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Exploring What Lawyers Spend Their Time Doing: Daily Tasks and Responsibilities

Lawyer’s job demands multi-tasking, but unfortunately, most attorneys find themselves spending far more time working than they’d like, as lawyers spend their time doing a variety of tasks and responsibilities. The demands of juggling multiple cases can cause lawyers to struggle with work-life balance, so adopting the right productivity tools for lawyers is essential.

All types of lawyers, from personal injury attorneys to corporate lawyers, need good time management and the right software to help them do their jobs more effectively. In this blog, we’ll look more closely at what lawyers spend their time doing, and how they can work more efficiently without compromising on their four core responsibilities.

lawyers spend their time doing

How Many Hours Does a Lawyer Work in a Week?

According to Clio’s 2022 Legal Trends Report, lawyers work between 42-64 hours a week. In large firms, it isn’t uncommon for lawyers to work 80+ hours a week. The more clients a lawyer has, the more expectations they have to meet. There simply isn’t enough time in an eight-hour workday to advise clients, complete documents, and manage all of the other tasks that come with their caseloads. 

Although lawyers are passionate about what they do, most work more than they would like. Just 10% of attorneys say they would like to work on a Saturday, yet 42% find themselves doing so. That number goes even lower on Sunday. Only 7% of lawyers say they want to work on a Sunday yet 32% still wind up working.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the more preferable workdays for a lawyer. Those who run their own firms may be able to achieve greater freedom in their schedule, but the truth is no attorney can afford to have four days off a week. But that doesn’t mean they can’t have a rewarding work-life balance. 

Instead, lawyers need to invest in the right legal software and productivity tools to help them maximize their hours during the workday. Then, they can leave more work at the office and enjoy time at home. 

What Do Lawyers Spend Their Time Doing?

In 2017, Clio’s Legal Trends Report revealed that lawyers spent their time doing just 29% of their workday on billable time. For attorneys, billable hours include tasks directly to a client’s case, such as drafting documents, attending court or meetings, and performing legal analysis. 

Lawyers spend their time doing non-billable-hour tasks which include:

  • Answering phone calls
  • Administrative work 
  • Business management 
  • Digital marketing 
  • Reading legal literature
  • Performing pro bono work 
  • Networking 

While communicating with clients via phone or email does count as billable work, there is a problem; when lawyers spend the majority of their day engaging with clients, they often wind up going in circles. Because clients repeatedly want case updates, lawyers can’t perform the work that’s required to deliver results. 

The more time lawyers spend their time doing things such as talking to clients, the less time they have to perform the legal work they were hired to do. 

But a lawyer can’t afford to not respond; 82% of clients have ended a professional relationship with a law firm over poor communication. Speaking to clients routinely isn’t solely a matter of good business — the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct require lawyers to reasonably consult with their clients and minimize occasions they need to ask for updates. 

What Are Four Responsibilities of Lawyers?

Lawyers have a wide range of responsibilities, but there are four primary duties all types of lawyers spend their time doing. 

Advise Legal Clients

Advising clients involves explaining the law to them in easy-to-understand terms, offering them legal advice, and helping them make the most informed decisions in their case. Legal advising includes analyzing facts and circumstances surrounding a client’s case, offering straightforward, understandable explanations of legal rights, and explaining the implications of rights to clients. 

Maintain Confidentiality 

Confidentiality is crucial to an attorney and their clients. They may not disclose personal information about their clients unless legally required; cybersecurity also plays a role in confidentiality. Lawyers should take additional steps to ensure communication with their clients is protected. This is why many like to use legal software like Case Status to ensure their messages and data remain secure.

Act as a Neutral Third-Party

A lawyer must remain neutral in a client’s case; this may seem confusing since the lawyer has to act on behalf of their client in the eye’s of the law. But neutrality must exist to ensure that the lawyer is always operating according to legal standards. Their primary duty is to uphold the law, not act solely in favor of their clients. By remaining neutral to a case, they ensure that the service they provide is always ethical and legally compliant.

Conform to the Law

Expanding on our last point, lawyers must always follow the law. This includes federal, state, and local jurisdiction. Lawyers are not responsible for their clients’ moral decisions, but they are required to act on behalf of their clients’ legal interests. At the same time, they must uphold the law and respect the legal system.

What Do Lawyers Use the Most?

The most common legal software lawyers use include time-tracking tools, customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, a legal practice management system (LPMS), legal research tools, and client communication software. 

A client portal is a personalized app that allows clients and lawyers to communicate seamlessly. By reducing phone calls and emails, a client portal makes it easier for firms to prioritize important tasks without leaving their clients feeling unheard. 

Thanks to Case Status, clients can check the progress of the case, receive step-by-step updates, and find whatever they need to know when they log into the app. In fact, 93% of clients find what they’re looking for when they join Case Status, saving firms dozens of hours a month. 

Visit our website to explore the capabilities of Case Status with an interactive demo. By navigating to https://www.casestatus.com/demo-now, you can experience firsthand how our tool streamlines case management and enhances client communication. If you prefer a more tailored demonstration, please don't hesitate to contact us. Our team is ready to create a personalized demo that specifically aligns with your practice area, ensuring you see the most relevant features and benefits that our tool offers. Whether through our website demo or a customized walkthrough, discover how Case Status can revolutionize your legal practice.

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