Three Major Family Law Firms Challenges that can be Overcome with Legal Tech

Written by Branden Wawrzyniak

6 min read

Family law attorneys deal with a variety of challenges as they work to maintain the business side of their practices, while also providing their clients with top-notch legal representation. But many of these obstacles can be effectively addressed through the implementation of tech innovations. This post will highlight core areas of domestic relations law practices where challenges can be adequately addressed with legal technologies.

Challenge No. One – Inadequate Legal Billing and Payment Processing 

As with any law firm, the collection of client payments is critical for a family law firm to thrive. But unfortunately, many family law attorneys find it challenging to secure compensation for the services they provide. A variety of circumstances may contribute to this challenge, including inadequate retainers or the financial hardships that often accompany divorces and other domestic relations matters. However, there are steps that family law firms can take to promote a more effective billing and payment process.

From the billing perspective, detailed invoices, prompt billing, and timely follow-up on unsettled accounts are vital actions for ensuring that clients receive accurate and consistent invoices. These tasks can be handled much easier and more efficiently with the use of technologies like legal practice management (LPM) and legal billing software.

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LPM and billing platforms can maintain all billing records in a centralized database so that timekeeper records can be quickly accessed and imported to create comprehensive client billing statements that are delivered on a regular basis. The legal billing system may also include useful billing features like customizable templates, automated tax calculations, easy-to-apply discounting, and invoicing options for various fee arrangements.

From the payment perspective, legal clients are more likely to make complete and timely compensation when payment methods are easy and convenient for them to use. They want the option of making payments online from the comfort of their homes or wherever they happen o be located at the time. For the family law firm, payment processing becomes more efficient and speedier, which promotes greater revenue.

From mobile time tracking to the collection of online payments, TimeSolv legal billing software provides family law practices with technology that streamlines every step of the billing and payment process. TimeSolv offers the innovative billing system that firms need to bill consistently, improve collections, and increase revenue.

Challenge No. Two – Inadequate Trust Accounting  

Family law firms typically rely on retainers and fee advances to secure their cash flow. This means that they commonly utilize trust and IOLTA accounts, which carry very specific compliance regulations. For this reason, family law attorneys need trust accounting solutions with safeguards in place to ensure that they remain compliant.

The right legal billing technologies can be of great assistance with this challenge as well.  Some include tools that make it easier to allocate client funds to the appropriate trust account. In addition, once compensation is earned, the technology allows for the seamless transfer of funds to the firm’s operating account. Family law firms commonly maintain numerous trust accounts at any given time, so comprehensive software is critical for maintaining compliant management and reporting. 

Challenge No. Three – Missed Deadlines and Appearances

Now that we have discussed the advantages that legal tech brings to the business and financial functions of a family law firm, let’s turn to what lies as the core of family law practices, which is providing legal service to clients. As such, accurate calendaring and appointment management must be a priority. Without, important client deadlines, and even court appearances, may be missed.  Traditional methods of calendaring can lead to miscommunications inadequate safeguards, which can cause significant problems between the firm and its clients, along with professional liability concerns.

There are numerous legal technologies on the market to help family law firms manage their calendaring systems and ensure compliance with looming deadlines. For instance, docket control software systems send alerts to firm members as reminders for upcoming filing deadlines or timing limitations for specific legal actions, motions, and cases. Some of these calendaring functions are rule-based with customization to specific jurisdictions, which can prove to be a crucial safeguard against possible professional liability claims.

Useful features of an effective legal calendaring technology include:

  • Firm-wide daily scheduling for staff and resources
  • Syncing firm activities with other calendars like MS Outlook
  • Specialized integration systems that provide updated and accurate rules-based calendaring
  • Integration capabilities with LPM systems and other administrative software

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Family Law Attorneys Rely on Legal Technology to Meet Firm Challenges

Legal industry innovations have come a long way in helping law firms successfully navigate the business and services sides of legal practice. With the hustle and volume of a family law practice, these firms need technology that makes processes simpler and more efficient to handle. To learn more about TimeSolv legal billing software, click this website link for a free, no-obligation trial.

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