Technology has disrupted the business of law for the better. Even something as simple as moving firm accounts from paper ledgers to cloud-based software, such as Xero and QuickBooks, has dramatically reduced expenses and decreased margin for error. Many legal professionals have resisted change, but now is the time for them to use technology to make their lives easier
Here are five of the most important reasons why lawyers should begin to embrace technology:
Legal professionals spend a considerable proportion of their time on essential, yet time-consuming, tasks such as accounting, billing, scheduling meetings and filing documents. None of these activities qualify as “legal work”, yet they are core business operations for effective legal practice. Legal practice management systems, such as Clio, give users everything they need to run their firm from a single, autonomous platform either from your desktop or mobile, including case management, contacts, documents and billing.
In a survey of almost 4,000 of their customers, Clio found that lawyers who use their software to manage the practice save, on average, 8.5 hours a week compared with traditional methods used to run a practice – an extra day a week to deal with clients, invest in their practice or take some much needed time off.
2. Data protection
Cloud-based storage of firm and client data provides a higher standard of protection than most law firms can provide on their own. Many firms store their client data, whether paper based or on servers, in the confines of their office and avow this to be taking reasonable precaution in protecting data when it is in fact accessible to anyone with physical access to the building. In contrast, most data centres for cloud-based applications comply with industry-standard auditing requirements ensuring the strictest levels of digital and physical security.
Legal practice management software allows users to track every billable second, assign tasks, offer online payment options, manage client funds and give an accurate picture of a firm’s performance. With the extra time afforded by these efficiencies, lawyers are able to bill more hours and improve the firm’s bottom line. In addition, many law firms are choosing to go paperless, freeing up time that was once spent on managing paper documents to concentrate on more important aspects of the legal profession.
The familiar image of barristers walking into court laden down with folders and paper documents will soon become a distant memory. Thanks to the Crown Prosecution Service’s recent paperless court initiative, the courts have become more accepting of tablet devices. It is estimated that the greater efficiency of mobile devices could save at least £50 million through reduced print and labour costs. With complete access to all their case files and client information, mobile devices offer an unparalleled level of freedom to lawyers to work wherever they choose, in court, from home, from the office and even when travelling.
Like all industries, technology has had a positive and transformative effect on the practice of law
No one enjoys the monotony of filling out of forms, repetitive data entry, unnecessary communications and long, drawn-out systematic tasks. A good practice management platform allows users to automate many of these tasks, from sending standard client intake forms prior to initial consultations, creating pre-filled documents, sending marketing e-mails on their behalf and so much more. Legal technology is providing a limitless opportunity to automate the routine parts of legal work, helping to redesign the hours and manner in which lawyers have to work.
Like all industries, technology has had a positive and transformative effect on the practice of law, from data analysis to document creation, to tools and solutions that simplify the day-to-day management of a law firm, and free up lawyers to focus on what they do best – practising law.
For further information on how you can embrace legal technology and become a more efficient lawyer, start your free trial with Clio at https://www.clio.com/uk/