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How lawyers spend their time

How lawyers spend their time

It’s easy to see why a lot of lawyers often need the whole day to reach their output goals. Research has shown that lawyers, on average, invest just 30% of their time on activities that directly contribute to what they are paid to do. 


This means they only spend about 2 hours of actual productive time for every 8-hour work shift. These numbers have been provided by several different reports which use data analysis, statistics, and reviews of lawyers and their customers. 


The report includes the results of surveys for over sixty thousand people, and also discovered that only about 80% of the lawyers’ services are actually billed – which means that for every 8-hour work shift they complete, their only “really paid time” is about 1.5 hours. 


When we reflect on the fact that lawyers just invest 30% of their workday on productive tasks, it makes us wonder, what other activities are they performing in those hauled out work shifts at the company? Research done on 3,000 lawyers shows that these professionals spend half of their working hours on managerial assignments like job development, invoicing, and updating technology. They also spend about 30% of their workday on rainmaking. Whereas they invest one third of their workday on tasks that actually make the company go forward, 40% of the professionals who took part in the research would like to invest more time in it if they were able to. 


Legal professionals don’t have the work output that they desire, and this is often caused by disruptions. Over 60% of lawyers concur that there simply aren’t enough hours, and 25% admit that they have a hard time staying on top of assignments and deadlines. In addition, one fourth of lawyers are interfered with on about 15-20 occasions during each workday, which further steals away from their productive time. 


The research advocates that companies have to use productive time goals in order to increase their output, as only half of lawyers are even able to calculate their yearly invoices. Just over one third of companies that keep track of their time use productive time goals, and just 15% use budgets. 


Getting paid by the hours is still the most popular way of sending invoices, says lawyer Morten as an Advokat Stavanger, but over 50% of specialized work remains more fixed. 


Leaders of different companies have now chosen to do research on how lawyers spend their workday, after they’ve discovered that they only spend 30% of it on productive tasks. The leaders find it fascinating that customers care more about getting a legal professional who quickly answers mails and messages, than one with a good-looking website. Knowing these things makes it easier for companies to know where they should steer their efforts in order to gain more customers.


That’s a quick look at how lawyers spend their time. But before you take on the over-critical stance towards them, consider how you spend your workday yourself. Do you mostly work on tasks that directly contribute to your paycheck and your output – or do you text, talk to colleagues, or browse the news a bit too much? Are there any adjustments you can make to perform even better? 

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