In this day and age, technology is at the forefront of every industry. From streamlining operations to providing better customer service, it gives industries an edge in the market. It’s the modern era. Everyone should adapt to the digital world if they want to stay competitive.
While digitization is popular in the marketing industry, law firms also benefit from law firm management software. This software provides your firm with immediate access to your data and the required tools for legal management. In return, you’ll be able to meet and even exceed your clients’ expectations.
In this article, we further discuss how such software is used in law firms. In addition to this, we also highlight how lawyers can benefit from them. But first, let’s have a look at the challenges that law firms are currently experiencing.
Challenges That Law Firms Experience
The legal industry has seen a tremendous transformation in recent years. This affects how legal service is delivered and marketed. As a small law firm, it’s even more challenging.
Last 2017, Thomson Reuters surveyed 300 law firms. According to the results, 75% of small law firms experience difficulties in attracting new clients. Furthermore, 70% of them find it hard to manage the firm.
1. Difficulty in Attracting New Clients
Getting clients in your practice area is one of the most difficult aspects of operating a law firm. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best lawyer out there. If you don’t have any clients, then it’s all for nothing. Such is the case for firms dealing with personal injury.
Since the pandemic, these firms have had difficulty attracting new clients. People had set their priorities on medical-related expenses. And some are not financially capable of hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Because of this, people would avoid applying for car accident lawsuit funding. While these pre-settlement loans help victims with their bills, the interest rates can be expensive. Personal injury cases can last for years before the case gets settled. And with the new variant looming, court proceedings are getting postponed.
People would, instead, claim their car insurance money. Usually, car insurance companies do not require their clients to file a case. They prefer paying their client a settlement amount to avoid the cost of defending in court.
2. Insufficient Management Skills
Managing a law firm means you operate as both a lawyer and a company owner. And because of that, you have to be knowledgeable in all sorts of managing techniques. Your general responsibilities include managing your staff, billing, marketing, as well as other HR duties.
You have to master all of these skills, alongside the skills you need as a lawyer. It can be tough, especially as the business is constantly growing. After some time, you have to keep up with multiple duties and responsibilities for both positions.
3. Shifting to More Digital Means
As the pandemic hits the world, new challenges among law firms arise. Businesses were urged to continue working from home. Even lawyers are forced to take their cases at home.
This made some aspects of the litigation process harder. Teleconferencing applications like Skype or Zoom have been a huge help to proceed with deposition. While this is true, preparing your client for testimony is hindered. It’s still best to have in-person communication between lawyers and their clients.
Additionally, lawyers are still learning the ropes with the software they use in law firms.
Types of Software Used by Law Firms and Their Benefits
Investing in software solutions is a big step towards an efficient and effective law firm. Since law firms handle sensitive client data, it is necessary to store them digitally. It will be a lot harder to compile and secure this type of information with the traditional documentation system.
Software solutions do not only help with documentation. Here are the ways law firms use technology and how they benefit from it.
1. For Managing Document
There are countless documents and data to support each case you take on. Keeping them in your computer’s hard disk for a very long time is not the best way to secure them. When you face cybersecurity threats, these documents can be easily stolen from you.
Not only that, but lawyers would need a tool for managing documents. Mixing up the names of lawsuit companies can be disastrous. With a legal document management program, they can be assured that they don’t mix them up.
This software stores data in a safe digital vault in an organized manner. Most of these file storage systems are free and easily accessible online. Although, free applications, such as Google Drive, can only offer you limited storage capacity. You can expand the storage limit by subscribing to their premium choices.
2. For Timekeeping
With multiple cases at hand, it would be impossible to keep track of scheduled meetings with clients. Not only that, but you can’t keep your eyes on the clock to track billable time. Time is valuable for lawyers, so the traditional pen and paper method of timekeeping can be counterproductive.
Fortunately, in this day and age, timekeeping tools exist for your convenience. These tools help law firms streamline such time-consuming processes. By using timekeeping programs, you can categorize projects by customer. In addition to this, you can also use a timer to measure how much time you spend on each client.
Some of the project management software, such as Flowlu, have also integrated timekeeping capabilities. This feature helps law firm owners to keep track time spent on various assignments and bill clients accordingly. It also allows you to plan your time using a handy built-in calendar. The best part is that you do not need to subscribe to another app — you can manage your time inside your all-in-one-tool.
3. For Boosting Productivity
As mentioned, lawyers handle numerous cases, so productivity tools are extremely helpful for them. Tools that help in word processing, case presentations, and case trackers are among the most popular programs used by law firms.
Today, many law firms turned to cloud-based systems. For instance, Flowlu lets you handle and monitor several cases simultaneously. You can see the project progress and current state of each case at a glance. Or, Google’s G Suite, for example, allows teams to work on documents in real-time from different devices.
4. For Securing Client Data
When it comes to securing accounts and passwords, only a portion of professionals take extra measures. Google reported that 53% of users still have the same password since they created their accounts.
Every day, over five million data are either stolen or lost worldwide. That’s as much as 60 records being stolen every second.
Most businesses encounter security threats. But for law firms, data breaches are a major problem because of the bulk of clients’ personal and sensitive data they handle.
If you don’t secure your data, your clients will lose trust in you. Or worse, you won’t be getting any new clients in the future because of security issues. That’s why most law firms are recommended to get software that can protect them from cybersecurity threats.
Password management software, for example, can help you keep your accounts secure. They save all your passwords in the program, which you can check from time to time if you forgot.
With this tool, you can construct complicated passwords that even you can’t remember. And it won’t be a problem because it’s stored in your password management program!
5. For Legal Practice Management
Most law firms these days advertise flexibility and paperlessness as a way of being competitive. However, competitiveness in the legal industry does not only come from these two qualities.
Utilizing law practice management through technology is an important aspect of staying competitive. Although, many law firms are still not into investing in practice management software. This is nothing new, but it is crucial when considering the skill with which lawyers run their firms.
Legal practice management is based on both management and practice. Incorporating client communication aspects into your strategy increases your chances of succeeding.
However, legal practice management software is much more than simply management. It is a critical component of the firm’s development in management processes.
This kind of legal management software helps you build stronger relationships between clients and cases. Once you upload contacts and cases in the software, it syncs together. This is very handy when you want to know previous connections with new clients.
It is undeniable that most law firms today are struggling with management. Additionally, other aspects of the business like marketing still get in the way. But, it doesn’t need to be difficult and time-consuming. Luckily, technology has been integrated even in the legal industry.
Management software will help you go through those challenges of managing a law firm. Using them in the business will increase your firm’s profitability. Aside from that, they also boost employee productivity and efficiency.
About the Author
Dan has hands-on experience in digital marketing since 2007. He has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. Dan also enjoys photography and traveling.