Get rid of what’s not working in your law practice


The military periodically schedules a day or a week to “stand down” from normal operations and review everything they’re doing to make sure it’s still necessary and working at peak efficiency. They fix or get rid of anything that’s not working and make room for new or better ideas.

Anita Campbell, Founder of Small Business Trends, suggests we do something similar with our businesses. She says,

What if we approached innovation from the opposite direction – by getting rid of what isn’t working before we try to come up with something that works.

This is good advice for any law practice. Strip things down to the essentials, lighten the load and add back only what is necessary. Make room for new ideas, tools, and procedures by getting rid of anything that isn’t working:

  • Legal services you no longer sell or are no longer consistent with your long term plans
  • Inefficient processes (forms, letters)
  • Employee functions that are no longer necessary or can be assigned to someone else; employees who no longer carry their weight
  • Furniture, equipment, technology that no longer works
  • Office space that is not being used
  • Closed files you no longer need to retain
  • Ads that no longer pull or cost too much relative to the alternatives
  • Subscriptions you no longer read; books you haven’t referred to in over a year
  • Groups you no longer participate in

Campbell says,

Like cleaning out your garage and tossing unused belongings, jettisoning old processes or products can give your business a whole new start. You’ll be surprised how much space you suddenly find in your mind, and how free you and your team will feel to create something new without all that clutter clogging up your brain.

Earlier this year, my wife and I did an extensive spring cleaning at home. We got rid of a ton of stuff and simplified our lives. I guess it’s time to do the same for the business.