Law firms face brutal competition for clients, so they always hunt for innovative ways to increase efficiency and productivity to safeguard the bottom line. One sure way to fulfill these goals is to implement cutting-edge cloud technology solutions in the organization.
If you’re ready to upgrade your firm’s IT department, you’ll find several ways below to get the job done. As you upgrade your IT systems, you may consider bringing in a company specializing in IT support for law firms.
Many routine processes are vital but take a lot of an attorney’s time. For instance, an attorney may spend hours paying the month’s bills and wonder why she went to law school in the first place.
Here’s the answer: You didn’t go to law school to do mundane paperwork. Automate! Artificial intelligence tools can boost efficiency and productivity in the law office. Many law firms understand that AI is an ally and not an enemy.
For instance, 55% of law firms that participated in a recent market research survey by New York Law School said they wanted high IT proficiency when they bring in new attorneys.
A shining example of AI is Watson by IBM. Watson lets you ask questions in conversational English, as you would to a co-worker. The system reads through the whole body of law and answers with citations. It also offers reading topics from state and federal legislation, case law, and relevant sources.
Can you imagine the possibilities with this technology? Finding vital legal research is made faster and easier, which reduces the amount of time attorneys must spend on the task.
Other processes that are ripe for automation are:
- Client intake work
- Submitting invoices and converting file formats
- Reviewing documents
- Expense and time entry
Many legal automation apps exist that save time. McKinsey Global Institute reports that 20% of an attorney’s job is ripe for automation, leaving a lot of time to work on billable hours and other critical tasks.
Other automation apps focus on generating revenue. Can you imagine automating client interviews so you can screen clients faster? Or crowdfunding legal work, so your monthly overhead is more affordable. Then, think about if those apps could integrate with your present billing management system, with no installation required.
These are just a few ways to automate tedious tasks to provide more value and cost savings.
This is the case for all sizes of law firms. The American Bar Association tells us that 40% of smaller law firms don’t use practice management technology. Firm size is irrelevant when you want to operate at the highest efficiency possible.
In addition to bringing in new systems and tools, think about whether your law firm should go paperless. Everything your team does on paper can be done faster and managed better with technology, instead of writing everything down and taking it with you.
If it can’t be measured, did it happen? Many law firms fail to measure their expenses and activities correctly. Or, they don’t measure them at all. A Thomson Reuters survey found that only 15% of attorneys think their departments are using big data properly to deliver optimal legal services.
Use data to bolster plans and recommendations. They are essential to learning from past mistakes and increasing operational efficiency. Whether you’re focusing on litigation management, billing, or another task, this is the case. Evidence suggests that law firms can enjoy a substantial revenue boost by focusing on data quality best practices.
So, law firms will enjoy clear benefits as they measure their data to see if something works and how well it works.
Also, offering actionable data to managers allows the firm to succeed based on a proper understanding of empirical data. Without this type of information, critical decisions made on gut instinct and general beliefs could negatively affect performance.
These three ways will get things rolling, but it’s on you to recognize the value of these tools and best practices, so your firm will succeed in the 21st century.