the basics



The Efficiency Series for New Panel Attorneys - Introduction

Are you one of those panel attorneys who wears all the hats in running your law practice? Not only are you the attorney, but also the secretary, paralegal, courier, and bookkeeper? 

The trick to having an enjoyable and profitable all-in-one panel practice is to optimize your time by increasing the percent of time you spend reading, researching, and writing, and decreasing the percent of time you spend on non-lawyering (and often non-billable) tasks.  Said another way, it’s all about efficiency!

The guides we provide below do not assume that there is a one-size-fits-all dynamic to a panel practice. We recognize that there are many reasons why an attorney may choose to work at home rather than as a part of a more traditional law office situation. If the suggestions and ideas do not speak to your particular work style, by all means, tweak them so that they do. If that still does not result in something workable for you, put these suggestions aside and review them later after you have been doing panel work for a while. Once you have a better sense of the dynamic of panel work, you may find that what seemed unnecessary on first blush, now seems like a great idea.

With the goal of efficiency in mind, this series has been organized into four key articles for you to consider: 

  1. Setting Up Your Office (PDF)
    When you show up for work each day, it is important that you have the tools in place that will allow you to work smoothly and efficiently. This component discusses what those tools are.

  2. Managing Your Practice (PDF)
    The key to an efficient and productive panel practice is creating templates and checklists to keep you on track and organized. This component discusses helpful templates and checklists, provides samples that you can use as starting points, and suggests sources for further input.

  3. Don’t Spin Your Wheels (PDF)
    There is nothing more inefficient that spending two hours trying to find the answer to something, when the answer was just a few quick clicks away. This component points you to where you may quickly find answers to the questions new panel attorneys often have.

  4. Home Library List (PDF)
    Whether electronic or paper-based, lawyers need libraries. This component discusses recommended must-have resources for a panel attorney’s home library.