The last years’ events have revealed exactly how important technology is in the legal sector. Remote work became a necessity, and lawyers who have used tech solutions before the pandemic found it much easier to adapt.
Furthermore, law firms who “fixed” their inefficient workflows thanks to new solutions delivered better service to their clients without losing money in the process.
Thus, the use of technologies is one of the main factors that determine a law firm’s success and survival. The right software can make your life easier, and help you live up to the expectations of today’s demanding clients.
With that in mind, here is our rundown of technologies that you should be using to reach your full potential in 2021.
1. AI-powered legal software
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are making a positive impact in the legal industry. Two common applications for AI in the world of legal software for law firms are related to legal research and document review.
The days of putting together a string of specific search terms while researching a case using online legal databases are behind.
Legal research software takes advantage of natural language processing (NLP) to help you search more intuitively and contextually.
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This method is faster and more precise, helping you find exactly what you need without worrying about useless results.
On the other hand, legal document software, such as Loio, simplifies and streamlines the process of reviewing and editing contracts.
Using the power of AI, it automatically analyzes your documents and finds all the crucial elements, providing you easy access to key information in your contract.
The speed at which you can now edit and review legal documents will prove to be valuable once you invest all the time you saved on tackling more important issues.
2. Virtual legal assistants and chatbots
When it comes to solving an inefficient client intake process, chatbots and virtual legal assistants (VLA) are among the most helpful solutions.
Chatbots can be added to your website to answer simple queries and aid in the client intake process by gathering all the important client information while also handling appointments.
Your first client meeting can go smoothly, without you doing any of the administrative work by yourself.
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VLAs operate in a similar fashion, the only difference being that they handle tasks via phone. All of your calls will be routed to a VLA service, thus giving your clients easy access to your services, without an actual receptionist.
3. Tools for online payments
During the pandemic, introducing multiple payment options is always good for business.
By giving your clients the option of paying for legal fees electronically, you increase productivity since they will have a chance to pay for your services quickly from the safety of their homes.
You can use ClientPay for all of your online payment needs, but if you want your payment processing tool to integrate with your other software solutions, such as your billing software, you might consider checking out LawPay.
4. Client relationship management software
While client relationship management software (CRM) can help you overhaul your client intake process, it’s also a valuable tool when it comes to business development.
A CRM lets you centralize your customers’ data and organize client-specific tasks, such as appointments or deadlines. Another great feature of CRMs is the option of storing all client information, including notes from previous interactions. This can help you connect to your client on a more personal level.
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CRM shines the most in offering insights into your data. These analytics allow you to track your client conversion rate and multiple aspects of lead generation.
For example, a CRM can give you an overview regarding the sources of your leads and even show you if your lead sources are shifting.
All these data can reveal how well your law firm is operating and the areas in which you can make improvements.
Two popular options in 2021 are Clio Grow and CASEpeer.
5. Productivity apps
Even though they haven’t been developed specifically with law firms in mind, productivity apps have been proven to be useful in the legal field. Regardless of the fact that the pesky virus is now coming under control, there’s no reason to abandon these tools, even if you are back at the office.
You’ve probably been using Zoom extensively past year, so you are quite familiar with what it does.
You should still continue using it to give your client the option of remote appointments or schedule virtual meetings with business partners to strengthen your existing network.
Project management tools like Trello or Evernote can be used to organize projects and help you keep track of important tasks. They made collaboration smooth(er) in 2020, so abandoning the benefits they add to the workflow would be ludicrous.
Software is your best friend
Even with massive vaccinations taking place and the world opening up again, clients’ expectations have been changed forever.
Not giving your customers an option of paying online, spending hours to research a case, or having a convoluted client intake process won’t slide in 2021. What’s more, the absence of any form of digital transformation strategy can have a serious impact on your bottom line.
The answer is simple. To maintain a competitive edge and seize on new opportunities, law firms need to stay on top of the latest developments and innovations to keep up with and leverage all the advancements. The sooner, the better.