We recently reported that more and more lawyers are incorporating minimalism into their practices these days. Here, lawyers share exactly how they are taking a more minimalist approach…and why:
“Research shows that multi-tasking actually leads to a decrease of productivity and creativity. I have found this to be true and have changed the way I work and operate my firm. I use time-blocking to focus on particular tasks throughout the day, which allows for increased productivity because I am no longer pulled away by other tasks that are not scheduled for a particular time block. This system of compartmentalizing and time blocking has allowed me to transition from being the over-active professional with my hair constantly on fire to the minimalist lawyer that handles all tasks a block at a time.” –Yuriy Moshes, a real estate attorney in New York City
“I like to do small reminders throughout the year to get my team’s minds working. I’ll ask them to consider their actions and how those actions have a ripple effect throughout the firm. Does that email need to be sent? If so, does each person you’ve included actually need that correspondence? Do you need to have that meeting? If so, let’s make sure it’s got a purpose and we remain efficient. For us, minimalism isn’t so much about decluttering our physical space, it’s more about decluttering our mental realm, mitigating the surge of distractions, and reducing pings throughout the day.” –David Himelfarb, a personal injury lawyer in Canada
“Digitizing all of our files has had many benefits, including freeing up a lot of space in the office because we don’t need physical files. It also offers 24-7 access, regardless of our location, which is very helpful if one of our lawyers is in court and needs to look up something related to the case. We have also benefited from digitizing our retainers. If a client wants to hire us but doesn’t have time to come in the office, we can deliver the tetainer to them via email and they can execute it and return it to us electronically.” –Arash Hashemi, a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles
“It’s true that time is money. Embracing minimalist practices in the office has allowed me to spend my valuable time on client matters. Clients appreciate that I am focused and can have the details of their case at my fingertips almost instantly. Since I’ve been able to focus more clearly, clients tend to feel like they’re really getting the best possible legal representation” – Boris Lavent, a personal injury lawyer in Miami
“Limit the items you bring into your firm. Do you need pictures of each child independently and through various stages of their lives to show you’re a family man or could one recent group shot suffice? That’s a simple example, but it’s applicable to almost everything outside of your computer and desk. By decluttering your space, you and your clients won’t get distracted or overwhelmed by the priority at hand.” –Ronald A. Ramos, a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio
“Some of the first steps I took towards a more minimalist approach to the practice of law was to leave the law firm where I was working to start my own law firm. For the first time in my career, I was able to make deliberate decisions on the entire structure of my law firm. Every policy I created was based on providing the best service and, hence, the best results for our clients. Eventually I stopped litigating cases, as I realized I could do much more for our clients by supervising all of the attorneys in my law firm. By stepping back from litigating cases, I am able to oversee all of our clients’ cases to ensure we are moving faster and more thoroughly than the attorneys on the other side of the case.” –Chris Hildebrand, a divorce attorney in Scottsdale, Arizona
Kristin Johnson is an executive and corporate communications professional, and founder of KSJ Communications, a communications and public relations firm. She consults with a diverse roster of clients spanning the technology, professional services, financial services, public sector, consumer, and healthcare industries. In addition to Rocket Matter, Johnson writes for various other publications as well.