Lawyers with a grasp of the latest developments in legal technology have an advantage over competitors. Advancements such as electronic filing, analytics software and automated research have allowed attorneys to improve client service and keep their practice on top of the latest developments.
New technology pops up frequently, and it can be a challenge to decide which products and services are most important for your law practice. Here are some of the newest tech trends for lawyers.
Practice Management Software
Lawyers and law firms of all sizes have embraced various types of practice management software to help organize records, automate certain parts of the business and provide more efficient client service.
Lawyers can use legal case management software to automate workflows across different departments, maintain a calendar for each case, track important case developments and view business analytics. These software programs allow attorneys to manage cases from the cloud, meaning they can access information remotely and reduce their use of paper files. Look for a software provider that offers robust security features to ensure that client information is kept safe.
According to a 2019 American Bar Association survey, practice management software use varies depending on firm size. About 43% of firms with 2-9 attorneys that responded to the survey reported they used some type of practice management software.
Legal documents need to follow a specific format. Document drafting can be time-consuming, as law practices develop drafts and add information specific to the client or case. Document automation software helps speed up that process by using standard templates and pulling in information from the firm’s database about the relevant case. Firms that use that type of software can reduce time spent on creating documents and entering data.
Electronic Discovery Software
Discovery is an important part of the litigation process, as lawyers sort through documents for information relevant to the case. E-discovery has become more popular in recent years, as the information to be discovered is more frequently in an electronic format. E-discovery software can help lawyers speed up that process by automating part of the search.
Legal Research Services
Several legal research providers have amped up their tech offerings in the past several years. The latest tools use artificial intelligence to help lawyers find answers to their legal questions in vast databases and case law. Tools are available to analyze briefs, research past cases and more.
A good accounting software helps law practices keep their records in order, collect client payments and pay outstanding bills. There are several options tailored to solo, small and medium-sized firms. Software products typically offer the ability to track employee time and billable hours, manage documents, create and manage invoices, and maintain a calendar.
Virtual Meeting Tools
Offices of all kinds went remote in the first part of 2020. Lawyers were forced to adapt by figuring out how to work remotely and still communicate with clients. Consider using a virtual meeting tool to manage client interactions and inter-office meetings. Some virtual conferencing tools offer an encryption feature to make face-to-face, virtual client meetings more secure. Be sure to research any security features and concerns with a platform before adopting it for your practice.
The move to remote office work in 2020 has brought up new challenges in transferring paper documents to an online format. Consider going paperless by looking into online scanning tools, which create clean PDFs from paper documents. There are options for applications that can be used on a mobile phone, desktop scanners for a small number of documents, or mobile scanners that can be used anywhere.
Staying on top of technology trends is important in any line of business. For lawyers, it’s especially important to understand how technology can help improve client service and make work more efficient. Take advantage of the available technology to make your work more accurate, remote work-friendly and in line with current business trends.