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A  Comprehensive Guide to Choosing Top Tech Tools for Law Firms in 2021

by Fatima Freifer

case management software, practice management software, legal accounting software, legaltech, technology for lawyers, case management, immigration, london, united kingdom

The tech tools landscape is ever evolving, with defining technology to transform the legal industry in 2021 

Consumers are becoming more technologically savvy. New technologies are being introduced to the legal profession and many of them can make life easier for lawyers. The fallback however is that new technologies are not always easy to become familiar with. Working from home and engaging online via technology such as Zoom have eliminated the need for face-to-face encounters. Customers have become accustomed to expecting immediate responses to inquiries, as well as quick service; customers of legal service providers are no different.  

Following a year of upheaval and challenges for the legal profession as a result of the worldwide pandemic, many legal professionals are now functioning in a virtual reality—whether they work remotely part-time or have adopted a virtual law practice. 

According to the 2020 Legal Trends Report, 58% of consumers believe technology is more essential to them now than it was before the coronavirus epidemic. [1] Research has also indicated that the trend towards remote work is unlikely to reverse after the pandemic has passed. But what does this have to do with law firms? It is now more vital than ever for legal professionals to embrace technology and techniques that facilitate remote work in order to adapt to the new way people work and expect services. 

Cybersecurity in the Legal Domain

Of course, there is always the overriding concern that with the use of certain technologies to online storage networks, client information could inadvertently or without intention, be misplaced, or worse still, land in the hands of online hackers. 

Unless an exemption exists, attorneys are expected to keep information supplied to them by a client purely confidential. This ethical obligation is a cornerstone of the legal profession, and it has been the primary source of concern when integrating legal technology. This need, however, should not be seen as a cause to shun law firm technology, but rather as an incentive to continue to constantly improve it. 

Furthermore, it is critical for a new law firm to collaborate with a Cybersecurity firm that knows the particular requirements of the legal profession. Attorneys must endeavour to protect electronically stored material from cyber-attacks in order to comply with relevant ethical requirements. If information is hacked or  internet vulnerabilities threaten the privacy of information, law firms are subject to legal malpractice lawsuits.[2] 

Why Should Law Companies Invest in Modern Legal Technology?

Although most businesses are already currently using some form of technology, it is critical to constantly review a company’s requirements and goals. New legal tech tools may answer numerous difficulties a business encounters, whether it is providing clients with a self-service site or having a digital workflow for faster operations. Because of the advantages that this sort of technology gives, companies can achieve more of their respective objectives, such as workflow efficacy and better efficiency and output; 

Workflow efficacy:  

Lawyers must be provided with a tool to allow them to communicate quickly and readily with colleagues and clients as well as smoothly collaborate on more complicated legal tasks effectively. Using software to handle legal affairs can assist in developing step-by-step processes, creating easy-to-use checklists for common activities and adhering to crucial deadlines. 

Better efficiency and output:  

Modern technology is designed to assist with completing everyday activities effortlessly. By having access to an automated template to work from, for instance, a court assignment can be completed in a more speedy manner. 

Choosing a Product to Suit a Firm

The product itself is the most important factor in every purchase choice made. The purchase decision should ultimately be based on the quality, features and functionalities offered. After all, the product is what employees will be utilising on a daily basis. Therefore an assessment to determine projected efficiencies from any particular software is essential. The focus must be on what the product will bring to the practice, how staff will benefit from it and how the long-term value the product will contribute to the organisation. 

The longevity of a supplier with a history of interacting with law firms of ranging sizes across the market is also beneficial. A client portfolio demonstrating a proven track record and level of expertise, working with start-ups to multi-branched law firms and catering for law firms of different practice areas provides decision makers with better insight and, consequently, better confidence selecting a software.  

In 2021, the capacity to digitise documents will be critical for lawyers, therefore a scanner is necessary. From legal documents to expense receipts, attorneys deal with files and records on a regular basis that they must be able to readily and quickly access from anywhere.[3] 

Document Management 

Paperwork is an unavoidable aspect of the legal profession, but it doesn’t have to be as onerous or time-consuming as it has been in the past. Document automation solutions for attorneys make it easier to create documents, such as letters and motions, by leveraging information one already has on system, such as important dates or contact information, to complete forms. Document management software then assists in safely storing and accessing such documents. 

Virtual Reception and Forwarding Services 

A substantial amount of a caseworker’s working day is frequently spent communicating with clients or assembling documents. A virtual receptionist allows an organisation to have all business phone calls rerouted at any time, even with the use of multiple phone lines and employees stationed remotely. Firms will always be able to answer essential business phone calls, whether working from home, the office or on the road. This implies that legal firms may take advantage of more opportunities that come their way, thus enabling the potential of increasing revenue. With the assistance of these services clients can receive better service and a firm can cut down on the cost of having a full-time in-house staff member fielding calls. 

Conclusion

Working online and adopting new technology allows for complete communication and improved service. The nature of competition has shifted; as businesses have embraced digitalization, their reach has increased to include  a nationwide client base. Law companies may serve their customers online regardless of where they are based. 

When it comes to law firm development, having the appropriate tools for a law firm’s particular needs can make all the difference in easing workflow and increasing efficiency, leading to an all-round more productive, client focused firm.  

case management software, practice management software, legal accounting software, legaltech, technology for lawyers, case management, immigration, london, united kingdom

References

[1] Top Tech Tools for Lawyers in 2021, Sharon Miki, https://www.clio.com/blog/tools-for-lawyers/ 

[2] What are the Technology Considerations for a New Law Firm? Larry Sorensen, Sep 2021, https://www.global-cool.com/legal-it-services-considerations-for-your-new-law-firm/ 

[3] Key considerations for law firms when choosing legal software, Legal Futures Associate, June 2021, https://www.legalfutures.co.uk/associate-news/key-considerations-for-law-firms-when-choosing-legal-software