New Year Productivity Goals for Attorneys & Legal Professionals

Business people talking in office

It’s a new year. Many lawyers and legal professionals are considering ways to be more productive, more organized, and better serve their law firms or corporate offices. If you’re at a loss to come up with ways to jump-start your career in the new year, or goals to identify, we identified top five goals to start your year out right with suggestions and insights from lawyers that did. The best part about this list, it’s not just for New Year’s resolutions as these goals are good any time of the year.

1. Time Management Goal:

Organizing your day early in the morning will help you with time management. Dedicate time to certain tasks like returning all your client calls before 10 am and again after 4 pm rather than responding to them throughout the day. For billing, enter all your billable time at the end of the day, advises Robert Rosenthal, Partner at L+G Attorneys LLP. “This will cut down on time wasted entering it right after a task is performed, and also allow you to stay concentrated on your work.”

2. Have an Email Strategy in Place: 

Fennemore Craig PC uses the Apple Watch to help save time, reports James Goodnow. “I especially like to reply to my e-mails from my watch as the number of canned responses has been updated,” he says. “Internally, we’ve also developed a digital tap code. If you’re in a meeting and you feel two taps, it means check your e-mail. Four taps is urgent – I may need to gracefully exit this meeting, and 10 taps is an emergency – something is going down!”

Limit distractions, Andrew Legrand, of Spera Law Group says. Unsubscribe to emails that are not useful.  Legrand has been using a service called, which lets him unsubscribe or consolidate email messages such as spam and marketing materials.

3. Running and Marketing Your Practice:

“Maintaining open dialogue within your law firm is critical,” advises Alessandra Stivelman, a partner at Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A. “Schedule a monthly lunch meeting with in-house attorneys and paralegals to informally discuss current projects and pending issues,”

“My mentor always told me to ‘market a little each day — especially when you are busy,’” says William Roberts, partner with Shipman & Goodman. “It’s easy to lose sight of marketing activities and keeping in touch with old contacts during particularly busy times — but if you wait until times are slow, then you are probably too late.”

Look into your conversion metrics to determine if you are doing everything you can to convert the leads you already have, says Matt Driggs, founder of The Advocates. “If you notice that leads are not converting, don’t spend more money to get more leads: Spend your time and resources finding better ways to increase conversions.”

“I plan to harness the full expanse of online tools to not only market our law firm but understand the clients who find our practice online,” says Michael Noonan of Clark & Clark, LLC. “Getting insights on the characteristics of people who access our website will enable us to educate and serve the needs of prospective clients and, by positioning our intake team to act quickly on incoming calls and emails, generate more qualified cases.”

“Make a list of your top 22 referral sources and try to ping one of them every business day,” suggests Rimon Law CEO Michael Moradzadeh. “If any of them do not refer you any work after two years, take them off the list and replace them.”

4. Personal Goals:

“Choose a single ‘power word’ to use as a type of mantra to help re-focus and align you to your goals or resolutions for the year,” recommends Keith Lee of Associates Mind. “By picking one word to remember and repeat to yourself, it will help remind you of your goals for the year. I choose ‘attention.'”

“One of my resolutions this year is to be friendlier,” says Christa J. Laser of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. “I tend to jump straight to business on phone calls or in meetings, but that approach fails to build the trust and interpersonal relationships needed for effective teamwork and the best client service. The 30 seconds it takes to find out how another person is feeling and what’s important to him or her can help you appropriately frame your discussion, serve that individual better, and even establish friendships.”

5. Professional Goals: 

Is a new legal job a goal for 2017? Dust off your resume, update it with your most recent accomplishments and positions, then start applying to as many jobs as possible. Add networking to your to-do list as well. Connecting with anyone that may be able to provide you a lead into a new job will increase your chances significantly.  Schedule time each week to follow-up with contacts if it doesn’t violate application protocol.

Is a career change your first priority in the new year? Let us help you! Contact us today for more information about opportunities in the legal field.

Attract & Retain Top Talent

With a rapidly changing industry, it's vital to offer the right compensation and set the right expectation. With our Salary Guide, get detailed job descriptions, industry insights and local salary data to equip your managers with hiring confidence and expertise.

Get your copy »

Get email updates about more content like this.


| Next articles in The Column blog |

Get the foundation you need to hire the best legal talent.

Request your copy of our 2021 Salary Guide »