Technology and the legal industry haven’t always gone hand in hand. It’s no wonder that the legal sector lags behind others when it comes to technology. However, there seems to be a change of heart in the industry recently. More law firms are embracing technology to navigate the tricky legal system, overcome the widespread security hiccups, and gain a competitive edge in the ever-competitive industry.
According to a 2017 Altman Weil’s “Law Firms in Transition” survey, 50% of the law firms were actively engaged in experimenting with innovative ideas to improve their efficiency. Another study conducted by the American Bar Association revealed that legal firms that are reluctant to embrace automation will have a hard time competing for new business in the coming years.
Below, we’ll look at how you can automate your law firm to increase the efficiency of your legal practice.
Ways to automate your law firm
The following are some ways you can automate your law firm to increase your efficiency and profitability.
Automating creation and review of legal documents
Most law firms have the same problem: how to keep up with organizing the huge piles of documents that need to be drafted and reviewed while at the same time ensuring that they produce excellent work. Automating your documentation process is a sure way of dealing with this problem. It ensures that the documents are consistent and are error-free.
Several documentation automation tools have been developed over the years, and Kira Systems is one of them. Kira Systems has an automated contract review process that can search, highlight, and extract content from the company’s documents and contracts. This technology is also designed to counter issues of volume and human error. Besides delivering a comprehensive due diligence analysis, it can complete associated tasks up to 90% faster than a human lawyer would.
Automating your marketing
Outreach and fostering of relationships are essential in maintaining and growing your legal practice. Days when using flyers and business cards where the best law practice marketing tools are long gone. Today the legal industry marketing is more tech-driven, and rightly so. Automating your marketing can significantly expand your client base without adding more pressure to your already busy day.
Below is an outline of some of the automated marketing tools you should consider for your law firm.
- Customer Relationship Management tools like HubSpot, Zoho, and Salesforce
- Email newsletter products such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, and GetResponse
- Social media scheduling tools like HootSuite, Buffer, and CoSchedule
These marketing tools will considerably reduce the amount of time you spend on marketing your law firm. That said, however much these tools may be efficient, keep in mind that you need to maintain some degree of human touch in your marketing campaigns.
Automating client intake
Without automation, you and the client must sit in a room for hours on end while you gather all the information relevant to a given case. There are even instances where the client doesn’t have the information you need, so they must go back home to look for it and get back to you. This process can be daunting both for you and the client.
Automating your intake makes the process much easier. You can simply email the client a link to an online questionnaire and have them fill out the form and return it to you when they are done. This allows the client to answer your questions conveniently and search for the information they may not readily have. Once the client returns the questionnaire, you can set up a conference call to review the information they provided.
Some of the tools you can use for automating client intake include Gravity forms for online questionnaires and Squarespace for scheduling. You can also use Zapier to transfer information automatically between you and the client.
Automating client communication
The law business requires that you maintain constant communication with your clients. As such, there are days when your email will be flooded with client inquiries and correspondences to the point that you have a hard time sorting them out and giving appropriate responses.
Automating your client communication system ensures that you can handle client communications in a secure and more organized environment. Therefore, you can prioritize requests, set deadlines, and assign various cases to the appropriate lawyers within your firm.
Some of the customer communication solutions that you can use include Freshdesk and Zendesk. They will allow you to focus on client communications, create template messages, manage requests, and track your productivity.
Automating checklists and workflows
Sometimes practicing law can be tedious, especially if your workflows and checklists are not organized. Fortunately, there is software that can help you automate your checklists and create workflows for tasks, calendaring, and matter templates. For instance, automation enables you to build your case flows directly into your case management system and automatically assign them.
Moreover, an automated workflow system updates information for your team, thereby freeing up your staff for billable activities. Also, it allows you to keep your clients in the loop by automatically sending them updated emails as their case progress through different stages.
Automating your time management and billing
Lawyers and employees of various law firms usually have a hard time when it comes to pricing their legal services. For instance, while most lawyers generally set hourly rates, most of them find it challenging to bill their customers for the exact number of hours they rendered their legal service.
The development of cutting-edge legal time management and billing software has made it possible for lawyers and employees of law firms to bill their clients correctly. Moreover, these tools have improved staff productivity and the profitability of legal firms.
LawBillity is one of the noteworthy legal time management and billing tools. With it, you are guaranteed the following benefits:
- Accurate time tracking down to the second so that you get paid for all the hours you work
- Improved utilization rates
- Ability to turn tracked time into accurate client invoices in a few clicks
- Ability to receive online payments when you connect to LawPay or when you set up ACH electronic payments
- Ability to track time on the go via the use of free mobile apps for iOS and Android
Today modern technology and software have revolutionized the way firms’ practice. It’s because of the sustained progression and continual innovation that law firms can now overcome one of their biggest challenges in the form of legal time management and billing. LawBillity offers lawyers one of the best legal time management and billing software. Find out how you can improve your billing with our 14-day free trial.