Using law firm-compatible tools improves your chances of staying competitive. Even better, you’ll save time and energy you can spend elsewhere.
Burnout costs the American economy at least $125 billion in healthcare spending. We’re willing to bet it could cost your law firm, too. Add to that, a recent study discovered small firms bill less than three hours per workday. That’s an average of five hours where you’re not making any money.
Don’t risk burnout or wasted hours. Our recommendations will help your firm stay accessible, save time, and improve productivity.
1. Communication Tools
A lack of internal communication costs small businesses $420,000 in yearly losses. Communication tools ensure employees and clients are on the same page.
Law firm employees will benefit from free or low-cost communication tools. Most communication software businesses design their tools to be easy to use immediately.
Slack is popular for its features, such as live chat, task management, and reminders. Even better, it’s beginner-friendly.
Microsoft Teams is another option for law firms in the Microsoft ecosystem.
Clients will benefit from another set of communication tools, such as a client portal. This feature drastically improves client experience with sign-up sheets and scheduled reminders.
Clio is a popular legal CRM that comes with a built-in client portal. You can try their free demo, then sign up for a monthly subscription.
2. Project Management Software
Communication tools work even better with project management software. Project management demands have increased over the years, so it may be time to assess your productivity as a lawyer.
This handy tool allows you to oversee a project through to completion. You’ll be able to schedule, track, and update tasks on an ongoing basis. Depending on the software, you can customize workflow and compile data analytics.
Trello is a free project management tool with customizable and automated workflows. The creators designed it to be mobile-friendly and gave it a drag-and-drop design. This option is a great starting point if you’re worried about learning how to use a new program. You can expand services with one of their monthly plans.
Some other common options for attorneys include:
3. Practice Management Software
While project management software oversees a project, practice management software is a specific type of software for law firms oversees your firm. This tool consolidates essential information to keep things smooth for owners and employees.
You’ll save time automating daily tasks such as invoicing, scheduling, or follow-up. Communication across departments can also improve thanks to team management features. You can schedule projects and collaborate in real time across departments.
Lawcus is one of the most flexible practice management software available. You get data reports, client intake forms, and accounting features.
If you’re looking for a lower cost, consider App4Legal. This software streamlines your workflow with either a cloud-based or self-hosted solution. It has a client portal, contract management, and team management options.
Other practice management software you can check out include:
4. Client Intake Software
Client intake software helps you create the easiest possible experience for clients and lawyers. You’ll be able to get to cases faster than with an outdated onboarding process. Likewise, your clients will appreciate your speed and reliability.
Law firm marketing automation software is one of our biggest recommendations for the legal intake process. Client intake software generally comes bundled with a CRM. You’ll be able to track each client and gather trending reports. Quality of life features include online payments, e-signatures, and handy intake sheets.
CloudLex is client intake software specifically for personal injury law firms. Its cloud-based design makes data storage and transfers easier than ever. You’ll have contact management features to ensure each new client is happier than the last. Contact the business for a personalized quote.
If lead nurturing is a larger concern, consider Lawmatics. This software is customizable or provides pre-made options. Once you’ve chosen your niche, you can automate marketing and nurturing leads.
Other client intake software that could improve your workflow are:
5. Case Management Software
By keeping case information organized and secure, you increase your chances of success. Losing paperwork not only costs time, you can lose precious information. Case management software streamlines every step of gathering and executing a case.
This software works as a centralized hub with real-time reporting and proactive insights. You still have practical chat features so you can stay connected with your team or your client. If you’re worried about security, many programs come with backup and customer support.
A solid example of case management software is PracticePanther. The creators designed a streamlined tool that lines up all your activities. Everything from billing to client portals is set up in an accessible user interface.
If you want to combine practice management and case software, consider Clio. You’ll be able to oversee the development of a case, then switch over to your firm. Its client portal allows you to schedule, invoice, and manage documents. You can then oversee how your law firm is doing with its insights dashboard.
A few more case management software examples you can look into are:
6. Document Scanning
Properly processing documents is the lifeblood of a successful law firm. Document scanning technology saves you time by snipping out a few steps.
Instead of using a physical scanner, many document scanning apps let you snap from your phone. This software then enables you to save and upload documents in one spot. If you’ve grown tired of transferring materials or programs, consider the following.
SecureScan’s creators set up their software to drop tedious paperwork for law firms. This program has cloud-based storage to share, update, and organize materials. The natural indexing system helps immensely with finding critical information on a deadline.
If you want to try document scanning tools now, check out Evernote. This free notetaking app comes with a document scanning ability right on your phone. You’ll be able to add notes or share images with the click of a button.
7. Virtual Receptionist Service
Did you know that anywhere from 72 to 80% of people hang up without leaving a message if their call goes to voicemail? Virtual receptionist services are fantastic for customer service and converting leads to cases.
Your potential clients will appreciate a dedicated service answering their questions or concerns. You can provide this law firm answering service through either phone or a legal chat service. Both options are useful depending on your client’s preference or availability. While some prefer phone over typing, other clients find live chat less anxiety-inducing.
Your employees will also appreciate saving time answering emails or following up. A few examples you can consider for a law firm answering service are:
8. Secure Video Conferencing Software
More law firms are providing remote or hybrid options for staff and clients. High-quality video software improves accessibility by letting clients work no matter the location. You’ll also be able to communicate remotely with other lawyers or staff.
You can record calls for review and even get transcripts for later reference. High quality software also reduces the chances of dropped calls or glitchy audio.
If you want a video conference option that allows more people, try Zoom. Many businesses consider this platform the gold standard for convenient short meetings. You can add up to one hundred people per call.
Legaler is a free video service for lawyers who want end-to-end encryption. To clarify, end-to-end encryption ensures no third parties are tracking your activity. This added security is a benefit to both your business and gaining clients’ trust.
9. Legal Citation Generator
Not every tech tool for lawyers needs to be extensive. Sometimes smaller tools, like a legal citation generator, can make a huge difference.
Legal citation generators save you time by reviewing and recording each local citation for lawyers. You’ll be able to spend your energy elsewhere while improving your accuracy. Once finished, you can import citations or share them with a peer.
BibMe is a popular citation generator tool that follows the BlueBook format. CitationMachine is another citation generator with a plagiarism checker.
10. Research Tools
Research is an exhausting process, more often than not. And it’s unavoidable— over 78% of legal professionals say that it’s “business critical.” With most of these tools leveraging the power of AI for lawyers, a legal research tool allows you to complete research sessions faster and easier.
WestLaw is one of the best known legal research tools available. It contains a massive database of news, public records, court documents, and more.
A newer entry into the legal research tools niche is Arguminer. This software pulls from a database of similar cases to provide inspiration. These well-researched examples still fall under best practices to save you more time.
11. eDiscovery Tools
A smart complement to research tools is the eDiscovery niche. If you want to improve your chances of finding key evidence in digital format, this tool is for you.
eDiscovery software mines information from digital communication such as email or chat features. You’ll be able to store and use what you find during litigation or an investigation.
Everlaw is a cloud-based eDiscovery software aimed at law firms to save you work. Not only can you upload information to analyze it, but you can also search and review it.
Another option you can consider is Relativity. This software comes with a purpose-built AI to improve accuracy as much as possible. You can also translate documents into over one hundred languages.
It’s Time to Upgrade Your Tools
Technology moves at the speed of light, so it’s important to stay on top of your options. Moving to new tools can make your workflow easier and stop you from losing money. Which tools you need depends on the unique challenges of your firm.
No matter which ones you choose, your attorneys, staff, and clients will benefit. Modern software improves productivity by automating tasks and freeing up your schedule. This saved time also reduces the risk of costly burnout.
Using the right tools will speed up your workflow and reduce errors. But the efficiency gains can only do so much.
Bringing in more business is its own challenge. If you want to bring in more clients, upgrading your marketing is the way to go.
We’ve been working with law firms since 2013 to help them do what they do best. We take the marketing work off your plate with SEO tools, marketing strategy, and consultation. Contact us today to learn how we can improve your firm’s inner workings.