The digital age has advanced technology and its uses throughout every type of career imaginable. Law offices are not an exception. While the invention of computers provided lawyers with easier preparation of documents, a simpler way of keeping records, and help performing complicated mathematical computations for the business, these benefits are no longer new to law offices looking to improve their workflow. Computers and their programs are essential to running a successful company, however, the technology is constantly changing and it is the savvy lawyer’s job to keep up.
The days of using archaic processes to manage client information, legal research, and even client interactions and transactions are well in the past. Law offices looking to improve their workflow have a plethora of software and services that can allow attorneys to streamline the administrative tasks that weigh down an office, allowing them to focus on their client’s pressing legal issues. Since technology is forever changing and improving, it is important that all attorneys utilize the benefits of the products currently available at their fingertips.
Case Management Software
Most of the day-to-day of running a law office involves managing client and case information. This includes contact information, calendaring, documents, and other information to keep you up to date with a client’s case file. Practice and case management software provides attorneys with a convenient method of effectively facilitating automation in law practices. Case management software is excellent for offices with multiple attorneys since it can be used to share information throughout the firm. The use of one main case management system helps prevent duplication in data for billing programs and other data processors. Most programs also have smartphone applications which sync with the office’s software, providing lawyers with updated calendars and schedules when they are on the go.
Legal Research Services
The options for online legal research services are extensive. Because of this array of choices, most companies strive for competitive pricing, providing newcomers with multiple attractive options. Most lawyers are fully aware that these services exist, but many law office that have recently hung their shingle do not realize the options available from these service providers for new customers. Free trial versions are often available, allowing law offices to test out the service to see if it meets your needs.
Meetings with clients and other attorneys occur periodically throughout any lawyer’s given workweek. However, despite the invaluable insight that naturally comes with meeting in person, it is not always possible. Video conferencing allows lawyers to connect face to face with their clients or associates and it is not as expensive as it is often believed. While video conferencing is not necessarily new to the legal industry, advances in technology has made it affordable to law offices, big and small. Equipping an office to be video conference ready will definitely not break the bank and it adds unmatched value too, when utilized properly.
Credit Card Processing
Paying by credit card is a preferred method for most people nowadays. It is simple, quick, and secure. For years, lawyers feared accepting credit cards due to several ethical restrictions associated with the transaction. However, most state bars now set guidelines that allow lawyers to take advantage of clients looking to pay with plastic.
Since trust account violations are common reasons for disciplinary action in this area, it is crucial that attorneys handle credit card transactions properly. Certain credit card processing companies help attorneys comply with state and ABA accounting guidelines so that they can accept credit cards from clients. Most credit card processing providers will charge a fee determined by a set percentage of the total amount charged to the card. Depending on the number of clients in your book, finding the company with the best percentage may assist in reducing overhead.
As technology advances, the opportunities for law offices to improve their workflow increases with it. Software and services that might have been too expensive a couple years in the past can actually be quite affordable and extremely beneficial today. Learn more about law office technology and how it can assist your law firm through FindLaw.