Technology is encompassing more and more aspects of our daily lives, and the rate of technological innovation only continues to accelerate. Today, most lawyers are using at least some type of technology to help them run their practices, even if it’s just an email account to communicate with clients. But eventually, we suspect that technology will evolve to the point where it becomes the core engine upon which all law firm processes are running. In this post, we’ll cover some of the primary benefits of adopting technology into your law firm and explain three major ways that technology will make you a better lawyer.
The most obvious benefit of using technology in your law practice is probably the efficiencies that it can produce. But just being efficient in itself doesn’t necessarily make you a better lawyer. It’s all about the boost in productivity, or in other words, how you use the extra free time.
Being a better lawyer comes down to paying more attention to the little details of your daily work, and spending more time communicating with your clients. Lack of communication is the most common complaint made to bar associations, after all.
But it’s also important to have some time to take a step back and strategize. When you get too caught up in the day-to-day, you are unable to implement new processes, devote time to professional networking, or focus on innovating to create new types of service offerings.
Freeing up more time will not only help your law firm grow, but also help you better serve your clients.
How Technology Will Help
At most law firms, an incredible amount of time is lost to administrative tasks like billing, client intake, data entry, following up with prospects, etc.
These activities are clearly necessary for your firm to stay in business, but they also don’t really drive you forward and help take your practice to the next level.
By using technology to automate as many of these administrative processes as possible, you can free up hours of time every week. You can use this free time to be more productive, focus on improving your business, and provide a better experience for clients.
As an attorney, you can obviously appreciate the importance of reducing liability. Half your job is probably advising your clients on how to do so, but it’s equally important to take steps to reduce your law firm’s liability.
As it turns out, a huge percentage of legal malpractice claims arise from simple, avoidable mistakes. In fact, according to an ABA study, approximately 45% of malpractice claims in 2010 were related to things like missed deadlines, improper calendaring, lost files, procrastination, conflicts of interest, or mathematical/clerical errors.
It may seem foolish, but these things can happen to anyone in the midst of a busy work day. The best way to avoid them is to have a systematic, process driven approach to running your practice.
How Technology Will Help
Using technology is one of the best ways to minimize your exposure to malpractice claims because it provides structure to your workflow and improves organization across your firm.
Technology provides tools to make calendaring deadlines, managing contacts, assigning tasks, and storing files incredibly easy.
You can use software to develop a more systematic approach to running your firm where your files and data are neatly organized and easily searchable. You can run conflict checks to ensure you aren’t in violation of an ethical rule. And you can set up automatic alerts when important deadlines are approaching to ensure nothing important slips past you.
By using our recommended cloud software programs for lawyers, everyone at your firm can have access to important data and files, and the ability to view upcoming deadlines and pending tasks from any device with an internet connection.
This will significantly improve your processes and help eliminate the risk of making an avoidable, but costly mistake.
Better Client Experience
In today’s business world, the customer experience is becoming the most important factor that contributes toward success.
The importance of the client experience has largely been overlooked by law firms. Lawyers have enjoyed a position of market dominance for a long time because there have been very few alternative sources for legal services.
Demand (or perhaps need) has always been greater than supply, making legal advice hard to come by and very expensive. But the tables are gradually turning.
The internet has opened up a wealth of free legal information and alternative legal solutions to the masses. As automation and artificial intelligence become more widespread and powerful, lawyers will gradually lose their stronghold on the industry.
In order to thrive in today’s legal industry, you’ve got to get ahead of the competition by delivering truly exceptional customer service.
How Technology Will Help
Technology can significantly improve the experience of accessing and purchasing legal services. It can help streamline arduous processes, lower costs, and enable more seamless communication.
Today’s consumers expect things to be easy. They don’t want to print off documents for signing, fill out forms by hand, or mail in checks to pay your fees.
They want to e-sign documents from their iPhones, fill out digital forms instead of paper ones, and pay their bills online by credit card.
Fortunately, there are affordable, easy-to-use technology solutions for all of these things!
In fact, Lexicata offers both customizable online intake forms and document automation with e-signatures to make the client onboarding process as seamless as possible. And you can do online billing with any of the popular case management softwares which offer credit card processing through LawPay.
These systems will not only help provide an easier and more satisfying experience for clients, but also help you to deliver services more efficiently and serve even more clients every month.
Technology has already taken ahold of many industries and completely transformed the way they operate, or even shut them down altogether (e.g. in the case of retail video rentals).
In the slow-moving legal industry, technology has only just begun to reshape the way things work. But as the rate of innovation continues to accelerate, technology will play a larger and larger role in all aspects of the delivery of legal services.
The three most notable ways technology will make you a better lawyer are increased productivity, reduced liability, and an improved experience for clients. But the benefits extend well beyond just that.
It’s time for lawyers to fully embrace technology and utilize it to their advantage because it truly is the best way to get ahead of the competition and set your firm up for success into the future.