Countless legal professionals waste hours of their day completing mundane administrative tasks. Scheduling phone calls, searching through email exchanges, duplicating fields on documents; time-sucking tasks like these are the enemy of overworked solicitors.
To maintain the highest levels of legal service, lawyers need to concentrate on the aspects of their job that make their firm profitable, i.e., resolving life-changing legal matters and bolstering their list of prospective clients.
Automating aspects of your workflow with the right technology can skyrocket your firm’s productivity. According to research from McKinsey & Co, 23% of a lawyer’s tasks are ripe for automation. For a paralegal, this figure rises to 69%.
Time is a modern law firm’s most marketable asset. If you are not automating at least 23% of your everyday processes, you will find yourself lagging behind your competitors. Read on for tips on how to eliminate time-sucking legal tasks with the right automated tools.
Revise Your Workflows
The first step to implementing automation in your law firm involves thoroughly researching existing processes:
– Track every task you complete over the space of a week, no matter how mundane, and create an itemised list.
– Note down the time it took to complete each task, and then group the tasks into categories such as ‘emails,’ ‘calendar scheduling,’ and ‘completing forms.’
– With these simplified categories, research online for automated tools that can help you streamline these processes.
– Get an idea of your budget for technology investment and hire an outside consultant to help ensure you are implementing the new systems correctly.
– Trial and monitor your automated systems over the course of a few months, and alter your systems until you achieve maximum ROI.
Here are some areas of automation you may want to look into:
Document management software for law firms help you create and duplicate documents easily.
Rather than copying and pasting fields, contact information, commonly repeated paragraphs and the like, create templates you can share instantly.
Case management software and CRM systems can also sync to your document assembly software, ensuring that crucial details, such as names and addresses duplicate without error.
In the legal sphere, small mistakes, like misnaming parties, can damage your firm’s reputation. Automating your document creation processes can help you reduce these risks.
The Link App, allows you to create pre-populated workflows for boilerplate forms and messages you send on a near-daily basis. Your clients also gain access to the app, free of charge, from their desktop or smartphone device.
Clients can upload their details with the app’s dedicated form-filling features. They can also apply their e-signature securely via the platform; no more time and money wasted on snail mail communication methods.
A straightforward technological solution for collecting and filing client data can be a massive selling point for prospective law clients.
If they can sign off tasks on-the-go, clients can rest assured they’re doing all they can to get a time-efficient service for their money.
Email is thought of by many lawyers as being the most time-efficient way to communicate with clients. However, there are many failings within this system of communication, and many legal professionals may not realise how time-consuming composing emails can be.
For example, quite often, legal teams have to spend lots of time sifting through email message chains that can be weeks or months old. Also, they may find themselves sending several emails or phone messages to arrange just one meeting. Email messages are also susceptible to security breaches. Then there is always the chance that a critical email gets sent to your client’s spam folder accidentally, or forgotten about entirely.
Luckily, there are many ways automated tools can help you manage client communications more securely and efficiently.
The Link App, for instance, offers a callback feature – a simple notification alert button that eliminates much of the ‘back and forth’ messaging that email creates.
The app’s interface works similarly to a social media feed.
From the central dashboard, users can see message threads and time stamps listed in plain sight, reducing the likelihood of errors from miscommunications.
As mentioned previously, time is a lawyer’s most valuable asset. Therefore, you want to ensure that you are using all of your billable hours profitably.
If, for example, you spend hours of your working week getting your invoices in order, you need to find a way to automate this process.
Billing and invoicing tools help you log tasks and automatically generate invoices. These tools sync with your matter and case management systems; say goodbye to logging your billable time on post-it notes.
Further, tools like The Link App feature a secure message portal that allows you to share your invoices quickly and securely. Send bank details too, as 256-bit encryption protects all messages.
This extra layer of bank-level security increases payment efficiency, and thus keeps your firm in steady cash flow, no more waiting for cheques to arrive in the post.
As the law profession continues to automate and evolve in specific areas, so too should your firm’s marketing processes. Nurturing prospective clients is a necessary part of the job, but when a lawyer is overworked, often the task of self-promotion falls by the wayside.
Initiating regular contact with your long-term clients can be as simple as drafting up a monthly email newsletter. Email marketing software helps you tailor news and marketing content to suit multiple audience demographics. You can use these tools to create guide documents, jargon-busting glossaries and all the marketing collateral you need to gain and retain your clients.
The Link App makes it easy to send these messages off to your client’s smartphone, keeping them in-the-loop. We also give you a free marketing guide to shout about it when you embrace innovation.
As automation and A.I continues to expand in the legal technology sector, review your technologies and processes regularly.
Keep an eye out for the latest labour-saving software adopted by your competitors in the future.
Many tools, including The Link App, are continually updated to bring your law firm the best in automated communication services. Get in touch with one of our team to request a demo now.
Originally published 09 / Jul / 2018