The competition among lawyers and attorneys have been higher than it’s ever been. Add the fact that more and more law firms are advertising legal services online.
That’s why it’s essential that you continually look for innovative ways to run your business more efficiently and to rise above your competitors.
For your firm to stand out, you must have the right technology so that you keep up with all the changes in the legal world. It isn’t sufficient anymore for your firm to use older legacy software.
The firms that rise on top are the ones that utilize the right technologies in place, ensuring that everything runs smoothly. That way, you’ll have more client-facing time and billable hours.
In this post, we’ll walk you through with the eight must-have technologies to be a more efficient law firm.
1. Cloud-Based Management Applications
What if you have access to the content that you needed to work on, at any given time and place?
Well, that results in more billable hours and more time that you can spend to enjoy your fruits of labor.
A cloud-based legal software significantly impacts a law firm’s efficiency as well as its lawyers and staff.
Cloud-based systems create a free-flowing data accessibility environment that helps boost productivity throughout the entire organization.
It also incorporates your firm’s billing system and other software that you use to improve efficiency and streamline everyone’s workload.
Moreover, LogicMonitor even estimates that by the time 2020 rolls in, 83 percent of workloads will be run by cloud. It’s true, whether they’re partners, admin professionals, paralegals, or associates.
2. Video Conferencing
Your law firm should extend your client base by accommodating those who would want to avail of your services but don’t live nearby. Using a video conferencing software solves the issue of spending too much time commuting.
By adding this capability, it’s now possible to do a live video conference call with your client who lives in Chicago while you live in Los Angeles. That’s an excellent way of how to maximize technology while driving efficiencies.
However, this doesn’t mean that you’re driving a virtual firm. It just means that it is possible to overcome the challenge of flying across the country to meet up a trustee of an estate. Or you are meeting both spouses simultaneously while discussing important matters.
So if you (or any of your clients) is short on time, the video conferencing makes this possible. It lets you have a brief lunchtime chat with your clients without having to leave the office. Also, these can also be recorded for permanent retention. Time is a precious resource, after all.
3. Website Customer Portal
Static websites are now a part of the past. Today, modern law firms should have a designated client portal wherein clients can access and interact with your law firm.
As defined on Codeless Platforms, “A customer web portal is a secure website that provides your customers with a single point of access to company information that is relevant to them.”
Perhaps, they have an urgent legal concern during the wee hours of the morning or an urgent query after your physical office has closed. A client portal gives a secure, instant, and 24/7 access to your law firm even if you’re not right there at the moment.
4. Text Analytics
A manual review of contracts can be both exhausting and time-consuming. Luckily, there are recent advances in the AI enabling technology over the last couple of years.
Machine learning capabilities and semantic algorithms make it possible to identify and extract facts, entities, and relationships from complicated contracts.
Because text analytics has human-like understanding, it makes speed-reading documents possible.
Through data capture, server recognition, and natural language processing, it’s now possible to identify critical clauses, sections, entities, and facts from contracts and other elaborate documents.
5. Template Management System
As a law firm, it’s crucial that you unify and standardize your document process. That’s why automated templates should be an essential part when you’re running a firm.
Template Management Systems make it possible to manage all your firm’s templates to ensure there is consistency. These can be sorted through the practice area (litigation, estates, and so on) or through the type of document, and office location.
Through the help of a template management system, the chance of committing mistakes significantly decreases.
It’s one of the best practices, letting users create documents from clean templates. It is more efficient as compared to reusing old documents. That way, you’ll get more accurate results.
6. Marketing Automation
As your client base grows, marketing automation becomes even more crucial to your success. The most tech-savvy law firms depend on analytics that empowers their marketing strategy as well as automation that promotes execution.
That way, you won’t just sit there, and pray that your clients will see your marketing messages.
Through marketing automation software, you can get your prospects’ contact info, customize messages, and ensure that it’s tailored for them. You can also reach them on times that they would need your services the most.
Moreover, it’s possible to analyze and measure the success of your marketing efforts with such precision. That way, you can adjust your efforts accordingly for a higher ROI.
Marketing automation can also be used in different channels like email, SMS, social media, and websites. When clients come across your messages from a variety of sources, they’ll more likely internalize it and respond.
7. Legal Chatbots
With the steady rise of more tech-savvy clients, most of them want to interact with you no matter what time of the day it is. Some expect to be catered to immediately. They’re also more likely to move on to your competitors if their needs aren’t met.
ROSS is a sample of a lawyer bot.
Existing technologies such as chatbots help you stay on top of your game. Chatbots are there to give quick answers to queries and hopefully, stall long enough until you’re ready to set a face-to-face meeting with your clients.
There is so much potential for chatbots to bridge the gap between your clients and your law firm.
8. Blockchain Technology
There are so many security options to prevent data and security breaches from happening.
But if you want to be on the cutting edge, one of the most exciting innovations to date is blockchain technology.
Blockchain makes hacking and forging a near impossibility, making your site secure. It’s essential for your firm for several reasons, including its use in “smart contracts.”
The technology stores and verifies signatures, making it possible for people to enter their contracts anywhere in the world.
Wrapping it up
So there you have it! Those are the growing technology trends for a law firm. Even smaller firms couldn’t ignore them anymore. It’s essential and shouldn’t be neglected in today’s modern law practice.
Bryan Mixon is the owner of AmazeLaw.com, the website building for solo and small firm attorneys. Bryan has been building websites since 1999 and has spent his last four years helping companies like HubSpot, Mill33, and LivingSocial. Bryan knows first hand how difficult it can be for small business owners to get their digital marketing off the ground, so he built AmazeLaw as a super-simple place for solo attorneys to build their sites, collect leads and get on with their days of doing lawyerly things.