Here’s part 2 of the “Ten Tips for Starting Your Own Law Firm. Again, this is from an article that we found over at jdblogger.com. Great website for attorneys who are looking to do their own marketing & social media/blogging.
Original article can be read @ jdblogger.com
6. Buy a Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Scanner and Ditch the Copy Machine
Technology makes starting your own practice so much less expensive than it used to be. One of the largest expenses in many offices is the copy machine. Initially, if you buy one the cost will be several thousand dollars, and even if you lease you are looking at a large monthly payment. Then comes the service plan – and you have to get the service plan because it will, without fail, breakdown. A lot. This adds another huge payment to the monthly pile of bills. You can avoid a copy machine by purchasing a good scanner and a printer. I recommend (as do several lawyers) the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Scanner. It is blazing fast, scans both sides of the page, and makes scanning all of your files very easy. I simply scan documents as the come in each day and then if I need a copy I can just print one. Often whoever needs the copy can just be emailed the pdf copy and save you the time, toner, and paper.
7. Buy a Fujitsu Scanner and Ditch the Fax Machine
Like the copy machine, technology has made the fax machine unnecessary. Again, I scan everything in the office and then if I need to fax something I use a service called MyMaxEmail. This service is very cheap at $20 per month and allows you upload pdf’s from your computer and send them as faxes and also allows you to receive faxes directly to your computer.
8. Purchase eBook Versions of Your Statute Books and Legal Manuals
Basically anything in print is going to cost you a lot of money. I remember when I reached the one year anniversary of my law firm the first time around I bought myself an entire set of Arizona Revised Statutes. Price tag: $5,000! And little did I know, I also received a $600 bill every January for the updates.
Most legal books can now be purchased in ebook form. Get yourself an iPad and purchase as many of your manuals in an ebook format. You will always have them with you, they are often very searchable, and the overall costs is much less expensive as are the updates.
9. Use Cloud-Based Systems
Another area where you can increase productivity and reduce cost is through the use of cloud-based systems when it comes to practice management software and data storage. In the old days you would be required to spend thousands of dollars for a decent law practice management software. On top of that you would be required to spend more money on yearly service packages. Now you can get online cloud-based systems that have all the bells and whistles at a fraction of the cost. And they are mobile so you can access them from anywhere (which means you can work 24/7 -hooray!). I use Rocket Matter and over the last two years have found it to do everything I need in a practice management system, and it only costs about $70 per month.
One the greatest – if not the greatest – thing about being a solo or small firm attorney is the flexibility you have. You can change the way things have always been done, incorporate new technology to meet the demands of your clients, and adapt your business to the way you like to do business.