In 6 Easy Steps, This Legal Technology Will Help You Save Time & Money
There is a lot of dormant potential all around us. It's in me. It's in you, too. A plethora of it exists within the technology your company uses. And so long as it's dormant, the legal firm you're trying to build continues to generate needless waste—productivity loss due to waste caused by inaction. Ineffective responses to technological problems cause waste, making life more difficult for you and others.
The heavy burden of responsibilities for a solo or small-firm attorney makes it difficult for management to be proactive. Most of the time, it's necessary to keep things going forward, then turn attention to the next critical job. An aggressive strategy with a plan for better-utilizing technology might result in substantial advantages; increased productivity, less stress, and greater peace of mind. The more comfortable and confident everyone in the firm is using technology, the more successful it will be.
Here's a 6-step plan for transitioning from reactive to proactive technology use. This method aims to optimize the law firm's technology, and any legal practice may use it.
1 - Optimize Your Vision
The first step is to create a clear plan for the practice. Consider how you would describe it in three years. What are the advantages of using technology in a legal firm? Make a list of the biggest threats, roadblocks, and benefits. Determine whether company executives have an accurate view of technological usage or whether they promote outdated opinions that may be harmful to business success. Work towards establishing a shared vision regarding technology use in the firm that everyone supports.
2 - Optimize Your Protection
You must first be confident of your firm's security before diving into technology gadgets. The company needs adequate protection and backup procedures to give peace of mind. "Well, that's bad news," is how you should respond if something goes wrong. "The device was lost/stolen/damaged - but I have no fear that the firm will lose data or that my firm's information is at risk." And by the way, Mac users do not get a free pass regarding security precautions.
3 - Optimize Your Foundation
Take a comprehensive look at your hardware. Do you have an old Windows 7-based PC? Is it a six-year-old iMac? Is the network so slow that it takes 20 minutes to complete simple activities like printing? Is your firewall up to date and suitable? Printers, scanners, computers, and monitors are just a few of the devices in this category. When determining whether something needs to be replaced or completely removed, consider everything. The firm needs the right foundations to build on to minimize unplanned downtime.
4 - Optimize Your Core Toolset
List all of the applications in use by the firm. Rate them according to their impact on overall productivity. First, list the top 10 applications; don't overthink it. Then sort and rank them in ascending order, identifying the top 3 with the most significant impact. These are essential for attorneys and support personnel to master new skills to increase productivity and build confidence.
5 - Optimize Your Leverage
Next, starting with the top 3 tools identified in your Core Toolset above, list the three most impactful features that are either not in use or not well used/implemented. This list is the nine training sessions on high-impact topics to focus on in your firm. Provide 1-2 short lessons per month during department or company meetings.
6 - Optimize Your Automation
The final stage is to use automation. At first glance, automation may appear to be scary and complicated. Begin modestly. The identified opportunities might be as simple as document automation, using APIs already incorporated into your tools, or more complex options such as Zapier, which can simplify time-consuming manual tasks. Using the method outlined above, choose three potential automations for your top 3 most impactful applications on your list. Rank the automations by difficulty, starting with the simplest ones, then move up the list until you've got enough confidence to tackle the more complex tasks.
Repeat steps 4-6, with each additional pass resulting in more significant optimization and efficiency. As the team improves its expertise in the critical features, they will like their technology more. To get them interested and invested in the process, ask them to help you organize the top 9 application feature list with a survey. You'll be able to tap into technology's massive potential in your law firm's practice over time, increasing productivity while saving hundreds of dollars.