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Your Monthly Law Firm Efficiency Metrics Guide: Post 2

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This is the second post in a series discussing reports and metrics that law firms should look at every month in order to increase and/or maintain the efficiency of their offices.  In last week’s post, I discussed Marketing Metrics that firms should review every month.  This week I’ll be discussing Database Activity. 

Database Activity

Databases are only as useful as the information in them.  Every month, law firms should run the following audit reports in order to confirm the accuracy of their database information.

  1. Duplicates.  Run reports to find duplicate contact entries in your database. Depending on the infrastructure of your database, you may need to run two or three separate reports in order to capture and review all of this information.  If your law firm has never run such a report, cleaning up the mess might be time intensive, but it will be well worth it!  By consistently checking your database for duplicate contact entries, the amount of work necessary to keep it clean will reduce over time.  You should also run a report to confirm that there are no duplicate cases in your database.  This can cause confusion, at best, or at worst, missed deadlines and misplaced documents and case facts.
    • Law Firm Database Best Practice Tip: Divide and conquer. Divide your database cleanup duties among four experienced employees. Divide the directory of contacts alphabetically among those four employees, leaving each responsible for one-fourth of the system. The database cleanup team should run reports on their segment of the system and perform the associated cleanup quarterly, reporting back to the firm who the biggest offenders were so that staff can be retrained.
  2. Case Information.  Most case management software tracks information including case stage/status, staff assigned, and important case dates.  Run reports on each of these items every month in order to confirm that all important data has in fact been entered and that this entry is correct.  Require the staff assigned to the cases with blanks and/or errors to review each of these reports and correct and update all of their cases.  Running these reports not only keeps your database as up-to-date as possible, but also serves as a good reminder to staff about the capabilities and functionality of the law firm’s database.
    • Law Firm Database Best Practice Tip: If you run case information reports monthly, it will greatly reduce the potential for missing deadlines in your cases. Running these reports protects the firm from potential inadvertent malpractice.
  3. Financial Information.  Tracking financial information – expenses, settlement funds, fees, etc. – inside your firm’s case management system is vital to effectively working up a case.  When all outgoing and incoming financials are tracked in your database, attorneys can make more accurate demands and resolve their cases more easily, because they have accurate information at their fingertips.  Audit your database to make sure this information is readily available to your attorneys. 
    • Law Firm Database Best Practice Tip: The entry of financial information is not for support staff alone. Attorneys negotiating cases on their dockets need to enter the information associated with each negotiation. Keeping track of the effectiveness of efforts against each insurance adjuster or defense attorney provides priceless data for future case success. 

Take care of your database, and it will take care of you!

Need Assistance?

I know you’re busy running your practice.  I can help you not only clean up your database, but also set up proper protocols to keep it clean and running efficiently so that you don’t have to worry.  You can reach me anytime.

Sidebar stacey e burke About Stacey Burke

Stacey E. Burke is both an experienced trial lawyer and law firm business consultant. She works with lawyers and law firms around the world to improve their business development, marketing, and infrastructures.

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