ZigaForm version 5.5.1
Menu Close

Managing Clients in Different Time Zones

by Fatima Freifer

case management software, practice management software, legal accounting software, legaltech, technology for lawyers, case management, immigration, london, united kingdom

Communicating with clients from around the globe effectively

For many years, the legal profession has largely been based on in-person meetings and transactions. However, with advancements in technology, an increasing number of lawyers and clients are now working remotely with the use of legal client software. Clients in different time zones can now easily access legal services, and lawyers can access legal software tools at any time of the day or night. Client management software for lawyers is accessible for many law firms which is why law firms that do not have round-the-clock service may be missing out on business opportunities. It is said that nowadays, the world has become a global village so to speak, in that reaching people from all corners of the world has never been easier.

In today’s globalised economy, it is not uncommon for companies to have clients and business associates in different time zones. Lawyers are increasingly required to manage these relationships, often remotely with the aid of remote working legal support [1]. This can be a challenge, as with remote legal work, lawyers need to be aware of the different time zones and when it is appropriate to communicate with their clients. Additionally, they need to be aware of the cultural norms associated with communication within different countries. It is important to create a process for managing law clients in different time zones that works for the firm, which is where legal support remote working tools come in very useful [2].

The pandemic has ushered in an era in which attorneys are working erratic hours for one reason or another, as the lines between home and work have blurred and an unprecedented surge in work pushes firm attorneys to their limits. [3]

Partners, counsel, and associates are all working longer or, in some cases, unsociable hours as geography fades in a remote era but time zones do not [4]. Moreover, as the pandemic has robbed families of their usual childcare arrangements, juggling family and work has stretched many people’s days and increased their screen time. Legal timekeeping and billing software, while optimising tasks more efficiently, has also made lawyers more accessible, struggling to differentiate between work and out of office hours.

It is critical to schedule regular meetings with your team. This should be kept as stringent as possible. These regular touchpoints will help to raise awareness of key issues and aid in the proactive identification and management of emerging problems for the business. [5] These meetings will also aid in the development of trust, which is critical to the success of your team. It’s also worth considering holding more informal meetings with non-direct reports to get a broader perspective on what’s on the team’s collective plate and ensure things are running smoothly. [6] It can be regarded as both a check on team operations and a means of connecting and supporting the team at all levels.

Incorporating the element of boundaries

Setting boundaries with clients so that you can communicate realistic expectations to your team is beneficial. Office organisation software legal helps to manage tasks efficiently. [7] It could be Friday afternoon where you are, but Saturday morning somewhere else. It can be difficult to put work down when you have clients who expect you to do something, but you do not want to set impossible standards for your company and its employees. Make sure both parties understand which tasks and correspondence can and cannot wait and prioritise time accordingly. [8] When you know your clients have a different schedule, be proactive about completing tasks ahead of time so that you aren’t pressed for time. When business owners, employees, and clients are all on the same page about expectations, things run more efficiently.

Addressing a client’s international legal needs can open up significant opportunities for growth, especially if the firm has the support of an experienced global partner – with a local footprint around the world – who can act as an extension of its team and provide expert support when and where it’s needed. [9]

People are frequently preoccupied with other tasks and may overlook the fact that you are in a different time zone and may not be available immediately. This is why it is critical to maintain open and transparent communication. Always share your availability, movements, and vacation time, as well as regular updates, via your preferred communication tool. [10]

To achieve the best possible outcome, you must collaborate with clients, so any preconceived notions must be nipped in the bud as soon as possible.

It will also make you more cautious of your next prospective client, which will eventually improve your client portfolio overall.

Most importantly, you will have more time to re-establish your work-life balance and prioritise your own mental health and emotional well-being. That, in the end, must come first.

Conclusion

Legal time management software has generally eliminated these obstacles, but in its course, has also created a competitive field for client communication and retention. Legal client relationship management software for small legal firms is competitively priced and very accessible.  Managing in-house legal teams is never a simple task. Adding multiple jurisdictions and cultures only complicates matters. Navigating these challenges requires excellent organisation, but it can be accomplished.

case management software, practice management software, legal accounting software, legaltech, technology for lawyers, case management, immigration, london, united kingdom

References

[1] Remote Working & British Legislation, Fatima Freifer, https://goodlawsoftware.co.uk/remote-working-and-british-legislation

[2] 5 tips for managing clients across different time zones, Kat Loughrey, Mar 8, 2016 https://medium.com/@KatLoughrey/5-tips-for-managing-clients-across-different-time-zones-dccbda845fc0

 

[3] Rita Gupta, Co-director and founder of Leiper Gupta Family Lawyers, 28 Jul 2020 https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/en/topics/blogs/great-expectations-when-to-let-clients-go

[4] My work, lawyer edition: ‘Time zones don’t mean anything to clients’,Georgie Bradley, January 24, 2021 https://www.livehealthymag.com/where-i-work-time-zones-dont-mean-anything-to-clients/

[5] Virtual Legal Consultations, Fatima Freifer, https://goodlawsoftware.co.uk/virtual-legal-consultations-ethical-considerations

[6] Managing teams across different jurisdictions and cultures effectively, The Centre for Legal Leadership, https://uk.practicallaw.thomsonreuters.com/w-023-0416?transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)&firstPage=true

[7]  British Law and Tech Timeline, Fatima Freifer https://goodlawsoftware.co.uk/british-law-and-technology-timeline

[8] How to Work with Clients in Different Time Zones, December 26, 2016, Jennifer Lang https://www.supportingstrategies.com/blog/how-to-work-with-clients-in-different-time-zones

[9] What’s it like to work with international clients? ANNA HIRST, TRAINEE SOLICITOR, RPC, JUL 10, 2017 https://www.allaboutlaw.co.uk/law-careers/training-contract/what-s-it-like-to-work-with-international-clients

[10] How Law Firms Can Scale to Take on International Client Work, Robert McHugh, APRIL 27, 2021 https://www.wolterskluwer.com/en/expert-insights/how-law-firms-can-scale-to-take-on-international-client-work