Generally speaking, the domestic relations practice area has withstood and even flourished, under the significant challenges of the last two years. Following an initial hit at the start of the pandemic, many family law practices experienced a rebound that allowed them to maintain and build their finances. This happened for a variety of reasons. Family dynamics changed drastically during widespread shutdowns, driving divorce and custody cases. Other factors included the influx of money that some people experienced through stimulus checks and higher unemployment benefits. But even with these widespread dynamics, some family law firms were able to take advantage of them and some were not.
The difference seemingly lies in the processes and resources that these firms had in place before the start of the pandemic. Family practices that used some key technologies were armed with the tools they needed to take on an influx of cases within a less than the desirable environment. The inability to meet clients in person or work from a central location did not stop them from evolving prospects into new clients, while continuously providing current clients with stellar legal services. These firms recognized the value that key pieces of technology providers. They were better able to handle the rapid changes that came from the pandemic and managed to earn more revenue than many of their counterparts.
This post will explore those three technologies and how they can help family law firms move ahead in 2022.
Securing New Clients
Planning and future revenue will be extremely important for family law firms in 2022, which means that firms must keep new cases coming through their doors. Pre-pandemic methods of handling lead management and legal intake have become largely ineffective within today’s environment. First, prospective clients want and expect quick responses from the firms they contact. They have no patience for unresponsiveness and unnecessarily delayed processes. So, when faced with these inconveniences, they immediately move on to the next firm on their list. CRM systems can help firms automate these processes to remain competitive.
The second challenge of securing new clients is the ineffectiveness of traditional client intake processes. Firms have historically required prospective clients to come into their offices for interviews, signing required documents, and make payments. To facilitate these processes within the highly remote world of 2022, family firms need resources like virtual meeting tools and electronic signature platforms.
The pandemic was a stark reminder that this is an eCommerce society, where family law clients are far more likely to pay with a bank card or credit card than a paper check or cash. Over the last two years, it has been an issue of staying safe and socially distanced. Moving into 2022, safety remains a concern for clients, but they have also become accustomed to handling business virtually. They prefer the convenience of not coming into the office, and they have become comfortable utilizing the tools to make that happen.
Electronic payments are now a staple of legal practice. By not offering them, family law practices lose a valuable opportunity for profitability and firm growth. Fees and professional rules are no longer legitimate reasons to resist electronic payments. For instance, TimeSolv legal billing software offers a comprehensive and cost-effective platform that includes everything from time tracking to the collection of electronic payments. In addition, state bars have updated regulations about the acceptance of online payments.
Family law firms benefit from electronic payment tools in a variety of ways, including greater efficiency, quicker payments, improved cash flow, and better forecasting. These are all necessary components as family law firms continue navigating the pandemic throughout 2022.
Family law clients are often going through some of the most difficult circumstances of their lives. This can mean a lot of questions and concerns constantly coming into the law office, requiring lawyers and support teams to spend a lot of time answering telephone calls and responding to client questions. In the midst of a pandemic with vast uncertainty and remote working conditions, client portals become extremely important tools for maintaining communication between the firm and its clients. As work is completed on a case, family law attorneys can remotely update the client portal, even before generating an invoice.
Clients can then independently access the portal to view the information they are seeking about billing statements, trust accounts, or case developments. One of the most common complaints about attorneys is a failure to keep clients informed about the cases, and this was even more of a problem during the pandemic. The client portal increases communication to promote a successful attorney-client relationship. Clients stay informed and maintain confidence that work is being completed on their cases.
Technology is Key for Family Law Firms to Get Ahead in 2022
Even prior to the pandemic, the most successful law firms have not been afraid to embrace technology and innovation. When faced with unprecedented business interruptions, it was these family law firms that were best able to maintain and thrive. Make sure your family law firm stays ahead of the pack in 2022 by implementing these valuable tools and processes. To learn more about TimeSolv legal billing software, click this website link for a free trial offer.