Time Management for Lawyers

Time management for lawyers: hints and tips

Time management for lawyers is an important skill to master. No matter your practice area, you’ll likely be juggling a caseload alongside other work tasks, not to mention everything you’ve got going on outside of work.

In traditional firms and in house, time management is typically more about managing different cases and projects to deliver to tight deadlines, as well as juggling admin and managerial tasks, depending on your position. As a consultant lawyer, your time management skills may shift slightly as your role becomes more autonomous, flexible, and without management responsibility, allowing you to fit more work and home tasks into your day.

This article covers some tips for time management for lawyers, whether you work in a traditional firm, in house, or as a consultant lawyer. 

Structure your day

This tip is especially helpful for those who are new to consultancy from more traditional legal roles. Mastering the art of structuring your day is key for those who are looking to manage their time better.

Routine is necessary, but to create a routine you will actually stick to, there are a few things you need to consider first:

  • What time of day do you work best? Try to schedule your deep, focused work for around this time.
  • Is there anything else going on in your life that you need to work around? Picking up the kids from school, for example. Don’t forget to schedule it in.
  • Where do you do your best work? Is it at home in silence, at a coffee shop, or in an office or coworking space? Try to prioritise finding the ideal space for you, and working there as much as possible.

Of course, in law, every day is different, so it may be easier said than done to create a solid structure. But, laying some basic foundations can help improve your time management by giving you a routine to follow wherever possible. 


In a similar vein, learning to prioritise your workload is key when it comes to time management for lawyers. Set clear priorities at the start of the day, sticking to your routine as much as possible for the best chance of success. Learning to say no is also important when it comes to time management – you don’t want to end up taking too much work on, leaving things impossible to manage. 

How you prioritise and keep track of tasks is up to you – some lawyers prefer to write things down on a physical list, while others enjoy using digital tools – as long as you can find something that works for you and your routine. 


In traditional firms, lawyers are used to collaborating with colleagues. This is a useful tip when it comes to time management for lawyers. Not only can collaboration reduce feelings of isolation, it can also spark creativity and save you time by having more eyes on a case or project.

As a consultant, collaboration doesn’t have to stop. At Setfords, we have a network of over 500 lawyers to collaborate with, whether that’s asking a simple question or working together to pitch for new work. We recognise that communication and teamwork are cornerstones of a great culture, not to mention productivity boosters, so it seems natural to us to encourage our lawyers to work together where possible.

Ensure you’re taking breaks

It may sound counter productive when it comes to time management for lawyers, or indeed any profession, but taking regular breaks is a productive use of your time. 

Making sure you’re well rested will help you be more productive within the time you are working, and help to mitigate stress and burnout. Of course, there are times when you will have more work on than others, and fewer breaks will be possible, but prioritising time for rest is important. It also allows you more time to spend on the things that matter outside of work, such as family and hobbies, helping to promote a general sense of greater wellbeing. 

Make the most of support

While mastering time management as a lawyer is important, you still can’t take on absolutely everything. So, take advantage of any support offered by your firm to help take some of the load and ensure you’re not overworked and burned out.

At Setfords, our support encompasses everything from wellbeing, checking in on our lawyers on a regular basis and running events for everyone to connect, to admin and secretarial support, taking the load off by taking care of post, dictations, and more. Indeed, our support offering is one of the most comprehensive in the industry, and it’s all included in the fee split for our consultants. 

Find out more about our support offering by clicking here.

If you’re a UK-qualified lawyer with 5+ years of PQE who’s looking to take control of their career and their life, we want to hear from you. We’re always looking for lawyers from any discipline to join our UK Top 100 firm and embrace the benefits of consultancy. From more freedom to greater earning potential, get in touch to discover how consultancy with Setfords could work for you. 

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