In what resources can lawyers find the most help in growing their practices in the coming year? Due to the global epidemic, many lawyers are increasingly working digitally, either as remote workers or by adopting a fully virtual law office.
The past year has seen a meteoric rise in technology adoption across businesses and individuals alike. According to the 2020 Legal Trends Report, around 58% of consumers place a higher importance on technology now than they did before the coronavirus outbreak.
Researchers concluded that the tendency toward remote labor would persist even after the pandemic was over. What does this mean for the way law is now practiced? The ability to work remotely is becoming increasingly important in the legal industry, making it imperative that lawyers adopt remote working strategies.
In this piece, we will discuss the best tools for lawyers based on research data and our own firsthand observations of trends in the legal industry. You can learn a lot about what your own firm needs to incorporate in order to run at optimum performance simply by examining the tools and technologies used by other legal professionals in our new, more digital environment.
How do lawyers utilise technology?
Today’s globally scattered workforce necessitates the use of digital tools by all firms, including those in the legal industry, to improve productivity and ensure the security of sensitive client information. Not every company needs the same technological stack because what works best for your firm relies on things like the firm’s size and practice area.
However, it is wise to start with the fundamentals before implementing technical solutions to plug the gaps, boost productivity, and improve customer service. Most modern law companies start with a piece of software designed to manage the business of law (more on that below).
Let’s examine the typical pieces of legal apparatus that modern corporations employ.
1. E-signature Tool
The use of electronic signature software for lawyers facilitates communication. Time and money savings for both lawyers and their clients are a welcome side effect of the growing trend toward paperless offices. Not every electronic signature is legally binding, but when they are, they have the same force as a handwritten one. However, in certain places all witnesses are required to sign wills and other legal papers. When practising law, you can get multiple benefits of electronic signatures for a variety of purposes, including obtaining the approval of a family member, obtaining a guilty plea from a defendant, serving legal process, etc.
2. Video Conferencing Software
A lawyer’s ability to communicate and collaborate with clients and colleagues is crucial, but in some situations, in-person meetings may be impractical or undesirable. The 2020 Legal Trends Report found that one-third of respondents prefer to conduct their initial consultation or meeting with a lawyer digitally. Virtual meetings are preferred by only half as many people as in-person follow-ups.
According to our findings, legal professionals are most interested in secure, simple, and high-quality video solutions (in both audio and video quality). Legaler is an excellent option for convenient and safe online meeting solutions.
3. Online File Storage
Online file storage facilities are invaluable for lawyers who work remotely or who need simple, speedy access to records from anywhere. Nearly 89% of lawyers surveyed by 2020 Legal Trends indicated their firms used cloud storage. Find a cloud-based, safe, and user-friendly service for storing your files online.
Dropbox is one of the most widely used document storage tools, so it’s a natural choice for storing files online. More than two-thirds of respondents in the 2020 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report said they use Dropbox as their primary cloud provider.
4. Time Tracking and Billing Solutions
The profitability of a law firm depends on its ability to preserve accurate time records and client billing. However, doing things like timekeeping and billing manually can be quite inefficient. In the event that you aren’t already doing so, you should check your practice management software to see if it has built-in functions to assist with time and billing as a lawyer. For instance, some programs have functions for keeping tabs on and billing for attorney costs.
5. Practice Management Software
By 2021, even organizations of a very modest size will be required to utilize legal practice management software. The adoption of practice management software is on the rise among solo practitioners and smaller firms (from 1% in 2019 to 29% in 2020), according to the American Bar Association’s (ABA) 2020 Legal Technology Survey Report. In the last year, the percentage of legal firms with 2-9 employees who use practice management software on a personal level has grown by 2%.
Some law firms may have been encouraged by the epidemic to begin using cloud-based software, like document signing software and this trend looks to be continuing. According to the 2020 Legal Trends Report, nearly all attorneys (96%) want to maintain the use of practice management software following the epidemic.