To stay productive and efficient, law firms outsource a variety of back office tasks such as litigation support and research, information technology, transcription, etc. In fact, partnering with a business transcription company that serves lawyers is the best way to ensure accurate and timely transcription of court proceedings, pleadings, subpoenas, depositions, interrogations, and hearings.
Law firms are constantly looking for means to improve productivity. One of key takeaways of the 2018 Dynamic Law Firms study is that productivity is king. With the right tools and strategies, law firms can get work done efficiently and effectively and improve productivity. According to Above the Law, adopting state-of-the-art technology is paramount for law firms to achieve their productivity goals in 2019. Here are five top productivity boosting tools for law firms:
- Productivity Software
- PDF Conversion Software
- Document Automation
- E-Discovery Tools
- Digital transcription
- Productivity Software: Productivity apps ease daily tasks and get work done faster and more efficiently. Law firms can choose from a variety of apps to promote collaboration, monitor client communications, and streamline time tracking and billing. Apps can help law firms automate workflow, and organize and manage big projects from anywhere by syncing across all users and devices. They can be used to store legal research, set reminders, track deadlines, and get case status updates. Every document and contact can be stored in one place and accessed on the go.
- PDF Conversion Software: Converting documents to PDF format is an essential element in legal practices where documents need to be archives, retrieved, shared, and posted. Adobe Acrobat is an expensive but efficient option for large law firms. Feature-rich and easy-to-use, it offers ability to edit PDFs by adding and removing pages, bookmarking sections, and making scans text searchable, which is critical for successful electronic court filing. There are apps for smaller law firms that come with a clean, simple, and intuitive user interface. PDF documents can be made search-engine-friendly by using keywords, adding internal links, linking PDFs to other web pages, and optimizing images.
- Document Automation Software: Quality documentation software makes document drafting and generation easier. Automating documentation can help build a document database of documents used on a regular basis such as letters to opposing counsel, intake forms, contracts, estate planning documents, and much more. The first step in document automation is turning documents into forms. This will improve efficiency and also preserve client confidentiality. Automation software helps ease the time consuming task of organizing electronic documents.
- E-discovery tools: Today, the vast majority of discoverable documents are electronic as it is estimated that 93% of all legal documents are generated in non-paper form. With the introduction of digital documents or electronically stored information such as emails, Word documents, spreadsheets, PDF documents, voicemails and text messages, the discovery process became more complex for lawyers. E-discovery involves conducting the discovery process via digital platforms. The functions that the software performs include: identification, preservation, collection, processing, reviewing, production, and presentation. E-discovery eases the document review process by saving time and allows law firms to provide clients with better, more cost-effective outcomes in their cases as well as remain competitive. The American Bar Association 2018 “Legal Technology Survey Report” found that, compared to the past few years, law firms of all sizes are receiving and sending more e-discovery requests.
- Digital transcription: Digital dictation allows lawyers to dictate into a handheld device and send the files to a business transcription service company to be converted into text. While there are digital transcription tools on the market, these work well only in certain situations. For instance, a digital transcription tool would fail to provide the desired results if the recordings have two voices or more, when one person speaks a different language, when the speakers have different accents, and when they “talk over” each other. This is where an expert digital transcription service makes a difference. Digital dictation can be created anywhere and sent electronically to an experienced digital transcription service provider for conversion into accurate and neatly formatted text documents.
Technology is constantly changing and law firms need to keep pace with these changes to stay competitive. Automation is a win-win for both law firms and their clients. As the pace of work accelerates, embracing technology saves time and allows firms to streamline processes and reduce administrative overhead. To succeed, lawyers need to explore various options and determine what will work best for their firm and their clients.