Women Empowerment and How to Avoid These Two Common Mistakes with Jaimee Hall
Mar 17, 2022
Running a law firm always comes with tough challenges. It is not enough to know you need to make tough decisions; you also need to know how to make correct ones. You’ve got to ask the right questions: How do you enact women empowerment? When should you hire vs when should you implement more technology? What data do you need to look at?
In this episode, Jaimee Hall joins us to discuss the two most common mistakes of law firm owners: not maximizing their use of technology and not tracking important metrics. She talks about how you can make the right calls that will elevate your law firm. Jaimee also shares the key metrics you should track and the importance of strategic planning. Lastly, she offers insights on women empowerment in the legal industry.
If you want to gain confidence in making tough decisions that will elevate your law firm, then this episode is for you.
Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode
- Learn about the common mistakes you should avoid in growing your firm.
- Discover the key metrics that you need to track.
- Find out why women empowerment elevates everyone in the legal industry
What’s Preventing Women Empowerment?
- Only a few big law firm leaders are women despite an equal number of male and female lawyers. One reason behind this could be the difference in household roles.
- Working at big firms can also cause burnout, leading women to run smaller firms instead.
Jaimee: “There’s been a mass exodus of women out of bigger firms, and there’s a lot of small firms being run by women because they’re trying to get away from where they were at and what they were doing before. And it’s a happy day for them to go into entrepreneurship; it’s also sad that we’ve got these firm cultures.”
- Women aren't heard the same way, which causes them to become timid.
Why Women’s Voices Aren’t Heard
- A research project by Prof. Hillary Anger Enfelbein found that women are more likely to advocate for others rather than for themselves.
- The voices of women haven't been heard by leaders in the legal industry for several years.
- There has been much support for women in the legal industry in the last few years.
- Men need to be a part of the conversation on women empowerment; likewise, women should also be empowering men.
Jaimee: “The second we start to exclude, then the pendulum is swinging the other direction and we’re exacerbating a problem but from an opposite viewpoint.”
Women Empowerment: How Men and Women Should Cooperate
- There are many dynamic powerhouse women speakers in the legal industry.
- Often, women empower women because men have not been empowering women and seek support from other women due to trauma.
- However, women aren’t necessarily capable of supporting other women.
- Women supporting women and men being willing to take part in the conversation are genuine steps toward empowerment.
- Women might tend to shy away a bit, possibly due to comfort level or dynamics.
Jaimee: “I’ve seen our female clients wanting to lead a better life, leave behind a bad existence in the law firm role to create something better, create something different and new.”
Common Mistakes in Growing a Firm
- Know when a problem should be solved by a human or with technology.
Jaimee: “I think a lot of times people add humans to problems that wouldn’t be solved by a human. And I say I only want to pay humans to do what only humans can do. So if technology can do something, we should be relying on technology to do it.”
- There’s also a resistance to change which gets in the way of making critical business decisions and creates more problems.
- If a tool is inferior, it’s inferior; change it!
- Overstaffing happens when you hire more people instead of using technology.
Using Technology to Find Solutions
- Law firm owners tend to hang on to older technologies because that’s what they know how to use.
- Owners might also not know how to maximize the technologies that they have.
- Find a program that integrates all your tools so you and your people can spend time on things that truly matter.
Moshe: “There's so much power that software has. And I think the one thing that you didn't spell out that is the most powerful of it all besides for efficiency is it reduces human error.”
Who Law Firm Owners Can Hire For Technology Solutions
- Many lawyers are DIY-ers regarding technology, but that's not the best use of your time.
Jaimee: “If your time is bringing dollars, great. If it’s bringing you joy and not dollars, that’s okay, too. But doing things that aren’t bringing you dollars or joy is probably not the best use of your time.”
- One of the things that Legal Back Office does is help clients determine which issues to fix.
- Fixing broken systems will have a significant impact on law firms. It saves time and enhances their results.
Know Your Numbers
- Most lawyers don’t track their numbers.
- Jaimee loves tracking days to AP and days to AR, which is the number of days it takes her to pay bills and the number of days it takes her clients to pay her.
- A cash flow issue will cause dissonance between those two numbers.
Jaimee: ”These lawyers aren't looking at their numbers at all, and that your numbers are telling you a story about the health of your business.”
- Look at your financial statements and find out the story they’re telling you.
How to Track Metrics
- Law Perform is an API-based system that pulls core systems together.
- While firmTRAK and TVO are also good tools, there are
- no effective tools that pull accounting, operational, and marketing data.
- Tracking fixed fee profitability helps determine profitability and capacity.
- Pricing shouldn't always be about cost; it should be about value.
Why You Should Establish Goals and Plans
- Strategic planning is an integral part of achieving your goals.
Jaimee: “If you don’t know where you’re going and what you want to achieve, you’ll never be able to figure out how you're going to get there…”
- Be honest about what you and your business partners want from your firm.
- Then, figure out how you’re going to get there.
Jaimee Hall is the CEO and co-founder of Legal Back Office. She's been in the legal industry for more than eight years, leading a 100+ person back-office function for a global litigation firm. She has her Executive MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and earned her Bachelor's degree from Emerson College in Boston, MA.
She is incredibly passionate about helping attorneys build successful businesses and lead a fulfilling personal and professional life. Throughout her career, she’s focused on serving clients and empowering employees.
Check out Legal Back Office to find out more about Jaimee’s work. If you wish to reach out to her, you can email her at [email protected] or reach out to her on LinkedIn.
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