At Transcription Outsourcing, we regularly interact with our clients in the legal industry. Our conversation often shifts to their business, and, considering we help them with their operations, I hear about other technologies they leverage.
We work with both large and small law firms, and I find that larger firms use SaaS and other tech solutions that help them streamline their business in ways that some smaller firms aren’t. Not only that, small firms don’t have fewer tasks than the larger firms. In fact, sometimes there is more to do, as there are fewer teammates to take on a share of responsibilities.
Just like with any other industry, if a law firm is overrun with administrative tasks, they’re taking time away from doing what makes them money: practicing law. While companies like mine outsource many of those tasks, there are tech solutions that small firms should also be leveraging that can help them improve operationally. Here are a few that have helped smaller firms compete with their larger counterparts.
Cloud-Based Legal Calendars
Easily collaborate with your team using a calendar system. There are several intuitive cloud-based calendar solutions that provide firms with an encompassing scheduling solution that even the most modern law firms would be proud to use. When a firm moves their calendaring to the cloud, it synchronizes across all devices, making it easy for teammates to view each other’s schedule and set meeting times for collaboration.
Practice Management Software
Practice management software enables lawyers to increase efficiency. Every law firm I’ve talked with that has invested in practice management software have been glad they did. An excellent practice management software platform enables firms to do all of the following administrative tasks from one single portal:
- Create invoices
- Manage cases and clients
- Go paperless by putting their documents in the cloud
- Pay vendors
We work with many small law firms and see how demanding their daily tasks are. If ignored, these tasks can impede the firm’s productivity. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. From my experience, businesses that have successfully implemented a practice management solution are more organized, productive and profitable.
A Modern Website
This is one area where the small firms can compete or even one up larger firms. A modern website that showcases a firm’s work in a way that is both informational and visually appealing is a must. Clients should be able to find case information quickly. A well-designed website attracts clients faster, enabling the firm to grow.
A law firm’s site should be optimized for SEO for the search terms they want to be found under. A legal blog with free advice can drive traffic to the site and create opportunities for the site to be shared on social media.
The attorneys I know are always on the move. They live busy lives both inside and outside of their practice. Clients are not willing to wait for information until their attorney returns to the office. Just like with any industry, they want it now. Mobile apps are an essential piece to keeping attorneys productive when they leave the office.
The good news is that the legal industry is full of great mobile apps, and the most productive lawyers I know are taking advantage of them. They use them to search for legal information, collaborate with their team, quickly share information with clients, and manage their schedule. There are even dictation apps that attorneys can use to send files directly to their paralegals.
Some law firms we work with are still investing heavily in ads in the yellow pages. I see them dump thousands of dollars every year into advertising that is almost completely ineffective in today’s marketplace. Social media is a critical step law firms must take to take control of their online presence. Many of the top performing firms have successfully built online communities that enable them to stay in touch with current clients and attract new ones.
The ROI of implementing tech solutions into a law firm is both compelling and well-documented. As a strategic advisor to law firms, I have seen it firsthand many times.