How Legal Software Influences Law Firm Management
What would you do if nearly a quarter of your non-billable work disappeared? According to FindLaw, 23% of a lawyer’s work can be done via automated legal technology. Imagine how many more cases you could take on, or perhaps, you could get off early to golf or spend quality time with the family.
Since 2017, legal technology patents worldwide have increased by 484%, and it is predicted that by 2025 the yearly revenue of the legal tech industry will reach $25.17 billion USD. Lawyers are rapidly adopting legal technology as it increases the efficiency and profitability of their firms while reducing work for their employees.
Increased Adoption of Legal Technology Worldwide
Would you have believed it twenty years ago if someone said we would all carry around little screens in our pockets, call people with video, and post our day-to-day lives online? That would have been hard to imagine at the time, yet it has become our reality. It’s incredible to think about how rapidly technology has evolved and inundated every part of our lives.
In the legal industry, we are just starting to see how technology can help law firm management by streamlining intake, managing workflows, and increasing client satisfaction. This makes now the perfect time to start introducing legal tech to your firm!
As time goes on, it’s only going to become more of an essential part of the legal industry, and by getting involved now, you’ll be a step ahead of the competition. In this blog post, we will touch on a couple of essential tools your law firm will want to adopt including a website chat such as Intaker and a legal practice management software like PracticePanther.
Streamlining the Customer Journey From Start to Finish
Legal technology provides practical solutions to your law firm’s daily struggles, such as creating an effective workflow for client intake.
Imagine Becky is looking for a divorce attorney, she has browsed a few websites, but none of them stood out. She wants to find someone relatable with whom she feels comfortable sharing her personal life.
Becky lands on your website and sees the Intaker chat, the interactive video piqued her interest, and she begins to fill out the form. She gets to the end of the chat and it asks if she’d like to schedule an appointment, she chooses an available time slot and is happy to have finally made progress in finding a lawyer.
Afterward, she receives a friendly follow-up text. Becky is impressed by the prompt reply and no longer feels the need to keep researching other firms.
The lead information is automatically sent to a law practice management platform, like PracticePanther. Once Becky has decided to proceed with onboarding, you can send documents to capture electronic signatures, send follow-up via 2-way business text messaging, and process online payments all without leaving PracticePanther.
Optimizing the client journey is one example of how legal technology can improve your workflow and create a structured onboarding process that benefits lawyers and clients. For lawyers, it’s an all-in-one solution that reduces busy work and the chance of making mistakes. For clients, it’s a modern way to communicate with their lawyers and make payments easily.
3 Ways Legal Software Improves Law Firm Management
Error reduction for attorneys
One reason attorneys love adopting legal technology is the reduction in error it provides. An example would be the Intaker chat and PracticePanther’s CRM (customer relationship management) feature for seamless intake.
Imagine Mark filled out the Intaker chat with information about his DUI. The Intaker prompts are designed to capture all relevant information so your firm can qualify him immediately. If he were to call right after filling out the chat, anyone at your firm would be able to see his information and be up to speed because his intake transcript was auto-forwarded to PracticePanther. Having automated resources to keep a lead warm will greatly increase the amount of new business a firm takes on.
What often happens to firms without automation in place, is that a lead might call the law firm to provide some general information about their case. From there, it may take days for the lead’s information to get shared with the rest of the legal team. Most likely, another meeting would need to be scheduled with the lead to ask him more qualifying questions.
After waiting to hear back from you, a prospective client would often begin shopping around and perhaps find someone with a more efficient intake process, even if your firm is more capable of handling the case.
Law firm scalability
Another benefit of legal technology is that automation allows for a streamlined law firm management process and unprecedented scalability. Growing your firm was once costly because you would need more people to handle increased caseloads. Hiring an assistant could cost four to five thousand dollars per month, whereas most legal tech is only a tiny fraction of that.
Even as a small firm, you’ll have output comparable to large ones with automation. Your team can focus on thought-provoking work instead of wasting valuable time trying on mundane tasks, such as pre-qualifying cases.
With a freed-up intake department, large firms can spend time reaching out to people they have not received retainers from or have not called back.
Beyond intake, legal technology allows you to receive payments quickly, send over documents efficiently, and text back and forth quickly rather than waiting on an email or making a phone call.
Not to mention, auto-scheduling allows clients to book appointments whenever their schedule allows. All of these seemingly small tasks add up, and by automating them, you will be surprised at how much more time you have in a day and how much more energy you’ll have to focus on growing your business.
You might be thinking, wait a minute, how does technology establish empathy? Consider social media; even though you aren’t visiting with your friends face-to-face, you still feel an emotion when you see one of their pictures online.
Intaker had empathy in mind when creating their website chat. They are the first legal chat company to make an automated chat with an interactive video component. It’s simple for lawyers to film a quick video of themselves and upload it directly to the Intaker dashboard.
Including interactive video as part of the chat experience was a forward-thinking approach; as the ABA recently said, “Video remains a marketing tool that firms have not capitalized on, particularly small firms.” The statistics read, “Only 28% of respondents’ firms use video for marketing overall, including only 19% of lawyers from firms of 2-9 lawyers, 18% of lawyers from firms of 10-49 lawyers, and only 10% of solos.”
You may have noticed that trends explode on a broader scale before trickling down into the legal industry. TikTok is taking over as a dominant social platform, and Instagram is adapting by rewarding users who create video content.
The popularity of video content across multiple platforms signals that it is not going away and will only become an increasingly necessary component of digital marketing for lawyers. Of course, video is not the only way to establish empathy. Simply having a well-thought-out online presence that aligns with your firm’s values will set you apart from others.
Introduce Legal Software at Your Law Firm
Are you interested in streamlining your client journey, improving the intake process, and boosting client satisfaction? Now is the perfect time to get started with law firm automation software. You will stand out from the competition as efficient, organized, and responsive. The room for error will be minimized, and you’ll be able to establish an empathetic connection with potential clients before ever getting on the phone.
Not only will you benefit clients, but you’ll reduce time spent on administrative and non-billable tasks across your staff. They will no longer be wasting time on repetitive tasks that could be automated. Intake, onboarding, document management, and payments can all get handled virtually. With a freed-up schedule, they’ll have more time to invest in creating a strong digital marketing strategy to scale their practice.
Best of all, you’ll establish empathy from when a client lands on your website without ever having a conversation. From your introductory video, you’ll be able to establish rapport and build trust with your future clients. With follow-up automation and business texting, you’ll be able to maintain a great relationship throughout your work together.
There is no downside to introducing legal tech to your firm. Even if you experience a short learning curve, it’s well worth the long-term results.