As the field of legal technology continues to expand, it can be difficult to identify which tech offerings are best suited for the particular needs of your law firm. Do you need an improved document management system? Maybe e-discovery innovations best suit your needs. Don’t let the abundance of options overwhelm you though. I’m here with some valuable insight on six legal tech trends to help you make the best decisions for your practice.
- Case Management Software
Though case management systems have become a common staple within legal practice, some attorneys have yet to take advantage of this valuable technology – and if you are one of them, you need to put case management technology at the top of your list. Here are the reasons why:
- Allows your law office to work more efficiently and cohesively
- Improved organization of the entire client matter
- Tracking and management of client leads
- Efficient calendar management, including useful reminders
- Capabilities for convenient file-sharing between the firm and clients
There are numerous case management systems on the market, so consider your options before making a choice. Look at pricing, integration abilities, email management options, and document-related functions. The right case management software for your firm will offer the service you need at a price your practice can afford.
- Document Comparison Software
For lawyers handling multiple transaction cases, document comparison software can save a lot of precious time and money. Agreements can get extremely long, with numerous pages and provisions. Combing through multiple copies for changes and inconsistencies can be tedious without the help of some modern legal technology.
The right software does the work for you, easily navigating through every word, punctuation, and content grouping to identify even the smallest changes. With a document comparison system, you can feel confident that your review is 100% accurate.
The latest versions can be used for various document types, including Excel, pdf, and power points. They also offer share and sync functions, which makes it much easier to keep track of changes when numerous parties need to review and modify a document.
- Document Management
Thousands of pages can pass through a law firm on any given day. From evidentiary papers to case pleadings and court notifications, the potential for lost documents is constantly present without an adequate document management system. The most effective offerings provide your law firm with three important features:
- The ability to maintain the final version of a document, without the ability to alter it
- The ability to trace all movement and changes to a document for auditing purposes
- Safekeeping of documents, free from the possibility of physical damage
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) research
Legal research takes up a lot of time and effort within a legal practice. If the challenge of finding the most suitable statutory and case law isn’t enough, there’s also the added task of Shepardizing for accuracy and current relevance. It’s a necessary, but often nerve-racking, part of legal practice.
The latest innovations in artificial intelligence allow lawyers to conduct legal research more efficiently using natural language searches. With some of these platforms, lawyers can choose specific types of queries, leading to better search results. Another useful feature of these programs allows you to set up folders with documents you located through search. The system then uses AI to analyze the contents of the folder and make suggestions for additional cases and issues that may prove relevant.
- Marketing Automation
Online marketing can create another arduous task for legal practitioners. Keeping track of blogs, social media, email campaigns, and websites takes creativity, effort and a significant amount of time. For those of you who find this chore less than palatable, marketing automation offers a technology that handles your firm’s marketing efforts for you.
The latest innovations take your first automated task and provide you with a simplified path for automation of your additional tasks. Marketing automation handles such duties as:
- Social media postings that can be scheduled days, weeks, and even months in advance. Some options even automatically seek out relevant content for you.
- Email marketing to subscribers, with careful monitoring of open rates and responses.
- Auto-responders and chatbots that can answer questions and guide visitors through your website
- Automatic segmentation of your audience, so that the most appropriate and relevant materials are sent to new and existing clients.
- Legal billing and time tracking software
If your firm members are still tracking time in a legal pad and struggling with your invoicing process, then you are in desperate need of legal billing and time tracking software. The right software provides you with the tools necessary to keep track of all time being spent within your firm, by all members. It then helps you create billing statements and collect payments without the usual headaches.
TimeSolv is a cloud-based time tracking and legal billing platform that provides law firms with an innovative approach to these notoriously mundane legal practice tasks. With its mobile app, your firm members can track time spent on a matter with simplicity and ease. Whether sitting in a restaurant or the courthouse, TimeSolv provides the mobile capabilities that you won’t find in other legal billing options.
With TimeSolv in your toolbox, you can also quickly create customized invoices that accurately reflect time tracked and provide your clients with convenient methods of payment. Combined with reporting features, multiple integration options, and project management, TimeSolv is the right technology to meet many of your law firm’s needs.
Picking the technology your law firm needs
Don’t let the crowded legal tech field intimidate you. By evaluating the specific needs of your firm, you can better identify which tech innovations will best add to the efficiency, service, and overall effectiveness of your law practice.
About Erika Winston:
Erika Winston is a freelance writer with a passion for law. Through her business, The Legal Writing Studio, she helps legal professionals deliver effective written messages. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications.