What could you do with an extra hour each day? Fifty hours a week? A hundred? Automation is the secret to simplifying and growing your law firm. When you automate tedious, time-consuming tasks, you’ll find yourself with more time to focus on client services, which means more satisfied clients and more revenue in your pocket. This blog will outline the 5 main tasks that every lawyer should automate in their firm right now, and provide tips on how to do it with affordable technology. When you automate your law firm, it’s easier to devote time to doing more of what matters most to you—helping your clients achieve their goals and dreams. After all, the core of any successful business lies in its ability to provide excellent service at minimal cost, and automation can help with both parts of that equation.
How do you automate your law firm to simplify your practice? While there’s no single formula that works for everyone, there are some guidelines that can be followed to help make sure you’re on the right track when it comes to automating your firm and keeping it simple at the same time. While every practice will need to find its way, using these as general steps can help you get started in the right direction, and figure out what works best for you and your practice.
Why do you need to automate your law practice?
- Gartner experts expect legal departments to increase their spending on legal technology threefold by 2025.
- By 2025, legal departments will increase their spending on legal technology threefold
- By 2024, legal departments will have automated 50% of legal work related to major corporate transactions.
Source – Gartner.com
How can automation increase the productivity of law firms?
Implementing automation can help law firms in several ways,
It can help reduce the amount of time spent on administrative tasks. This is because automating repetitive tasks frees up time that can be spent on more billable tasks.
Automation of tasks and workflow can help improve accuracy and consistency in your work product. This is because automating tasks eliminates the potential for human error.
Automating your law firm can help improve client communication and satisfaction. This is because automated systems can provide updates to clients in a timely and efficient manner.
Automation of law firm practice can also help make sure you avoid common mistakes when doing work manually saves you countless hours.
Automation gives timely access by providing clients with access to automated records, ensuring that they have complete visibility into their cases at all times.
Benefits of automating your practice
1. Automated process
Traditionally all the administrative tasks are performed manually in a law firm, not just time-consuming but also a waste of effort. Lawyers are always multitasking with meeting business professionals. Managing micro-tasks can mitigate frustration, with legal tech this process can be simplified such as by ediscovery whole process can be in half of the time. The process of automating tasks will not just provide a fast pace of operations but also increase efficiency and will also be in the loop.
2. Better resource management
Earlier support staff like junior attorneys were hired to perform jobs like collecting, storing, and analyzing information; this was not just time-consuming but also increased overhead costs. Manual labor was not utilized at its full potential. With legal tech, this challenge can be overcome, such as junior attorneys no longer maintaining calendar dates or maintaining paperwork, hence giving senior attorneys a chance to assign them more valuable work for better outcomes.
3. A decline in the risk of errors
The advantage of adapting legal tech is the risk of errors decreases, with law firms involving piles of paperwork it becomes difficult to maintain and keep a check on every single detail and information. With legal tech solutions law firms are provided with options to give role-based access to decrease the chances of misuse of information.
4. Higher convenience
With legal tech solutions such as case management solutions and document management, lawyers and law firms can access information from anywhere and anytime. Case management software gives lawyers the option to use ready-made custom document templates and custom client intake for the higher inconvenience.
5. Enhanced customer experience
Gone are the days when providing excellent legal services was it. In today’s competitive industry you need to provide excellent customer service equally with excellent legal service. With legal tech, you can streamline communication with clients, and solutions such as case management can automate the email process.
6. Ease in collaboration
With legal tech solutions, collaboration becomes easy; they no longer need to sit next to each other to effectively collaborate. Legal tech enables the law firm to have a smooth remote culture. Case management software provides features like role-based access for better collaboration.
Top ways to implement automation in your practice
1. Client intake process
The client intake process is the first step in automating your law firm. By automating this process, you can quickly and easily gather the information you need from new clients. This will save you time and allow you to focus on other aspects of your practice. Plus, automating your client intake process will help ensure that all of your clients are treated fairly and equally.
To automate your client intake process, you will need to create a form that new clients can fill out online. This form should include basic information about the client, such as their name, contact information, and case details.
Once the form is completed, it should be sent to your email address so that you can review it and follow up with the client. Additionally, you create custom client intake forms with some software so that you don’t have to create documents for client onboarding forms from scratch.
3. Document management
A sound document management system can automate a lot of the tedious and time-consuming tasks that come with running a law firm. It can help you keep track of your clients, cases, and documents, and make it easy to find the information you want when you need it. A sound document management system can also help you bill your clients more efficiently and manage your finances.
That way, you don’t have to spend hours each month trying to figure out how much money is coming in and where it’s going. Instead, you can spend your time on what matters most: providing quality legal services for your clients.
With a document management system, you get pre-made templates so you don’t have to worry about curating every document from scratch. Some of the best systems are free to use, but many require a small monthly fee or subscription service.
4. Client communication
Attorneys are notoriously bad at returning phone calls and emails promptly. This is often because they are bogged down with research, paperwork, and court appearances. By automating your law firm, you can set up systems that will help keep track of client communication and make it easier for you to respond promptly.
This will not only improve your relationship with clients but will also simplify your practice overall. If a client needs an answer immediately, it should be easy for them to get one from you without having to wait around or follow up repeatedly.
Through advanced law firm client portals in case management software, you can share documents instantly, ask for signatures, keep in touch with your cleints, instantly track their chats, and track invoice history.
5. Legal billing
If you’re like most law firms, your billing process is probably manual. This can be time-consuming and inefficient, leading to frustration on both the part of lawyers and clients. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Many legal billing software programs can automate your billing, making it simpler and more efficient.
One such program is CaseFox, which takes care of all aspects of billing: Invoicing, legal accounting, Bulk invoicing, and payment processing. With CaseFox, all data inputted into the system will automatically sync with accounting software including QuickBooks and Xero.
Lawyers can also manage their trust accounts right from the solution, so they don’t need to spend their valuable time on these tasks. And because there’s no need for additional cost or training, CaseFox offers a cost-effective solution for any size firm.
6. Task and workflow automation
As a lawyer, you likely have a lot of tasks and responsibilities on your plate. To help simplify your practice, consider automating some of your workflows. Task and workflow automation can help you save time and be more efficient in your law firm.
Here are some ways to automate your law firm -use templates, you may not always know what is going to happen next in the legal field, but some things come up regularly. Create document templates for these situations that you can reuse again and again.
Templates will also help with client relations. One such example is legal document templates. You can automate your workflow by streamlining your document intake process by assigning custom templates for client details.
7. Legal calendaring
Automating your law firm can help simplify your practice in several ways, but one of the most helpful is legal calendaring. A legal calendar can help you keep track of deadlines, appointments, and meetings, as well as help you manage your caseload.
By automating your legal calendar, you can save time and reduce the risk of missed deadlines or appointments. Plus, an automated legal calendar can be easily shared with clients and colleagues, so everyone is on the same page. It’s also easier to prioritize tasks with an automated legal calendar than with a pen-and-paper system.
Legal calendaring software allows you to set up custom reminders for different people, events, and tasks. In addition, the software may automatically send out notifications about upcoming events like hearings or depositions – something your manual system may not do without intervention from someone else and notify your clients too.
8. Conflict check
One of the most important—and time-consuming—tasks for any law firm is conflict-checking potential new clients against existing ones. Some lawyers use software that tracks who they’re working with and automatically checks to see if there’s an issue. Even if your practice isn’t technologically advanced, a simple Excel spreadsheet will help keep you organized and on top of your list of active clients.
But maintaining an excel spreadsheet and going through it every time you want to do a conflict check doesn’t sound too convincing? That’s where conflict-checking software comes in. You want to make sure you’re not representing two parties with competing interests, which could put you in a difficult ethical position.
Some lawyers use software that tracks who they’re working with and automatically checks to see if there’s an issue. Conflict check software can create a streamlined workflow without hindrance.
Adapting legal tech in the legal industry can go a long way and give immense advantages in improving their efficiency and helps in attracting a lot more clients. Legal tech not just simplifies the process in a law firm but also creates a hassle-free pathway for clients. Giving clients exceptional client service boosts your law firm’s growth and increases your monetization.
Bringing legal tech services such as case management software to your law firm maintains a smooth going of operations, legal tech is a game-changer for modern legal firms in the last few years, due to pandemics lawyers and law firms are more comfortable adapting tech solutions to provide the best service to their clients and streamline their law firms even more and boost their profitability. Legal tech solutions are an ever-growing trend that reap greater benefits and profits in the future.