What should you delegate first in your law practice? I love that question because it means you are thinking about outsourcing. Yipee!

Start with baby steps

You might want to get that big, hairy project off your desk but please don’t start with that one. Delegating is a skill and like most skills you need to practice before becoming proficient.

Many lawyers confuse their legal skills like discernment with the emotional intelligence skills (self-awareness and social awareness) that make for a good delegation relationship.

For that reason, I suggest that you begin to delegate with small, low risk but value-add projects. You are learning not only the process of delegation, how to navigate the outsourcing marketplace but also how to manage your own emotions and beliefs. That’s a lot, so cut yourself some slack.

Want a useful first project? Hire a virtual assistant (a business owner who specializes in doing administrative or marketing work for other entrepreneurs) to market research on your best clients.

Ask the VA to review your cases for 2018 and build a client avatar, which is a collection of facts and information about the client like:

  • age/gender
  • the type of legal problem
  • location
  • how they found you
  • why they selected you
  • transaction amount
  • family

You get the picture. You can download this worksheet to use from Digital Marketer. It will guide you and suggest some questions that you may want to work into your intake process like understanding client values, objectives and goals. I bet that once you see how valuable this information is and realize you didn’t have to spend time to get it, you’ll be a new fan of delegation.

Know your goal

It’s critical to know what outcome you want. This sounds obvious, I know. Of course, you know what you want when you delegate a project. But do you really?

It’s okay if you don’t. Sometimes when I am in a rush to get something done I outsource it without really knowing the end result I’m after. Then, the project flops, and I’m like Dang, that’s not what I wanted.

Knowing what the end goal helps you to think through the project more clearly and give better instructions. It also prevents you from making a rookie mistake- believing the Talent screwed up when the issue is that their result is simply different than what you envisioned.

One of the big benefits of working with a virtual assistant is that you will get new ideas about how to approach a project. Take advantage of that expert advice.

Make a list

I gave you one idea for delegating. Lawyers are delegating all kinds of things these days. From social media management to legal research and drafting. What can you take off your plate?

Here’s how to discover the tasks you want to let go of know. Fold a piece of paper into 4 quarters. Label each corner: daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly.

Time yourself for 30 seconds. Write down in each quarter everything you on a daily basis, weekly, monthly and quarterly.

You probably won’t be surprised to see that your days and weeks are slammed with things to do. Now that you can see that visually you have an opportunity to readjust your workflow. Reschedule some daily tasks. Bundle a weekly task like writing your newsletter into a monthly project.

Circle all the things that don’t light you up. You know, the ones that you procrastinate about or that simply aren’t in your wheelhouse. These are the project to delegate to your smart, caring virtual assistant.

Drop a comment and tell me about a project you’d like to delegate in the new year.


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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