Disruptions to law firms because of lockdowns were felt more by lawyers who had not embraced at least some form of technology.
Running a firm from home was much easier for those who were prepared. This required a work-dedicated laptop at home, the ability to conduct video meetings, and paperless work with centralized client files on management software tools wherever possible.
Working online requires security and file backups, and this is just as important when working from the office or home.
Many big law firms have been embracing technological innovations for some years now. These often have someone who is dedicated to implementing legal technology. Technological innovations help them work more efficiently in-office and with legal cases. Not only does the quality of their work improve, but they also offer their clients a better experience.
Embracing technology and creating a comprehensive plan
The goals of embracing technology are to streamline the office system and improve client service. A good system allows the firm to be as mobile as necessary so that a team can even work away from the office, while a firm and a client’s needs are never compromised by security threats.
Innovations don’t need to be accomplished all at once, but a serious plan can help to soon put all the best technology in place, even at the smallest law firm.
Some of the most important technology for law firms include:
Data and its analytics
Informed decision making relies on data, and it helps legal firms understand the changing needs of their organization’s customers. Data also helps them to streamline the internal processes of their firm. In law firms, data can act as crucial information that can then be turned into insight to drive internal change and better client deliver.
However, many lawyers have resisted using data. According to experts in the industry, even though the legal industry is getting better at using data, it is still far from making full use of its benefits.
Legal technology software
An efficient and profitable law office can be ensured by integrating some excellent software systems. Some of the software may need to be specially made for legal use, but other systems can also be used for good office management.
Word processors and eDiscovery software are as important as a cloud-based filing and sync software. Practice management, accounting and timekeeping, and billing software allow for a smoother and more efficient billing process, and no legal office can afford to be without backup software.
Automating repetitive tasks and marketing
Repetitive tasks take a lot of time out of a busy day. These can be automated by using a good software platform or CRM management system. With an effective client database, a legal firm can also help to strengthen client relationships through better management. These can also be used as marketing automation tools.
Preparing for trial used to entail hours and days of combing through legal documents. These tasks are very expensive for law firms because they are time-consuming. This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) has helped many law firms to cut down on the time needed to review documents. They can scan thousands of pages, looking for specific information.
Streamlining office tasks
Cloud-based filing systems help legal firms to go completely paperless. These files are available from anywhere when needed, even on mobile.
Timekeeping and billing software
Administrative work can take a lot of time out of a busy day. Billing software helps to reconcile and reference the hours put into each case. They then compile the timesheets and invoices for each client. Most timekeeping and billing software can also sync the information with law practice management software. This helps to track the billing and give an accurate figure of how many man-hours went into each case. This software is also beneficial for flat-fee attorneys.
Implementing legal technology
These are just some of the basic ways that law firm technology can be implemented by law offices that want to be prepared to meet the challenges of the future. There is no reason why even a small law office shouldn’t be using innovation as part of their strategy for a proactive office.