There is a new breed of attorney out there, more tech savvy and taking advantage of the technology available. We find that law firms are often a mix of attorneys who adopt technology to aid in their work and attorneys and paralegals who “repel technology” as a client of mine would say. It’s important to understand the power of technology and how it could help a law firm. Here are a few quick tips on how to boost efficiency within your law firm that new law firms are adopting in order to stay competitive among the larger firms.
Reduce your Reliance on Paper
Paper is almost a thing of the past. Tablets, PC’s & mobile devices give attorneys the ability to view any document an attorney may need on the fly as long as paper documents are scanned into some sort of document management system and organized. The key here is accessibility and organization. It’s much easier to pull up documents on a PC then look at multiple physical documents, and if you want to look at more and 2 documents at the same time on your PC, get multiple monitors. You’ll be more organized, documents can be at your fingertips wherever you are, and you’ll be able to get exactly what you need when you need it, wherever you need it. The only caveat is that someone in your office MUST be able to scan documents as they come in so everything is accessible digitally. With this setup you will also no longer need to keep a file room or file cabinet. this saves a lot of office space.
Focus on Legal-Specific Programs
While firms run on Outlook, Word and & Adobe Acrobat, there there many other applications out there that are legal specific and concentrate on firm management. These programs offer an organized way to access client data by matter number like Worldox or IManage, an easy way to track time and invoice clients in a manner a law firm should be accustom to like PCLaw or even Time Matters. These are the tools that separate the smaller firms from the larger more organized ones. Also, tracking time is the name of the game, lost time is like burning cash. Some firms get away with an excel spreadsheet, but wouldn’t you rather track your time through legal specific software that you could use on your mobile device or in the cloud?
Train You Staff on Adopted Firm Wide Software & Procedures
In the many firms we work with there are a few people who know how to fully manipulate their firm software while the bulk of the staff members simply know how to do daily tasks and hit a wall when they are asked to do anything outside the norm. Just like you agree on a piece of software for your firm that everyone must use, offer training on that software, firm wide. Make sure everyone is on the same page so in case there are issues, they can ask each other instead of calling IT or paying for support. This will decrease support costs, and increase internal efficiency from both paralegals and attorneys. Most software companies offer training and if they dont, you can alwasy find an authorized vendor that can sell you some training. Either way, training for your staff is 100% necessary.