Now more than ever, the industry needs to shift their focus on embracing technology so that lawyers can work remotely and continue to serve their clients’ important legal needs. Most law firms (and companies) are ready to work remotely, but on a small scale. A few people at home here and there, not everyone at the same time. Thankfully the legal tech community has continued to expand over the past decade, and there are tools in place to make this transition less of a headache for all parties involved.
Because cloud-based technologies have grown rapidly in recent years, there is a vast array of legal tech tools available to run nearly every aspect of your law firm from any location. There will be growing pains with any new technology, but it is a small hurdle to tackle in times like these. "Providing employees, staff and lawyers in these circumstances the tools that they need to continue to be productive and add value is necessary measures to take." -Lourdes Slater, CEO, Karta Legal This blog post shares 5 tips to help you roll out new technology at your firm is more relevant than ever.
Last week on our blog we shared 10 tips for working remote. Staying connecting and utilizing technology was just one of the ten, but it is so important especially given the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Today's legal industry is leaning on technology like never before, so we put together a list of some of the top tech tools to help your firm set up virtual offices.
Many of you may already use these tools in the office to conduct remote meetings, but in this "social distancing" era almost everything is now conducted with these tools. Using video conferencing you can have face-to-face video meetings with clients and work colleagues. Some popular conferencing platforms: Go-To Meeting, Zoom, Skype, and WebEx.
Time & Billing Software
All the staff at your firm needs to be able to easily access law firm data. Having all of the information in one place that includes: financial data, invoice & time tracking, document management, and communications is vital. There are many different software tools out there, but to list some that our clients use: Aderant, Elite Enterprise & 3E, Rippe & Kingston, ProLaw, Clio.
Business Intelligence Applications
More than ever, attorneys need to be able to quickly and easily access targeted information on their book of business- the fees collected, fees earned, invoices, etc.. Business intelligence applications allow firms to quickly analyze, digest, anticipate, and act on potential opportunities and problem areas within the firm. The information produced is targeted, meaningful, and able to be delivered to all members of the firm in an easily comprehensible format. With over twenty years experience in the legal industry, the team at BigSquare has Business Intelligence software for your firm that is absolutely top notch.
Word Processing Software
Online word processing tools allow you to log on from any device and access word processing software in the cloud to create documents that can be stored online in one convenient location. Many of these tools allow collaboration, which makes it easy for lawyers to work together in real time. Some of the most popular tools: Microsoft Office (Word), Apple (Pages), Google Docs, and Zoho Writer.
Many firms are moving closer to a paperless office, and if you were not there yet I'm sure with most everyone working from home there is a chance you now are. In order to go paperless, you’ll need to ensure that law firm employees working remotely have access to a reliable scanner. While there are some great physical scanners you can purchase, there are also many apps that allow you to scan and email documents such as: Scanner Pro, Genius Scan, and TurboScan.
Speech-to-Text Dictation Tools
Voice recognition technology helps to streamline the document creation process. It gives you the ability to skip the time-consuming back and forth from the traditional dictation process. Instead of dictating to a tape, that you then hand off to a staff member to type, you simply speak, and the text immediately appears on the screen in front of you. There are endless options for these dictation tools, both Macs and PCs have them built in which can be used in collaboration with both Microsoft Office and Pages. If you are interested in something more robust some additional options include Dragon Speech Recognition, Winscribe, and Philips.
Contract Review Software
The contract review period at a law firm can be very monotonous. Contract review software allows law firms to serve the pent-up demand for contract review at a speed and cost that makes sense for everyday business. Applying software to the contracts empowers your law firm with best practices and allows you to upload your expertise to the contract review software and offer a co-branded version to your clients. The software works outside of a lawyer's core tasks of thinking, reading, and writing to provide more value to your clients. LegalSifter is AI and expertise software in the legal industry that reads contracts before they are signed, saving time and reducing risk.
Document Management Software
As you know, law firms handle an enormous number of documents every day. File storage and its quick retrieval increases productivity and streamlines the workflow. With so many cloud-based options, your law firm staff can access any document they need to while working remote. Some of the legal specific tools include: My Case, Logical Doc, CosmoLex, NetDocuments, and AbacusLaw.
When it comes to tech tools for law firms working remote, there are lots of affordable and powerful tools available. Technology is there to give us a competitive advantage; it makes things go faster and allows transformation to provide solutions to problems you have. The key is to perform an assessment of your law firm’s needs and determine the types of tools your firm will need in order for its employees to work remotely. Choose the options that will best streamline your law firm’s operations and allow your firm’s lawyers and staff to work remotely both as efficiently and effectively as possible. What matters is the little things...the little things add up. Legal technology that win minutes here and there allow lawyers to either bill that minute or spend it with their family. That is truly what we need to bring to our firms.
BigSquare is the leading provider of Business Intelligence for law firms and professional service organizations. We focus exclusively on law firm reporting, law firm BI, law firm profitability and law firm analytics.