We recently conducted a conference call in which we discussed the idea of a “Case Status Review” meeting. One of our listeners sent us an e-mail asking for more detail. Here’s her question:

“I sat in on “Survival Of The Fittest” a few weeks ago. One of your suggestions was doing a case status meeting. I shared this with the senior partner and he thought this was a good idea.

Would you be willing to e-mail bullet points on how to run one of these meetings?

I wrote rather quickly during the webinar and these were some of your comments.

  1. Each attorney go through their client list prior to the meeting
  2. The bookkeeper will be present and check the financial status of that client during the meeting
  3. How to contact the client of their present financial status
  4. This prevents a client from wracking up a large fee and for the lawyer to see when a client stops funding

I can see how this would add tremendous value to the firm. I know that some attorneys may think “Oh gosh, another meeting.” How might I suggest this will help add value to our firm?”

This was our response:

This meeting may look like just another meeting, but is the best use of time we know for a managing attorney. While we discussed the advantage of tracking the financial status of each case on the call, all supervising attorneys need to employ some version of this technique for quality control purposes. This type of meeting allows the lead attorney to: strategize about each case, keep track of each case as it progresses through the pipeline, recommend and discuss the next step to be taken and anticipate problems before they occur

The meetings are typically held once a week or twice a month, depending on the case load. The case load is divided either alphabetically or by order of importance. The team gathers around a conference room table and brings in the actual files they are dealing with (unless this is too cumbersome and they can work from a list – not recommended due to the importance of touching the files and having them accessible to answer questions.) Each person takes a turn and updates the attorney on the cases they are working.

This meeting leverages the talents of the lead attorneys, ensures that their cases are being touched regularly and handled properly — and also lets them know how full their pipeline is, which is helpful when committing to new work. Younger, less experienced attorneys and paralegals receive valuable training in these meetings as well, since they are exposed to each step of the process.

We recommend every attorney who supervises others follow this method to ensure the quality of their work product.

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