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To-Dos: Your July office checklist

According to best-selling author Regina Brett, “Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds.”

You wish!

That might happen on the weekend—if you’re lucky—but Monday to Friday, there’s still plenty of work to do at the office. Here are some tasks to tackle when you’re not studying clouds:

1. Check-in with marketing.
The halfway point of the year is a good time to review the conversion rate of your marketing efforts. Hopefully, you are tracking new clients and the referral source as they come in. Take a look at where you are spending your advertising dollars and which sources are bringing in new business. No point in spending money on advertising that is not generating an ROI. If you have a particular marketing source that is yielding a low new client ROI, you might consider moving some of the money you are spending to another source that is yielding a higher return.

2. Assign work to summer associates.
Put those summer associates or law clerks to work. In some practices, the summers can be slow and the Court docket definitely slows down. Now is a good time to have summer associates work on things that are sometimes put to the side, such as organizing discovery so things can be found, reviewing files for work that needs to be done, getting ready for upcoming trials especially when the summer is over. Financially speaking, those summer associates need to earn their keep or you don’t really need them.

3. Clean up the case files.
Get old files closed and cleared out of the office. When in the throes of litigation and everyone is really busy, cases are concluded but the files just get stored somewhere until there is time to go through the official “file closing” procedure and files can be moved to off-site storage. Summer is a good time to get a handle on that and get the old cases moved out of the office.

4. Clean up the HR files.
While you’re at it, review your personnel records retention policy, as well as your old personnel files, and move what you can to storage.

5. Check status of performance reviews.
If your office undertook performance reviews last month, check that all performance reviews were completed.

6. Update your staff.
Plan a staff meeting before the summer is over—a this-is-where-we-are-and-this-is- where-we-are-going staff meeting. Your employees are professionals who want to know that the firm is stable and financially secure. They want to know about the health of the firm. If you have gone over your financials and met with the partners as previously suggested, now is a good time to keep the rest of your employees in the loop. You don’t have to get specific down to the last dollar but just in general terms. Legal staff will be more inclined to take ownership of their position and how their work affects the firm if they feel like they are really part of the team.


Share your tips with your colleagues: What tasks do you tackle in July? Send your suggestions to

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