The Lawyer of Many Hats

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From 8 am to 6 pm you are commited to delivering quality legal representation to your clients. In the midst of taking client calls, attending court hearings and preparing cases, you are inevitably hit with a myriad of other issues.

First, the new receptionist calls in sick for the third time in the last month since you hired her. You quickly take off your lawyer hat and through on your HR Administrator hat to assess who will cover the front desk and answer the phones today. You approach your paralegal, who has been with you for 5 years, to pick up the slack, and she interrupts you to tell you for the umpteenth time that the copier is jammed. She still cannot figure it out. You quickly throw your HR hat off your head and place the Office Administrator hat on.

You go to fix the copier, as only you can, and then make a note to self, “call copier company and lease new copier.” You walk into your office and no sooner is the phone ringing. You inadvertently answer the phone “Law Offices, this is the office administrator,” not realizing that you would now quickly have to reach into the drawer for the Chief Marketing Officer hat. It’s a call from the latest and greatest Internet marketing service guaranteeing first page position on Google. After 10 minutes trying to decipher what it all means you glance at the clock. Court is in 10 minutes and the courthouse is 15 minutes away. You schedule a follow-up call and run out the door.

On the way you realize Valentine’s Day is next week and you have not even shopped yet, not to mention that you have not been home for dinner in a week. Oh, and your daughter’s recital is this Friday. How do you wear the Husband and Dad hat at the same time, especially because the Husband hat never seems to fit no matter how hard you try.

Back from court, you sit down for your client appointment. In the back of your head you are thinking about six other things, particularly how you are going to keep your paralegal happy and motivated when the most important thing you had her do today is go get you lunch because you do not have time.

After 10 calls and 3 clients, it is 6 pm and you finally take a deep breath knowing that the day is over……ah, but no it isn’t. Time to put on your Vice-President of Strategy and Development hat, along with all the other hats that you now have the peace and quiet to wear. Now you need to send an email to the copier guy, figure out what you are going to do about your absenteeism-plagued office, evaluate the ROI on that Internet marketing deal, and maybe, if you have time, order roses for your wife.

You think to yourself, “I am not equipped to handle all of this. I do not have the time or resources to deal with all of this” You resign yourself to treading along fighting the same day-to-day battle that so many solos and small firm owners find themselves fighting. You don’t have to go it alone. Get A Life.

The Total Practice Management Association (Total PMA) is dedicated to the advancement of Solicitors, Legal Executives, Paralegals and other legal support staff in their struggle to build and manage a profitable practice without sacrificing their personal life.

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