Across the industry, law firms are adopting new operating models to increase their efficiency and profitability. With workloads increasing faster than budgets, many firms are harnessing the power of new legal technologies to boost profitability, streamline processes, create significant cost reductions, and keep pace with recent trends in the trade.
Law firms that embrace automation, digital processes, and online client intake solutions are able to bring in more revenue across the board. But determining what tech to utilize and which processes to integrate requires a strategic approach. With a wealth of legal tech available to firms, it can be challenging to know what tech solutions are best suited for your firm's needs while increasing your client's satisfaction. Let's look at all the areas successful firms are digitizing to save money and create a more efficient business.
Automating as many processes as possible leaves more time for lawyers to dedicate to billable work. With the 2020 Legal Trends Report showing that lawyers were averaging only two and a half hours per day of billable work, the opportunity to increase revenue through automation is certainly there.
New client intake systems save your firm time by establishing a simplified, automated structure to retain new clients and organize their details all in one place. Likewise, expense tracking and timekeeping software allow your firm to instantly account for all your work, tasks, and communication. And new legal billing and electronic payments make it easier to generate invoices and review bills faster than ever.
Data from the 2020 Legal Trends Report also shows that firms utilizing electronic payments and online client intake saw 6% more growth than firms that did not.
Optimizing and digitizing internal processes
Redesigning internal workflows and standardizing processes with the help of technology is transforming law firms throughout the industry. Leveraging technology to disrupt your firm's current practices takes a clear vision and thoughtful implementation — and once in place, these solutions can provide measurable ROI.
Contract management software provides firms with an integrated set of tools to more effectively manage their entire contract management process. It also allows legal teams to securely maintain nearly unlimited document versions or templates so they can be used again or updated within seconds.
Even the contract negotiation process is becoming more streamlined from the previously drawn-out practice of redlining and back-and-forth communication. Collaboration portals allow each contract stakeholder to receive instant notifications when relevant documents need to be reviewed or edited.
Remote document execution
As the pandemic forced people to digitize their lives, new tools have become increasingly standardized regarding online notarization and signatures for document execution. Like contract negotiations, executing contracts has become wildly more convenient thanks to legal tech.
Now firms, clients, and contract stakeholders can use an online platform like Notarize to have their contracts and legal documents signed and notarized 24/7 from anywhere in the world, and within minutes. This simplifies an otherwise time-consuming process for both your firm and your clients, allowing your team to focus their time on more critical aspects of their work.
Collaboration through cloud computing
Though it's been a reality for years now, stay-at-home orders at the start of the pandemic solidified the necessity of cloud computing. With cloud technology, law firms can access all the documents that are required for their day-to-day business to run from anywhere in the world. The convenience and flexibility enabled by the cloud is unbeatable compared to the restrictions that come with on-premise servers.
These technological advancements have made it easier for your team to collaborate remotely — putting billing, contract management, tasks, insights, and shared documents at your fingertips.
Today law firms have more options than ever to adopt new technology and digitize processes to increase profitability. As any successful firm takes on an increased workload and serves more clients, it becomes even more imperative to embrace legal tech that can maximize revenue while minimizing costs — now and in the future.