When do you Hire more Attorneys or Staff?

Jessica runs a small and busy law practice in the Midwest. She’s at the point where she needs more help – but she’s not sure how to do it.

I’ve been helping her figure out what she needs and whether to outsource or hire part-time or full-time. It’s a pretty common conversation these days, especially for lawyers who are getting the hang of marketing to ideal clients.

The first step was to make sure her current staff is as productive as possible – which included mapping out what people are doing and how much time they have to do the work they are assigned.

She hadn’t seen the productivity calculation used before.

She thought it was pretty useful.

You might too.

When you’re mapping employee productivity start with 2080 hours.

That’s 52 weeks x 40 hours a week for a full-time employee.

Take 85% of that to get your maximum possible productivity: 1,768 hours (34 hours a week, 6.8 hours in an 8 hour day).

This accounts only for vacation time and regular productivity leakage for things like coffee breaks, arriving, departing, and the like.

You need to factor in that no human can work at maximum productivity all week, every week, for an extended period of time.

So we discount 1,768 by 20%, which is 1,414, or 27.2 hours/week or 5.4 hours a day – on average.

If your regularly scheduled activities – the actual work you need your team to do – is consistently more than this number of hours a week then it’s time to look for help.

The next step is to make sure that the stuff they are doing is a good use of their time. I’ll write more about that next time.

Have a great rest of the week


I will help you scale your practice profitably – so you can work less and make more money.

P.S. … Do you think you might be ready to add capacity to your practice – but you’re not sure what to do, like Jessica.  I can help. For a limited time, I’m offering a 1-hour, 1:1 review session to help increase the chances of making a profitable hire. To claim your spot just CLICK HERE to claim your time.

Doug BrownWhen do you Hire more Attorneys or Staff?