Technology holds power for all kinds of businesses. Law firms, especially, are areas where tech holds vast potential to revolutionize everything. From administrative tasks to remote work, technology helps staff members optimize their responsibilities and increase the firm’s profitability.
Too often, law firms lose money in subtle ways. If lawyers and consultants don’t keep track of time with clients, for instance, they may lose billable time and the profitability of the firm will decrease.
Instead, using technology for every need, in and out of the workplace, is what will boost the firm’s efficiency and make sure it’s accurately bringing in more revenue than before.
From 2017 to 2018, 68% of tech-oriented law firms were able to increase their profitability. Without technology, this feat would not have been possible. It’s time for all law firms to adjust to this level.
Of the technology that exists in the world, much of it helps businesses in general, like time-tracking software. However, law firms will also find that specific systems and software will go a long way for their specific needs. Both overlap in this list of tech:
- Time tracking software
- Payroll automation
- Remote work
- Feedback tracker
These sections can sometimes be broad but breaking them down into specific gadgets and systems will help law firms understand their specific needs and increase profitability.
1. Time Tracking Software
Time tracking is essential when representatives from the firm work with clients. Often, speaking with a client without some form of timekeeper will miss billable hours, losing profits for the firm. Instead, staff can use a system like TimeTracker from eBillity to cater to the specific needs of lawyers and bill clients accurately.
2. Workflow Automation
When it comes to administrative work, staff have a lot on their plate. From payroll to filing to properly billing clients, these tasks have automated solutions. DocuWare and DropBox are two common examples of resources that can automatically categorize emails, invoices, documents and contracts into the right folders.
Something as simple as PulseHRM will automatically handle payroll and billing. Admins can then focus on tasks that automation doesn’t cover, like phone call screening and making connections for more revenue.
3. Remote Work
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that employees can work from home and the firm can still operate efficiently. In fact, a study from Harvard suggests that at least 16% of employees will continue working from home after the pandemic ends.
To do so effectively, staff will need resources like Zoom, Slack and Google Drive. These online resources help optimize video conferencing, communication and cloud-based file storage and sharing. Everything happens in an instant and work can continue faster than ever.
4. Management Software
Firm management software is one of the best ways to increase law firm profitability. Sources like Clio and MyCase provide scheduling, client tracking, bookkeeping and accounting, invoices, timekeeping and case management. Using Clio, Beacon Law in Houston, Texas, is helping to provide shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness.
Having a system that can organize everything in one place makes it easier for the firm to understand its spending and how much clients will owe. Employees can then compare the overall profitability of each year.
One of the most critical aspects of any form of client-based work is communication. Getting feedback from clients is a necessary way to improve. For instance, if a client needs a service that a firm doesn’t supply, that could mean a loss in profits. Feedback could incentivize an expansion and thus draw more clients in.
This step could be as simple as setting up an exit survey for clients to fill out online, from any location, once they are done working with the firm. Additionally, law firms can use positive feedback as testimonials on their site to sway potential clients.
Cybersecurity has become a primary concern for businesses everywhere. Law firms will need excellent IT teams to monitor traffic and maintain various layers of encryption. Protecting client information is a priority for compliance and good business practices.
2020 brought unique challenges, too. Due to the 800% surge in cybersecurity crimes during the pandemic, law firms will want to expand legal representation to cover them, increasing profits even more.
Putting It All Together
These technologies each fall under the categories of automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. They have the potential to revolutionize a law firm of any size. For instance, using the metrics and data these systems produce, firms can view trends and predict what will come next, preparing to go where the profits are.
With each of these steps in place, law firms cover all their bases. The combination of tech tools and resources is what will ultimately drive a drastic increase in law firm profitability.