Managing a law practice by playing childish games


Remember playing “hot potato” as a kid? You stand in a circle and pass around a small object as quickly as possible. When the egg timer or oven buzzer sounds, whoever has the “potato” in hand is out. If you’re the last person left, you win.

Kinda like musical chairs. What, you don’t remember that either? Okay I’m old.

Anyway, I did my best to run my practice like a game of hot potato. My goal was to get things out of my hands and into someone else’s as quickly as possible.

I’d review a file, decide what needed to be done, and give it a secretary to handle. When she brought the file back, I’d do the same thing. I tried to leave work each day with everything off my desk and on someone else’s.

I did the same thing with opposing counsel and claims adjusters. Write the letter, make the call, draft the document, send it off. Out of my hands and into theirs.

It’s not a perfect system. Bigger projects, things I couldn’t delegate, problem files, were a constant. Getting everything else out of my hands, however, gave me time to handle them.

Take a look at your desk or your task list. What could you get rid of right now by handing it off to someone else?

Managing a law office is easier if you have some fun with it. Remind me to tell you about the time I brought a Hula Hoop to the office. . .