Thursday, January 05, 2006

2006 Resolutions?

I always make them both as to personal and as to business. Here is my business list, are any of these yours?

1. Revisit office form letters: Our office handles a number of cases where certain letters are simply not redone each case. It's worth it to review the key ones although I have undertaken reviewing nearly all of them. In particular, my letter of representation (LOR) is worth a second look, and I have had to unfortunately make one change - I have added a line that states "Unless or until you have received from this office a written notice that the Firm is no longer working for [client name], do not contact [client name] under any circumstances. Also, our letter to a health insurance company regarding any claim of reimbursement can evolve considering the litigation surrounding this issue.

2.Analyze your tech needs and wants: After more years than I care to admit, I finally was able to decide on a flat screen monitor. I added another product to carry (Sidekick II). We are considering scanning all documents and attaching them to the current database and moving quickly to paperless.

With technology changing, it simply does not make sense to sit back and not analyze. Another attorney, a sole practitioner in his 50's who is on the same floor as our offices visited me yesterday and asked me to convert a Word document to Wordperfect 4.0. Now realize that the product in use by attorneys is WP 12, and that it likely means his software if probably ten or more years old ... . Why not upgrade?

3.Web presence: I recently visited a website of a firm that had a photo and bio of an attorney that had left the firm more than a year ago. I went to our site and found deficiencies. It's addressed and is also being tweaked. It's the little things that matter - having your Firm name, address, contact email and telephone number on each page; having a decent form to fill out with as few required fields as possible (we deleted the "retype your email" line).

4.Staff issues: Mike Papantonio's well written book, In Search of Atticus Finch (you can buy it here)
mentioned a decent problem solving requirement that we implemented now system wide: If there is an issue or problem facing an office team member, it is required that the team member: 1)reduce the problem to a one sentence issue and 2)not come into my office or another employee's office unless that team member has one suggested solution. It works wonders. It ends the practice of an employee walking in and simply handing off a problem.

That's part of my list - what are you resolving to do?