How Technology Can Modernize Your Law Firm
Practicing law and working within the entire justice system for that matter have always been deeply people-centric endeavors. As such, it’s natural that legal professionals have focused on creating smarter ways to protect their clients’ rights, preserve justice, and ensure that they work within the bounds of the law. However, technology has found its way to every single industry, law firms included. Used for smarter communication, data protection, workflow simplification, and a slew of other intricate processes, tech can indeed transform your legal practice.
Still, the sheer number of tech-based solutions can be staggering for any law firm owner to sift through, hence the need for choosing your investments wisely. In the pile of tech opportunities your business can benefit from, the following options have shown the most potential in the sphere of practicing law, which means your business can benefit, too. Let’s see how you can implement them in your own practice and how you can take advantage of technology to modernize your law firm in the upcoming period.
Video conferencing for client consultations
We’ve all had to get used to remote work one way or another in the previous year, and legal experts are no exception. Most law firms have switched to working remotely and organizing digital get-togethers amongst themselves, but also with their clients.
Considering the sensitive nature of the client-lawyer relationship and their often confidential conversations, the modern law professional needs a set of communication tools that are trustworthy and reliable. Check for different virtual conferencing platforms like Zoom or Google Meet that come with various levels of security. From end-to-end encryption to safe file exchanges, your communications need to be completely safe.
Match these outstanding platforms with a good internet connection, your own data protection and security software, and you’ll be able to keep all conversations going no matter where you are and where your clients and partners might be.
Digitalization and security with the cloud
In recent years, the perks of going paperless have inspired many law offices to ditch the old-school approach to filing and documenting cases. Now more than ever, legal professionals are turning to the cloud and trusted cloud platforms such as Microsoft’s Azure to store data, collaborate, preserve documents, and keep their contracts in check.
The added benefit of Azure’s built-in security features makes it one of the top choices for law firms, but it does call for ongoing training and proper cloud infrastructure management. To manage their cloud environment properly, law firms work with professionals that have the necessary Azure certifications to ensure optimal security and data protection.
In-house or not, cloud management is becoming an essential prerequisite for law firms to function optimally and manage their data, contracts, and all research. Having everything managed via the cloud further strengthens your remote collaboration strategy, ensures business-wide compliance, and creates a unified, secure platform where all data is stored.
Advanced AI-driven analytics
The times of long hours exploring past court files and old cases are soon to be a thing of the past. Manual work is a normal part of the legal profession, but with technology implemented properly, lawyers can leverage automated and AI-driven analytics tools to avoid these painstaking tasks that are so error-prone on top of it all.
Data analytics in the service of law firms is quickly becoming the go-to solution to avoid spending hours and days scouring for a case, a piece of crucial data, or a statistic that can become the turning point in their proceedings.
Now that so many legal databases are online and offer access to law firms of all sizes, these research tools are quickly making a difference in providing vital information with no time wasted. At such a rate, law firms no longer have to push indispensable experts to work on such menial tasks, but they can instead focus on more purposeful aspects of managing their business.
Billing and keeping track of billable hours
Working in a law firm and managing all the employees is much more intricate than your typical nine-to-five job. It often means having to handle clients charged in different fee structures, with a multitude of payment options coming from them all.
It also includes handling billable hours, time at the office, in the field, research, and so many other tasks that are crucial for keeping your legal business functional and your teams productive. The more you expand and the more cases you take on, the more difficult it becomes to manually track billable hours, invoices, and the most appropriate payment structures for each client.
Knowing all of that, lawyers today turn to automated solutions and online platforms that help law firms keep track of their time, billable hours, and the entire billing procedure. Such tools allow your management team to oversee all projects, while individual lawyers can have a better overview of their task hours, available budget, and upcoming deadlines. This helps law firms minimize all the complex administration and provides transparency for everyone involved.
From advanced cloud technology for managing your infrastructure, handling your billable time, all the way to protecting sensitive client information, technology is rapidly changing the professional legal landscape. More legal professionals now need to learn how to utilize many different online tools and software solutions to operate within this new work model.
The listed suggestions are considered the most essential in any modern-day law firm, although you’ll find that there are other options available. It’s vital that you keep your eyes peeled for upcoming tech innovations and learn how to implement them in your business to maximize your security, productivity, as well as your overall success.