As it goes, most lawyers make their money through billable hours. That includes communicating with clients directly and working on their cases. You can bill clients for in-person meetings, as well as phone calls and other methods of communication.
However, there is always more work done behind the scenes. Some tasks are not done for any client in particular, but they need to be done nonetheless. Administrative tasks, like organizing paperwork, are not reimbursed by clients. Even though you can’t avoid such tasks, you don’t want to spend too much time doing things you’re not being paid for.
If these tasks are unavoidable, that’s where automation comes in! There are many ways to automate your work, be it communication with clients or document management.
Benefits of automation
• It reduces the risk of human error
• It makes tasks like filling out forms easier for customers
• It gives you more time to work on actual cases
• It lowers administrative costs through producing fewer tasks that require human attention
Customer relationship management
When you take on a new client, you usually need them to fill out a bunch of paperwork. The most old-school establishment will sit their client down in their office, print out a stack of papers that need to be filled out and signed, and wait for the client to read, fill out, and sign them.
Obviously, that’s very time-consuming for both parties. Think of how long it will take you to print out all the documents, and how long it will take your client to read through them and fill them out. Granting the client access to these documents in a digital format outside of the meeting would cut the meeting time significantly.
A smart CRM tool can help you manage the way, you onboard new clients. Your client can fill everything out online on their own time. You don’t have to rush them and they don’t have to rush. CRM tools allow parties to use their e-signature to sign official documents. It’s just as binding as a wet signature and only takes one second. No paper needs to be involved.
As an attorney, you’re probably used to heaps of paperwork. Memos, contracts, agreements, and other documents can easily get lost on hard drives and in drawers. A wholesome software solution for lawyers can keep all of your documentation in one place. With a cloud-based solution, you can have access to your contracts from any mobile device.
Another part of documentation management is editing and proofreading contracts. Reading a contract from start to finish is very time-consuming. Legal software for law firms can help you go through contracts much faster. Loio, for example, highlights all the important information in the text, like addresses and bank account numbers, so you don’t have to read through the whole thing to notice the essentials. It can point out possible mistakes you can fix with one click. That can save you hours of proofreading.
Similarly, templates fall under documentation management. You never have to write anything from scratch if you have effective templates. Using templates saves you lots of time and reduces the risk of human error.
It can take several emails to decide on something as simple as a meeting time. If you and your clients live busy lives, there is often no time to make a 5-minute call, let alone send 5 emails back and forth. One easy way to avoid redundant correspondence and become more efficient in scheduling meetings is through law firm software and automation tools.
Find a software solution that is able to sync with your calendar. That way your clients can see when you’re available for a call or meeting. Instead of several emails, you just receive an invitation that you can confirm, deny, or make changes to. Additionally, you can set up alerts that will remind you about the meeting 5 days/hours/minutes prior.
FindTime is an excellent Office365 add-on that allows clients to see your availability on Outlook.
Invest now, save later
There are more examples of successful law firm automation that include workflow management, analytics, and effective communication. Legal software for law firms is one of the most effective ways to improve your firm’s efficiency. Software can help you schedule meetings, bill your clients, and communicate with clients and colleagues. In addition to that, with an “all-in-one” solution, you can store all of your documentation in one place.
Start automating your tasks in the office to save time. With more time on your hands, you can focus on your actual income in the form of billable hours. Though it will take a few hours to set everything up, it will save you more time in the future.