“Boring Game Changers” to Improve Your Practice

Author:Xavier Beauchamp-Tremblay
Date:October 09, 2018
 
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I have attended my share of legal tech conferences in the last few years (as we all do), and I couldn’t help but notice that in comparison with events from, say, 5 years ago, many of them didn’t have any actionable content for attendees. The audience (lawyers, by a large majority) was sent home at the end of the day feeling like there was nothing left to do but watch the (AI, blockchain, you name it) train pass.

Yet, I’m a firm believer that there is still a lot of room for significant productivity improvements in a fairly traditional legal practice setting, and some of them are relatively simple. I would call these “boring game changers” in the sense that nobody would invite you to a conference to talk about them anymore. However, it’s still something that can (I’m not exaggerating) be a game changer for those who care to try them.

For the purpose of this post, I felt like going back to simpler times with none of the great AI and blockchain hopes and anguish, and talk about practical tips for lawyers. Since I’m no longer in practice myself, I regularly consult with my geekest friends about productivity enhancing tips, and I have now accumulated a few of them. Below is a summary of what I found to be the most useful tips I gathered over the last few months.

Better scheduling

A little while ago, my friend Claire Mazzini (read more about her here) recommended Calendly, a scheduling system, which I find is the best way to book one-to-one meetings with people outside your organization.

Basically, it helps you to set up a webpage with a calendar that is synced with your Outlook or Gmail (or else, I suppose) calendar. You can create different types of appointments that people can book themselves, for instance a 60-minute in-person meeting at your office, and a 30-minute phone call. Thus, when someone writes to ask you to meet, you can send them a custom URL to the right type of appointment on your Calendly page, and they can select themselves the time that works best according to your availability. It’s likely that you will only need that email to schedule a meeting. Considering how our professional lives often seem like an onslaught of back and forth scheduling emails and endless Doodle forms, this is a godsend.

I specified “outside your organization” in the previous paragraph because within an organization, one person’s availability is generally visible to their colleagues, so you don’t need an app like Calendly to schedule meetings. But even...

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