What a great question! Or more to the point, ‘Why isn’t your firm using Lean Six Sigma methodologies?’ There is that pesky ‘why’ question, and the answers to those questions may be a bit irritating for those who practice Lean Six Sigma. The legal industry can sometime be characterized as a dinosaur. It is steeped in old world values, customs and practices that have held up for years. For most lawyers and legal practices, the old ways have been a proven, money-making model, and there just isn’t any reason to change them.
Legal Practice Could Benefit from Lean Six Sigma
In a time when becoming more efficient in our operations and more effective in our delivery of legal practice is more important than ever, firms both big and small need to start looking at new ways to achieve measurable results. The business of law is changing. The legal professionals who own and manage firms need to recognize and understand the changes and respond appropriately. That understanding begins with a detailed accounting of how work gets done, examination of their people and processes, and the clear understanding of why their clients value their work. In most law firms, waste is a significant issue. Two of the biggest wastes law firms experience is over-production (too many lawyers on one case) and extra processing (multiple drafts of work product and over-researching issues). These issues are very costly and must be explored deeply, as only Lean Six Sigma professionals can do.
Enbracing The Challenges
Understand that lawyers and law firms come in all different shapes and sizes. There is no ‘one’ solution for all, just like in any other industry. With the help of Lean Six Sigma methodologies, processes and operations in a law firm can be specifically changed to reveal a business that is more effective and competitive. These transformations will subsequently benefit their clients with a better valued product.