20 Frustrating Things Lawyers Do When Delegating

Angry legal assistant

Solo lawyers who want to scale their law practice must delegate. Yes, as a lawyer you have the brainpower to do pretty much whatever you set your mind to do. That’s the problem. You are doing too many things that are outside of your genius zone, which is practicing law!

Delegating is the best way to increase your capacity to get work done while leaving you time to focus on providing excellent legal services for your clients. Hiring a virtual assistant or legal assistant to aid you with non-legal work will make the difference between having a satisfying, profitable experience as a lawyer and being overwhelmed and battling to make ends meet. However, many lawyers resist creating or delegating to a virtual team.

What prevents lawyers from delegating more? Maybe lawyers resist delegation because of a deep sense of responsibility to personally deliver only the highest quality work.

Maybe the reason more lawyers don’t delegate is the imposter syndrome, the fear that someone will discover you’re not the lawyer you say you are. Many lawyers, even amazing lawyers like Jeena Cho, admit to struggling with confidence.

I am on a mission to encourage lawyers to design their law practice to fit your life and create a better law experience for themselves and their clients.
I don’t believe lawyering should be so hard.

Delegation is crucial for solo lawyers and small law firm owners. You simply don’t have enough hours in the day or energy to give your full attention and talent to every task your law practice requires. Nor should you. You are a lawyer not a [fill in the blank].

Delegation makes good business sense. However, that’s not the key reason to begin to outsource. Failing to create systems, process and have team you can rely upon puts you, your law practice and your family at risk. How many days could your practice stay afloat without you- 7 days, 30 days or maybe not even 2 days?

Delegation is not hard to learn. There are some behaviors that will get you a better result than others, though.

Speaking of getting a good result, learn how to delegate like a champ! Sign up for my course and get special pricing

Frustrating Things Lawyers Do to Staff

1. No clear vision
2. No deadline set
3. Sending mixed messages
4. Giving contradictory instructions
5. Giving none or very little lead time
6. Expecting rush service
7. Dumping and running
8. No ongoing communication
9. Not available for questions
10. No direction given for problem-solving
11. No authority given to solve problems
12. Not prioritizing the work
13. Having no preferences
14. Long, confusing explanations
15. Missing information to complete project
16. No systems for collaborating
17. Won’t use collaboration tools
18. No easy way to share documents or progress
19. Forgetting to follow up with the project
20. Only commenting on errors but not the good work

Of course this list is not exhaustive. But it does give you enough data to determine whether your delegation style is effective or not. Looking at this list you can see there are a few themes we can pull out and examine further.

Planning rules

Take 10 minutes and think about why you are delegating that project and what the end goal is for you. Answering the why question helps you to stay motivated because you know at the end you’ll achieve something you desire.

What does success look like?

It’s surprising how many times clients say ‘I don’t know’ when I ask what success would look like for them. Hello?! How can your talent satisfy your wishes and preferences when you don’t know what you want. Failure to set expectations is always the beginning of a bad situation.

Be vulnerable

You know as a lawyer that it’s very difficult to help someone who does not want to be helped. You have to be vulnerable and tell your team about the things that you can’t or don’t like to do. The six most powerful words you can say are: I don’t know. Help me, please

Want to discover how to add more hours to your day with delegation? Let’s talk- my treat

About The Author

DLE

Dina Lynch Eisenberg, JD, is the CEO of OutsourceEasier.com, an outsourcing training/consulting firm for successful lawyers and entrepreneurs based in Oakland, CA.

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