Work + Growth

Make the Most of the Summer Lull


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  • Most lawyers are familiar with the summer lull, when there is usually the least amount of work
  • Besides a good time to take a vacation, the summer lull can be used for oft-ignored office upkeep tasks
  • Use your extra time to research and develop marketing strategies, as well as reach out to clients

Most lawyers, regardless of practice area, are familiar with the inevitable slow-down that happens during the summer months.

There’s less new work, not as much billing, and fewer fires to put out. The slow-down doesn’t have to be a boring waste of time, though—there are decidedly positive and productive ways to make the summer lull work for you.

Use Your Vacation Time

During the summer lull is an excellent time to take a vacation—so many other people are out of the office, so why not? You deserve to relax and spend time with family and friends, and a well-rested lawyer will be better at her job than a stressed, overworked one.

You can also take advantage of your downtime to review your personal goals. Are you where you want to be in your career and life? What do you need to focus on to continue on the right path, or what do you need to change? Consider putting plans in place that you can easily follow once the office is bustling again.

Office Upkeep

When you’re busy doing the core work of your firm, there usually isn’t much time to get around to tasks such as closing out files, organizing materials, and cleaning the office. Do you find that you let those things fall by the wayside?

The slower-paced summer is the perfect time to put everything in order. Becoming as organized and prepared as possible is the goal. It’s also an ideal time to take care of digital business, such as upgrading the firm’s computer system, a nightmare of a job when the office is full and running at a hectic pace. Also be sure to go through your emails and clear out your inbox.

Focus on Marketing and Business Development

Marketing is important, no matter the size or success level of your firm. But it’s also time-consuming and often is pushed to the back burner—understandably so, since it can be a struggle for a lawyer to justify spending their time on it when there is so much other pressing, billable work to be done. A summer lull allows you the time to dedicate to this crucial facet of the business.

Plan ahead and prepare your marketing strategy for the rest of the year. This is the time to be creative, do research, and brainstorm. You might as well—in what other part of the year will you have this kind of time? If you’ve been thinking about writing an in-depth blog post, redesigning your website, or having new headshots taken, go for it.

Review your client list: What’s pending, and are there files that need to be closed? Take the time to renew and build on client relationships by reaching out. Especially for lawyers with solo or smaller practices, the personal touch can make all the difference in client retention and referrals.

What's Next

Make a list of things you can get done during your firm’s slow summer period.