Running a law firm is a fulfilling but difficult task. Each matter, simple as it may be, brings a labyrinth of steps which, if not followed, open a world of inefficiency, clientele dissatisfaction, and in some instances, even a malpractice lawsuit.
Add in the pressure of internal team management, and overwhelming becomes an understatement. The good news is that while there's no denying law firm management's a tight-rope, you can simplify it through the automation. If you're sceptical of automation, here are some benefits that might change your mind.
1. Reduce Time Spent on Non-Billable Legal Processes
The manual management of legal processes in today's fast-paced world not only bottlenecks productivity but directly impacts the profitability of a law firm by creating time-debts. For instance, if an office is yet to deploy a electronic document management system, the administrative assistant has to enter paper data into the existing system manually.
If in any instance, a lawyer needs a document urgently, they'll have no option but to wait for the assistant to find and enter it into the firm's system manually. If it's lost, they'll have to wait even longer. Unfortunately, every minute spent waiting isn't only wasted, but also counts as non-billable and creates a time-debt in the attorney's schedule.
Automating document management in your law firm creates a world of difference as it means automated data entry for easier retrieval. It also alleviates the risks of data loss associated with paper documents. This, in turn, reduces time spent on non-billable legal processes such as document retrieval and, instead, allows you and your team to focus on productive, profit-incurring tasks.
2. Reduce Overhead Costs
The manual management of legal processes in a conventional law firm may get the job done, but it's expensive. That firm will need to hire a large team to tackle recurring administrative tasks such as client onboarding, document management, or invoice clearance. A larger team means a longer payroll and, consequently, high overhead costs.
Integrating workflow automation software in your firm automates such processes and eliminates the need for a large administrative team. Your administrative team can then be utilised in other parts of the practice where they can assist lawyers with more billable tasks.
3. Bring the Best Out of Your Team
Every employee on your team can only offer you their services for a specific period, usually eight to nine hours a day or 40 hours a week. If they spend half or more of that time on repetitive tasks, it creates monotony, which affects their morale. Doing the same thing every day also means they're unable to live up to their full potential. In other words, it creates redundancy, which as bad for your team as it is for your firm.
Simplifying such legal processes through automation creates a positive outlook and gives each team member the chance to focus on their strengths. This brings out the best in everyone and increases productivity. It even helps attract better talents to your organisation.
4. Standardise Operations
Systems are usually put in place to ensure everyone is on the same page. If every team member in your firm comes up with their own system of doing things, it'll be disastrous. It increases errors, creates inefficiencies, and results in a negative client experience. Automating your legal processes ensures everyone is on the same page, thus reducing errors and compliance risks.
5. Create a Competitive Advantage
The modern-day client wants to work with a modern law firm. They no longer want traditional back and forth phone calls concerning their legal issue. Instead, they want to collaborate and communicate with their lawyer over a secure web-based portal from the comfort of their homes. They want to access case-related data, offer their opinion, and pay their bills without physically showing up at your office. Implementing software with such features makes you the ideal law firm for such clients, and gives you a competitive advantage over other firms.