In the past, small to mid-size law firms simply could not compete with the big firms. With so much capital at their disposal, large firms had access to tools that boutique firms could only dream of using. And the smaller firms lacked personnel to dedicate to complex technology projects. But practical legal technology productivity gains for smaller firms can level the playing field.
From updated infrastructure to automation, cloud computing and eDiscovery, technology plays a key role in improving a firm’s competitive positioning. When attorneys work more efficiently, focusing their time on billable tasks, productivity and client satisfaction increase.
The hardware and software that support legal work can make the difference in helping staff to work productively. For instance, sluggish internet makes it difficult for attorneys working remotely to manage their workloads. On the other hand, firms that make wise investments in updated technology can see substantial return in both increased productivity and reduced cost.
For example, a boutique law firm, Flowers and O’Brien, LLC, recently switched their phone systems to use VOIP technology. Outlook integration allows the new phone system to transcribe searchable voice messages and deliver them directly to email inboxes. By eliminating the need for a receptionist, the system quickly paid for itself.
For many law firms looking to see productivity gains, updating the billing system can prove the perfect place to start. When attorneys and staff spend hours reviewing time and expense reports and preparing invoices, they lose time better spent on billable work. Fortunately, much of the billing can be automated.
When updating your billing system, look for a few key features. The system should make it easy to capture expenses and time tracking as they occur, rather than after the fact. It should also allow firms to customize invoices and automate much of the bill review process, flagging potential problems. And it should integrate closely with your accounting system.
Even before the pandemic forced a global move to remote work, attorneys spent hours each week working from home and from client locations. And nothing halts work quite like forgetting to copy necessary files before leaving the office. Firms that move to cloud-based applications and document management quickly realize the benefits of flexibility that come with the cloud.
When staff can access case files, practice management tools and time-tracking tools in the cloud, they can work anytime, from anywhere. No need to carry a briefcase full of paper documents or keep track of time in a notebook. A laptop and internet connection provide all the necessary tools to continue work away from the office.
eDiscovery technology has made huge strides in recent years, allowing firms to review documents and prepare cases with relative ease. And SaaS solutions mean that even small to mid-size firms can bring eDiscovery in-house, saving time and increasing security.
By automating much of the low-level work involved in document review, lawyers can review and organize thousands of documents in a fraction of the time. The software provides valuable insights, selecting relevant documents for attorney review. And the ability to tag documents and make notes greatly simplifies the process of preparing case strategy.
Realize Legal Technology Productivity Gains
Embracing legal technology delivers clear advantages. When lawyers can work flexibly and efficiently from anywhere, automating administrative tasks and streamlining eDiscovery, both the firm and its clients benefit. Lawyers focus on billable work. Meanwhile, clients benefit from better organization of cases and transparency in the billing process.
The legal technology experts at eMazzanti work to build solutions designed to enhance law firm productivity. We will help you strengthen your data security and document management, update your eDiscovery tools and facilitate remote work. We can even help you build a social media presence to attract new clients. Start exploring legal technology options today.