Best Resources for Solos With a Heavy Caseload
If you've never had to handle over 20 or 50 or 100 cases at the same time, you might be blissfully unaware of some of the best resources available for solo practitioners trying to maintain heavy caseloads.
But those busy and overworked practitioners know, it's impossible to do it all alone, and you shouldn't ever play the "solo card" if you expect to have a good reputation (or win, because it doesn't work). Truth be told, even if you only have a couple cases on your plate, the resources below can be critical to have lined up to handle the varied pace of your practice, or in case of emergency.
Case Management Software
Get it, learn to use it, and use it like your entire practice depends upon it. Document everything.
The level of depth and accessibility available on the latest case management platforms is, frankly, amazing. Not only can you have your calendars, notes, to-do lists, costs lists, and people, all entered into a database that lets you quickly and easily see what's going on in a particular case (or run specific or giant reports), but many case management platforms now provide for cloud-based, secure, document storage, as well as seamless integration across other common web services and platforms. Not to mention the ever-growing number of automated features, and availability of mobile phone apps (that are getting more and more functional with each update).
Simply put, the busier you are, the more important your case management software becomes. Find one that will do everything you want to do, and go all-in on it.
Contract, Research, and Appearance Attorneys
If you get more work coming in than you have time to handle, it's time to start farming some work out. But rather than referring clients out, bringing on temporary staff, or using one of the many services that can provide research, support, and even appearances, can free up your time to make sure your cases are being properly managed. Don't be afraid to delegate big tasks or projects, just make sure your instructions are clear and the right resources are available to get the job done.
While your office may be a true one-person practice, that still doesn't mean you're alone. Solo practitioners are often willing to help one another out, and there are several email list-serves, as well as online and in-person groups that you can join. More inexperienced solos might be willing to help out at lower rates in exchange for mentorship (aka referrals), or just a fair hourly rate.
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