Growing a law firm has several stages. In the beginning, you are hungry for clients and looking to make a name for yourself. You work on promotion, your track record, and never miss a networking event. But there comes a time when your problem is actually having too much work. If you are in that stage, this article is for you.

People who move to the third stage (where your law firm is running without you and you can focus on your most energizing work and growing the business) have learned how to delegate effectively. Mastering the skill of delegation will allow you to free up your time and uncap the ceiling of your income and impact potential.

The problem is that most law schools do not teach fundamental business schools, so many lawyers who end up running a law firm lack a proven framework for delegating — Which is what we will explain in this article.

The 10-80-10 Principle

Entrepreneur and coach John Maxwell developed a simple principle for delegation after working with thousands of leaders for over 40 years: The 10-80-10 Principle.

It works like this:

  1. You get involved in the first 10% of a project. This is the ideation and planning phase, where your team will require your involvement to really know what is the expected outcome, the standards and the deliverables.
  2. You delegate the 80%, which is the implementation phase. You have steered the wheel towards the direction you want, it’s now time for your team to take over. You remain available for them and keep them accountable while they bring the vision laid out during the first 10% to life.
  3. You jump back into the last 10% of the project. This is the completion phase where you do “quality control,” fill any loopholes, and make sure everything is up to your standards. You also ask deep questions so your team can grow from this experience.

“I call those two parts the bookends of success. I could also compare the process to piloting a plane. The crucial parts of the flight are the takeoff and landing. They’re the most dangerous, and the most complicated. By involving myself in the team’s project during those crucial times, I’m able to help them make a successful trip.” John Maxwell


The 10-80-10 Principles has many benefits for lawyers:

  1. You delegate implementation but maintain control of outcomes. The legal world requires precise execution, confidentiality, and maintaining strict deadlines. Client matters may be too sensitive to delegate them completely, which is why you are getting involved in the first and last 10%, and making sure everything gets done promptly through the middle 80%.
  2. You delegate the most time-consuming part of the process. Your genius becomes creating the strategy and maintaining client relationships, while your team takes over the most time-consuming activities. In this way, you are still contributing with your years of experience to win cases, while being more efficient with your time.
  3. You can grow new leaders from every project. One of the things that Maxwell recommends is to use the last 10% of any project to identify people who took the lead in the project. When you are constantly on the outlook for rising leaders and invest in your people, you can develop new leaders to take over your role so you can ascend to an even higher position in your law firm.

If you are looking to get more done while making sure quality is maintained in your client delivery, the 10-80-10 principle is the place to get started.

More Than 21 Years Helping Lawyers Delegate More Easily

We know that delegating is not an easy task. You worry about not having enough funds, about the quality of the delivery, and about the time it will take to find, train, and retain people. That is why here at Amata we have made delegation a breeze with our on-demand support services.

-If you need a virtual assistant to manage your calendar, new client form intake, and inbound calls

-If you require diligent paralegals who will research on your behalf and write document drafts

-If you require staff to do errands and daily runs to courthouses for you, while also managing your mailing and greeting any clients who come to your office

Then Amata’s support services are for you. We help you save time and money with pre-vetted professionals who act as an extension of your law firm, and who are paid on a per-hour basis. You only pay for the work you are receiving, and do not need to devote days to train every new hire because they are all experienced in the legal industry.

“Amata makes the transition from large law firm to solo practitioner virtually effortless. Secretarial and paralegal services are available at competitive rates on an ‘as needed, pay-as-you-go’ basis which is ideal for the solo practitioner or small law firm.”

Paula Kaplan Berger

By blending Amata’s support professionals with the 10-80-10 principle, you can expand your clientele while maintaining profitability, delegate time-consuming tasks, and create a thriving law that can run and grow without you.

Contact our team today to inquire about our on-demand support services.

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