A young partner I coach recently found he had to delegate work to continue building his practice. His first efforts did not work out very well. So, he went back to the easier approach of just doing the work himself to save time and aggravation. 

In our coaching session I told him that to be successful over time he had to bite the bullet now and make an investment of time to start building his team. I shared my 10 ideas to delegate work:

  1. Define the project clearly and establish a deadline and make sure both are understood by the junior lawyer. 

  2.  Make sure the junior lawyer has the training to be able to do his or her work and if not take the time up-front to do the training. 

  3. Provide all the necessary information/documents needed to do the  project. 

  4. Have an open door policy so the junior lawyer is comfortable asking  questions. 

  5. Ask for periodic reports to make sure the junior lawyer is on track or simply ask how it is going. 

  6. If possible, let the junior lawyer listen to telephone conferences or attend meetings about the project, even if the time is not billable. 

  7. No matter how small the junior lawyer’ portion of the project is, let him or her know that what they are doing really matters. 

  8. Provide feedback both during the project and certainly after it is completed. 

  9. In the feedback use criticism as an opportunity to teach and give praise for work that is well done. 

  10. Ask the junior lawyer what he or she learned from working on the project.