Move It, Sister!
Query: When it comes to client service, shouldn’t we always function with a sense of urgency?
I do not mean panic or a lack of organization or purpose. In fact, the opposite — act with intentional urgency. Much of the practice of law is driven by timing. Even if no hard filing deadline exists, quickly completing projects (without compromising quality) leads to more opportunity. Clients and/or co-workers will observe that you are on your game and will come back to you with more work.
Accomplishing this comes back to prioritizing work flow. This is hard, especially when you are juggling other filing deadlines, business development and, simply, life. It is easy to say “Well, I have two weeks to get that done.” Often the most difficult projects get put on the back burner and then, after a while, become a fire drill because the client asked about status or one of those silly court deadlines arrives. What would otherwise be a comfortable timeframe for completion becomes an unnecessary emergency.
When a new project pops up, jumping on top of it right away keeps your work flow moving in a consistent manner. Doing so widens the timeframe to get information from the client or other parties before a deadline. It also allows you to handle those situations when a TRO is filed, a deal needs to be closed by midnight or an estate plan needs to be completed before a surgery. Or, god forbid, you want to go to your kid’s soccer game or dance recital without sucking down handful after handful of antacids worried that you are forgetting an argument in the brief that has to be filed tomorrow.
The way you accomplish your sense of urgency does not have to be expressed to clients or co-workers. It is your internal modus operandi. Even if you are not shouting “look, I manage my time well!” from the roof tops, others will be able to see your actions and accomplishments. Your clients and co-workers will trust that you have your act together and can rely on you going forward.