How to Benchmark in Immigration Law
Being a blog writer allows me insight into different aspects of immigration law practice management that as an attorney alone, I would not have. For example, my February call to action for a Star Paralegal gave me a glimpse of all the wonderful and dedicated talent out there. As a moderator for our Immigration Practice Management Webinar Series, I also have an opportunity to interact with some of the most efficient and streamlined operations in the practice of immigration law. This brings us to the importance of benchmarking. Benchmarking allows an organization to compare its internal processes against industry norms, to determine if an organization’s processes are successful, need to be improved and if so, in what ways. In this industry, when a law practice or organization is ready to benchmark, there are a few approaches to take:
CONTACTING OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
A great way to determine how your organization is performing, from a practice management perspective, is to ask your peers how they do it. Some of the most common benchmarking questions attorneys have asked have been about calendaring, case preparation, and client management. Professional groups with listservs are a good way to reach out to colleagues about these issues. However, participation will usually require a professional membership fee in order to participate in the listservs. Other means of contacting colleagues may also include direct email or phone calls. If our organization belongs to a larger umbrella organization, there are likely listservs or forums in which you can pose benchmarking questions.
ATTENDING SEMINARS, CONFERENCE, WEBINARS
Another way to benchmark performance issues at your organization is by attending a seminar, conference or webinar related to practice management issues. Usually, panelists will provide information on how their organizations (or law offices) have approached certain challenges. Audience members are usually allowed an opportunity to ask questions. Seminars, conferences and webinars are a great way to learn new techniques, approaches and practice tips. Depending on the nature of the seminar, conference or webinar, there may be a registration fee. In the past, we’ve provided opportunities to attend our Immigration Practice Management Webinar Series for free. Stay tuned for future webinar series!
INVITE A CONSULTANT
One of the best ways to benchmark is to conduct a formal review by inviting a consultant to review protocol and provide a tailored report and recommendation. Though costs may vary, costs alone should not deter an organization from considering this option as a means to improve its processes. The benefits are immense. An expert consultant possesses strategic experience in evaluating organizational protocol and to provide informative recommendations. Because the expert has an opportunity to review your organization’s protocol, recommendations are specifically tailored to your organization’s needs. Most organizations are unsure where to start when it comes to benchmarking, particularly when it comes to seeking a third party expert to provide an objective perspective and recommendations. The good news is, there’s always a place to start. Find out more here.