Joshua Browder announced his intention to remove the word lawyer from the dictionary back in 2018. He planned to do it using his start-up, DoNotPay, which helps people fight parking tickets using a legal research bot. In no uncertain terms, the world of the law got a glimpse of just how powerful technical solutions could be. Suddenly, nobody was indispensable.
If law firms aren’t leading a technological revolution, they are languishing. They will inevitably become dinosaurs and committed to history. Getting out in front of tech trends is essential and here are some software solutions to help you do that.
6 Top Tech Solutions for Lawyers
Document Editing AI
The legal sector had a glaring indifference to efficiency in recent decades. However, clients are no longer as patient, tolerant or ignorant as they used to be. The world is moving toward greater levels of efficiency and transparency and archaic processes are no longer acceptable. The easiest place to start remedying the situation is the biggest time suck – document preparation.
Loio legal document analysis software is just one example of the pioneering AI solutions on the market. They are a proofreading, analysis and document review solution that enhance the speed of your contract prep. Loio replaces previous painstakingly slow processes with greater accuracy and speed. Automation is the future and laborious editing is the past. Tools like Loio help you shed unnecessary hours.
If your office still takes most of your payments by cheque; it’s time for a wake-up call. This is the exact inefficiency and indifference to client needs that hyper-automation is taking to task. Think of the redundancies. Your client has to write the cheque and either post it or drop it off. Your accounts team record it, lodge it and wait 5 days for it to clear. It’s 2021. People don’t wait anymore.
Contactless technology and digital billing have been here for a while. It is more trustworthy, efficient, predictable and appreciated by clients. LawPay, TimeSolv Billing, Sage, PC Law and many more create streamlined digital billing cycles. Your clients get and pay invoices on your terms using methods that suit them.
Digital billing eradicates the monotony of chasing payment and the variety of redundancies involved in outdated payment methods.
Legal Research Tools
Coursing the floors of law libraries in search of decade-old precedent should be a thing of the past. Westlaw, LexisNexis and ROSS Intelligence have done everything they can to render that practice obsolete. They are ably supported by dozens of other federal and state-specific online law libraries and research tools.
To paint the picture of efficiency, LexisNexis has a feature that updates you every time a decision is made in a case you are following. You get a literal text when anything of note happens. That is the speed of knowledge transfer that is possible and it is empowering lawyers learning at an advanced rate.
To grasp the level of innovation, ROSS Intelligence is leveraging the mind-blowing abilities of an IBM supercomputer known as Watson. Watson interprets non-legalese questions to expedite your research. The AI understands layperson speak to deliver case law, statutes and regulations from all over the country. It even shows what case laws were disputed and considered dubious at the time. Watson is quite possibly the closest to automated, AI law available on the market.
Cloud and Case Management
Cloud platforms have gone beyond mutually accessible document sharing. For years, we had been happy to dip our toes in the cloud sparingly until the pandemic hit. Then we had to learn and learn fast.
Cloud and case management tools offer a variety of speedier, more intuitive solutions. Starting with client intake, platforms like Clio and Ruby have created virtual receptionists and management systems that are live 24 hours a day. The intake process is automated meaning clients fill out their details and needs and the system auto-populates your intake forms and profiles. Equally, the system is equipped to share documents between in-house departments and clients with a shared portal.
Cloud and case management platforms like Clio, OneTapp, and MyCase allow leadership and senior counsel to review a dashboard of case progress whilst also managing client relationships. As a cherry on top, most cloud platforms also use AI to analyze and report data. This means workflow and marketing decisions can leverage customer insights to improve their processes.
Fax machines and mail have long been the dinosaurs of information exchange. Snail mail barely even does it justice. Firms have switched to a far superior service in e-signatures.
E-Signatures allow you to send a document via email to clients and have them provide an electronic signature without fuss. It is routinely featured as one of the Top Microsoft Word Tips for Lawyers because it deletes a huge time killer. You can send contracts and other documents quickly and receive them back with a legal signature in minutes.
Voice Over Internet Protocol
Clients have gotten into the habit of expecting digital service and 24-hour availability for everything. Virtual firms are on the rise to meet these demands because they save time, money and energy. However, making a virtual firm happen is a significant challenge.
VOIP systems allow you to be reachable at your business number no matter where you are with remote forwarding. Technologies like Corvum and Vonage even track the client call time to make sure billing can be easily updated. This removes the steps of manually submitting billing later. It is systems like these that remove barriers creating frictionless communications and service.
The legal sector is undergoing a caffeinated digital transformation at present and it has many firms worried. The worries are threatening the established pecking order as new competitive advantages are emerging. These are driven by fresh client expectations, impatience, demands for transparency and familiarity with tech.
Law firms wouldn’t be in this position had there not been resistance to technological solutions in the first place. Therefore, it is unlikely that continuing to resist is the answer. Despite this, only 30% of firms currently employ technology specialists which suggests two things. There are still huge opportunities for growing firms. And, outdated thinking is going to result in the legal sector shedding firms.
Either way, technological solutions for lawyers will continue to be approved by the ABA and this should make for exciting, disruptive change that augments lawyers and improves client services.