Law Firm Management: How To Have A Productive Meeting
Anuj Malhotra 3 Jan 2017

Law Firm Management: How To Have A Productive Meeting

Law firm meetings can be one of the most expensive uses of time but getting the most out of them is a good business strategy. At a law firm we have many meetings with other departments in order to collaborate and develop action plans making our meetings productive. Let’s take a look at how you can make your law firm meetings more productive.

Create An Agenda

Having a law firm meeting without an agenda is like sailing out to sea without a map—you’re bound to get lost. Your agenda should answer the following questions:

  • What is the goal of the meeting? A goal should be some specific objective. For example, maybe your meeting is designed to educate your attorneys about a new policy or office opening.
  • What are the topics you want to discuss?  Topics should be very specific talking points that fall neatly under the overall objective. For example, if you have a new policy about intake—topics might include 1) the redesign of intake forms, 2) new intake questions, and 3) the removal of old intake questions.
  • When can attendees ask questions? It’s inevitable that attendees will have questions or concerns. Your agenda should include a specific space for attendees to voice their concerns and questions.

Once you’ve created an agenda, you should distribute it at least 3 days in advance. This gives attendees the opportunity to ask questions or request that an agenda item be added in advance.

Limit Attendance

Not everyone needs to attend your law firm meeting. Think carefully about who really needs to be in attendance at your meeting and limit your invites to those people.  Also, consider if the information you’re sharing can be shared in another way—if so, allow attendees to opt-out of the meeting if they have other critical conflicts.  

Set A Time Limit

You law firm meetings should always have a beginning and ending time. Also, each topic or agenda item should have a time limit.  For example, you might allow 10 minutes for discussing each item. But don’t be inflexible. If attendees find an item to be important enough, offer them an opportunity to spend more time discussing it. Of course, allotting more time for one agenda item may mean you need to subtract time from another agenda item.

Moderate Discussion

Keeping all attendees on-topic and preventing conflicts is one of the most important parts of keeping your meeting productive. However, this can be particularly difficult if you’re discussing controversial topics or if unexpected conflicts arise. To avoid derailment of your meeting, put in place a conflict resolution process that provides attendees an opportunity to vent their concerns without disrupting the meeting. If you know that some agenda items will cause conflicts, ask that people write out their concerns in advance.

Confirm Agreements

Once you come to the end of your meeting, confirm any agreements or action items before you adjourn. Also, once you’ve adjourned your meeting you should send out a short email to any attendees who’ve agreed to take action on certain items. Remind them of what they agreed to and any due dates they may have.

Don’t let meetings destroy your law firm’s productivity, be specific and strategic with every meeting you facilitate. Try to reduce the amount of meetings but ensure you’re   your time with scheduled meetings and not to get off track.

 Author : Lynn Luong,  Digital Marketing Manager for Smokeball

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