A law firm's objective is the same as any business; increase efficiency and by extension, profit margins. Sometimes their systems align with their goals, but most of the time they don't. Inefficiency in the workplace destroys a law firm's ability to thrive because of the misuse of vital resources. These small things that chip away at parts of your day may seem insignificant, but they really build up. Think of what you could do with an extra half an hour, or hour every day. Whether it's extra research into a matter or calling your client to bring them up to speed on your progress, you'll have a competitive advantage over your competition who are still dealing with these inefficiencies.
What Are Some Examples of Law Firm Inefficiency?
- Mistakes – This applies to firms experiencing a lean stretch in regards to incoming business and those who are extremely busy. Errors caused by manually inputting information or misplacing/losing documents could result in the loss of clients, which will hurt your bottom-line.
- Waiting – We've all heard the expression, "time is money," and if your staff are regularly at a standstill while waiting to receive documents from other people your whole process could be slowed down.
- Space – Being clean and orderly is important to increased efficiency. Clutter in office can drastically slow down your work process.
- Transportation – Employees who have to leave their work space to communicate with other staff or complete tasks such as making copies, scanning or printing waste a significant amount of time. Similarly, having to pay couriers to send files to be signed by other parties is both a waste of valuable time and money.
What can be done to help with this?
One simple solution to the problem of inefficiency hurting law firms across the globe is Practice management software. Legal practice software has many intelligent features such as automation and electronic storage which can help you get your time back. Automation is the creation and usage of technologies, purposed to control and monitor tasks previously performed by people.
Many people are hesitant about automation, worrying it will result in members of their team losing their jobs, however, every task within a legal practice can't be automated. Rather, you should automate the repetitive tasks that are slowing your team down. The practice of law has many of these, especially in the admin department, automating these tasks allows you to reassign team members to more important jobs that directly help your fee earners and in some cases, will allow your admin team to become fee earners themselves.
An example of these features are LawMaster's electronic cabinets and referral features, which remove the inefficiency and frustration that comes with searching poorly-organised physical filing for important documents and research. Instead, a central repository of documents in a cloud-hosted electronic format catalogues the firm's base of knowledge and output across a range of searchable variables. Staff members need only conduct a simple, intuitive query to find the documents providing your team with one source of the truth, so they spend less time on repetitive tasks, and more time on billable tasks of greater importance.
Another great inefficiency of legal practice is transporting physical files to other parties to sign. You know what we're talking about, you finalise a document, sign it, organise a courier to pick it up and deliver it across town, the other parties sign it and the courier delivers it back to you. The whole process stinks of wasted time. But what can you do to make it easier? Simple, LawMaster's integration with Infotrack's SingIt technology allows for documents to be signed electronically by all parties. Gone are the days of waiting hours for a few signatures. Our integration with Infotrack allows for secure online signing of documents in a fraction of the time.
As was said previously, these small inefficient practices may seem insignificant when you look at them individually, but when you look at them as a whole they eat up a significant portion of your week. You only have so many hours in a day, you shouldn't be spending them doing tasks that can be done faster and more accurately through automation.
Automation and electronic storage are just some of the aspects that make Practice Management Solutions such as LawMaster so valuable for increasing the productivity of your legal practice. LawMaster provides an all-inclusive, seamlessly integrated software, designed to help firms combat the inefficiencies plaguing the industry. To learn more about how LawMaster can help your firm get back on track, contact us here today.