly case management system I have used.”