If our procedures are dynamic, as opposed to a very rigid structure (that it has to be this way), then they will be able to move and shift with whatever happens in the industry, in the type of law that you practice in.

NBH 029: Restructuring Procedures

As we are reemerging into the world with our law practices and our lives, we are looking at our law firms and resetting and rebuilding our law firms (and our jobs as lawyers). Even if you're working for somebody else, you are rebuilding how you practice law. And after this reset, we've all been rebuilding. This month, I posted about building by starting with and renewing your foundation. And then I posted about reorganizing your boundaries as a framework for procedures. In this post, I want to talk about restructuring your procedures.

What's really important is how you do your procedures. Not really what they are. There are a lot of people out there who can tell you, “this is how you need to have your procedures,” or “this is what worked” for them. And that's fine; use those materials or resources. But how do you make your procedures? How dynamic are they? When clients come to me, wanting me to help them as a consultant for their procedures, we go deeper. We go into how they do procedures, because it's not very hard to make a procedure. It seems to be a sticking point for most lawyers, but it's really not hard.

We do something a certain way. We make rules and we make some structure and we write it down (or at least talk about it). And then that's your procedure. We all have procedures. We have habits. We have ways that we do things. If you're a competent, ethical lawyer (which I know you are), you have ways that you do things in your office for yourself, for/with clients, with your staff, how your office is run, and how the office management is run.

What's important right now is to keep it dynamic. This is because there is overlay of other rules about how we can interact, how we can do business, and economics. If our procedures are dynamic, as opposed to a very rigid structure (that it has to be this way), then they will be able to move and shift with whatever happens in the industry, in the type of law that you practice in. This is especially true with the rules and regulations right now in your local governments, and on a federal level.

The idea is to have your procedures/policies be dynamic and be like a living document. Take it to be something that's expansive and not limiting how you do things, but providing freedom so you can adjust. And this is more of than an idea. Think about how when you make your procedures, are you limiting yourself? Or are you creating space for freedom, for growth, for living out your mission, and for upholding the boundaries that you have created?

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