The two that head my list are write a staff training manual and improve my work product retrieval system. Let’s work on the retrieve and recycle issue first.
Central to good client service and making money in your bankruptcy practice it is not having to reinvent the wheel each time a project presents itself. Recycling is good in the legal business. Having drafted a motion, a set of points and authorities, or an application to sell real property once, you should position yourself to reiterate that work with modifications for the next client, with less time involved.
When you’re young (and your memory is quick) and you’re new (and the universe of your past clients is small), you can rely on retrieving past efforts by client names. That won’t last long as your client base grows. I’d probably move up a tax bracket if it weren’t for the time I spend standing in my partner’s doorway, asking, “what was the case in which we did X”.
Once you’ve moved to extend the stay in one case, create a template for the project. Make some notes on the applicable statute and rule, the appropriate people to serve, and the deadlines involved. Strip out or highlight the client-specific information, and save the document labeled by the task, not the client.
Under that topic, you can create a subfolder for examples of pleadings on the subject that you have filed, or that you’ve encountered in the practice, created by others. Another folder could hold the cases which provide the authority for the action.
Here’s a list of consumer bankruptcy issues which could provide the framework for your work product retrieval system. The format and the organization of the system are not important. It’s important to have a system and lavish time and attention on the system so you aren’t starting from scratch.
My father, a veterinarian, used to say that a goose is so stupid he wakes up in a brand new world every day; don’t find yourself facing a brand new world when a client brings you a problem that you’ve handled before. Be prepared to retrieve and reuse.