10 mobile law practice tips for the lawyer on the go

mobile law practice tipsA mobile law practice is a flexible way to meet with clients, keep overhead costs low, and provide much needed work-life balance. In Florida, we enjoyed a successful mobile law practice of our own which was featured in the Palm Beach Post. In this post, we want to share our mobile law practice tips to help your law firm achieve success.

MOBILE LAW PRACTICE TIPS

SET UP REMOTE MEETING LOCATIONS

Although we did not have a physical office to meet clients, we had remote meeting locations around town. For their convenience, we met with clients in their homes or offices. We also could use board rooms and available office space we found through many business associates in our networking groups. Think about your connections. For example, an insurance broker or financial planner you know would welcome you bringing folks into their offices.

BE PREPARED

Because you don’t have an office, you must take your office with you. Make sure you have everything you need. As estate planning attorneys, we brought our laptops and a mobile laser printer in case there were any last minute changes to a will or trust. Have backup power sources and office supplies on hand. Plan ahead and prepare for any changes.

EXERCISE CAUTION

If we did visit a client at their home for the first time, we would travel in pairs. And when we met clients, we did so at public places. Be aware of your surroundings and if you feel unsafe –  leave immediately. Fortunately, since most of our business came from referrals, we knew the people who knew our new clients.

USE DISCRETION

Discussions with your clients should be confidential. Make sure your meeting locations afford privacy for client discussions. A noisy coffee shop may not be the best place for client meetings. However, it may be a perfectly fine place to meet to pick up or deliver documents.

CAPITALIZE ON YOUR MOBILITY

Because you are not stuck in an office, you have the distinct advantage of getting out, meeting people, and networking. Showcase your expertise at local speaking engagements. Find referral sources at business networking groups. Use the opportunity of being mobile to speak to everyone about what you do.

INVEST IN TECHNOLOGY

You save a lot of money by not having office space as an overhead expense. Use some of those savings to invest in the latest technology to keep your practice professional and streamlined. Use better microphones for video conferencing or have a fast reliable printer/scanner to avoid embarrassment or aggravation.

HAVE STORAGE AND BACKUP SOLUTIONS

Of course, you should be backing up everything to a secure cloud-based storage service. Consider making backups on USB drives as well for extra protection. A law practice deals with a lot of paper and files. Store those files in a locked, fireproof, waterproof cabinet. When we had many files to store, we rented a secure storage facility for inactive files.

DRESS FOR SUCCESS

Oftentimes legal work involves a lot of time research and drafting. If you are working from home it is tempting to stay in your pajamas. However, dressing up boosts your productivity and performance according to the Wall Street Journal. Furthermore, if you have an impromptu video conference, you won’t be caught in an unprofessional outfit. And dressing up makes you feel more polished, ready to take on your work.

HAVE A DEDICATED WORKSPACE

Working from home is great as long as you are organized and not prone to distractions.  Set up an office in your home that is dedicated to your practice. Avoid craft areas or the dining room table. Having one space solely for your business will help you concentrate on your practice. You won’t waste time doing other busy work and you will have everything you need in one place. Keep your work area organized for maximum efficiency.

SCHEDULE YOUR TIME

Unscheduled time can be detrimental to your practice. Work out a proposed timeline of certain tasks. You can’t put off making collection calls or billing clients if you have the time scheduled in. Make sure to schedule breaks to walk around, get a bite to eat, or get out to network with others.

A mobile law practice has many advantages. Using these mobile law practice tips will help you get the right start.

Catherine Hodder, Esq. and Kelly C. Sturmthal, Esq., authors of Law Office on A Laptop: How to Set Up Your Own Successful Mobile Law Practice, provide practical e-books, advice and support for solo practitioners and entrepreneurs.