The art of Delegating

5 minutes

“If you want something done properly, do it yourself.”


Many of us follow this advice at work and struggle to delegate. After all, highly complex legal matters are hard to entrust to others when a lot rests on them and you could end up redoing the work.


So, is there any value to delegating legal work? Absolutely! Especially with legal tech able to do a lot of heavy lifting. But your legal team are also there for more complex tasks. Passing the torch effectively can build team morale, empower members, and increase productivity for you and your team.


But simply asking someone to complete your most urgent task when you’re super-busy, giving a vague deadline of “as soon as possible” and leaving them to it is not an effective way to delegate.


Step back and plan a better approach. Here’s how to do it better:


  1. Work out the ‘what’, ‘who’ and ‘how’: Start with what work you could delegate. Then decide who is best placed to complete the task. Next, you need to work out how you’re going to delegate that work effectively.
  2. Pick the right person to delegate to: Make sure they have the skills and motivation for the task. You don’t want to risk losing cases, clients, money or time.


  1. Give clear and detailed instructions: Don’t rush this at the start. Outline a clear path to completion and allow enough time for the task to be done well.


  1. Don’t just leave them to it: While you’re entrusting them and you shouldn’t be tempted to micromanage, you also should build in opportunities for questions and interim progress updates.


  1. Define the deadline: Give a specific time and date you want the work completed by.


Delegating is a good leadership skill when it’s done right.


Do you agree? How do people get delegating wrong in your experience?