What are the best resources available to lawyers for the upcoming year to help them build successful practices? Many lawyers now work in a virtual environment, whether part-time remote workers or have embraced a fully virtual law office after the global epidemic caused a year of upheaval and challenges for the legal profession.
Over the past year, businesses and consumers have quickly increased their use of technology. According to the 2020 Legal Trends Report, 58% of consumers now value technology more than before the coronavirus outbreak.
According to the study, the shift toward remote labor is not expected to reverse after the pandemic is finished. In what ways does this affect law firms? Embracing technology and techniques that enable remote work for lawyers is more crucial than ever.
We’ll discuss the best tools for lawyers in this post using information from industry studies and trends we’ve noticed in the legal business. You may decide what your company needs to utilize to make it run as efficiently as possible by learning what tools and equipment other legal professionals use in our new, more virtual environment.
What Technology Do Lawyers Use?
In today’s increasingly distant workplace, the most successful law firms use technology tools to operate more effectively and safely. Not every firm needs the same tech stack because what functions best for your firm relies on elements, including size and practice area.
However, starting with the fundamentals before incorporating tech solutions to close gaps, boost productivity, and provide superior service to your clientele is wise. For instance, most modern law firms start with legal practice management software (more on that below).
Let’s examine the main categories of legal equipment that flourishing firms employ nowadays.
1. E-signature Tool
Coordination is easier with electronic signature software for lawyers. They also help lawyers and clients operate more efficiently and conserve paper which is key as more firms are going paperless. While e-signatures do not function in every case, they are legally enforceable in many instances if certain conditions are met. However, most signatures are required in some states for documents like wills. There are several benefits of electronic signatures that you can try while legal practicing, for example, a signature of the convicted, the opposition party, family consent documents and so on.
2. Video Conferencing Software
Communication and collaboration are critical to a lawyer’s success, yet in-person communication isn’t always practical or desired. According to the 2020 Legal Trends Report, 37% of consumers now choose to consult with or meet with a lawyer electronically for the first time. Even more (50%) prefer video conferencing for follow-up meetings.
According to our guide to video conferencing for lawyers, the finest video solutions should be secure, simple to use, and clear (in both audio and video quality). Legaler is a solid option for end-to-end encryption and simple online meeting solutions.
3. Online File Storage
Online file storage tools for lawyers are essential whether you’re working remotely or want simple, quick access to papers so you can work and collaborate from anywhere. In the 2020 Legal Trends Report, 79% of attorneys stated that they rely on cloud computing to keep the data for their firms. Look for cloud-based, safe, and simple-to-use online file storage solutions.
One of the most widely used document storage apps worldwide, Dropbox, is probably your first choice regarding online file storage. Dropbox was the most widely used cloud service, with 67% of survey participants reporting using it, according to the 2020 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report.
4. Time Tracking and Billing Solutions
For a law business to be profitable, time tracking and billing must be accurate. However, manually keeping track of time and handling billing reduces your productivity. Start by looking at your practice management software, which may have functions to handle this if you aren’t already utilizing lawyer tools to assist with time and billing. For instance, Tools has functionality for tracking and billing legal time and expense.
5. Practice Management Software
In 2021, businesses must have legal practice management software, especially smaller firms. The usage of practice management software was trending up for solo practitioners and smaller firms, according to the ABA’s 2020 Legal Technology Survey Report (increasing from 1% to 29% in 2020). In fact, for law firms with 2–9 attorneys, the proportion of people personally utilizing practice management software increased by 2% over the previous year to 45%.
Although the epidemic probably caused many law firms to adopt cloud-based software, it seems they will keep doing so in the future. According to the 2020 Legal Trends Report, 96% of attorneys want to continue using practice management programs after the epidemic.