Social media plays a vital role in helping businesses build a positive web presence, improve relationships with customers and stay competitive in the digital world. Supported by general business transcription service providers, companies are using social media for marketing, advertising, employee recruitment and overall communications with employees, clients, and partners. In fact, today, there is hardly any business that doesn’t use and benefit from social media. Lawyers can also leverage social media to build connections and trust.
How Social Media benefits Lawyers
Surveys have revealed that using social platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus can help lawyers distinguish themselves as trustworthy advisors, build strong networks, and grow connections. Being active on social media can help legal professionals:
- Increase practice awareness among the targeted audience
- Project an approachable, culturally relevant image
- Engage with their target audience
- Stay up to date with current industry developments
- Expand their online presence and attract new clients
- Share information on their services with their audience
- Share useful and engaging content with potential clients
- Demonstrate knowledge of their client’s business and industry
How Legal Professionals can make Social Media work for Them
- Create a compelling profile: It’s very important to design a compelling, social media profile with the right keywords. The bio section is what visitors look at before engaging with a lawyer. Design a short, unique profile that grabs the reader’s attention by highlighting your educational background and accomplishments. Be original and tell people why your work is important to you. A well-written profile would project you as knowledgeable as well as approachable.
- Post quality content: If you want people to engage with you, post quality, informative content on your social media pages. Your content should cater to potential and existing clients. Check out what your competitors are posting and strive to stay ahead of them (www.good2bsocial.com). Posting video content is the best way to retain your audience’s attention. Have an audio transcription service provider convert the recorded content to text and post the transcripts along with your videos to reach out to a wider audience.
- Join Communities: Create a profile and join communities. Joining a community helps you build relationships, expand your network, and get useful information on topics that interest you. Facebook groups are a perennial favorite. Another legal community for sharing helpful tips and resources, Slack allows users to create channels for different topics. Lawyers can also leverage virtual happy hours on Zoom, Google Hangouts or other teleconferencing software to collaborate efficiently.
- Use the right social media channels: Using effective social media channels is necessary to reach your audience. A survey by Attorney at Work revealed that 96% of the 302 lawyer participants used social media. Up to 84% were on LinkedIn, though 31% said that Facebook is 27% more effective than LinkedIn in attracting new clients.
- Interact with your clients: It’s not enough to just post great content. You need to engage with your clients when you receive comments, questions and likes on your posts. This will help you build trust and grow your brand. If users ask legal questions, respond in a considerate way, but always encourage to contact you directly by sending them a private message. Make sure other users know you have done this.
- Monitor what people are saying: Social listening or monitoring conversations on social media can help lawyers in many ways. First, it makes you aware about what’s happening in the legal field and the world in general. Importantly, social listening helps you understand what people are saying about your firm. By using popular social listening tools such as Mention, Keyhole, and SproutSocial, you can track any mentions of their law firm in blogs, discussions, forums and news. Analyzing the results of this data can help you develop a successful social media marketing strategy for your firm.
- Request clients to post reviews: Client testimonials can go a long way in building trust and your brand. Ask clients to post reviews about your firm and your services on social media platforms. Surveys show that consumers trust a local business more after reading positive reviews about them. Client testimonials will let others know that people trust your services and are ready to vouch for your work quality.
Creating and posting quality content is necessary for social media campaigns. If you are looking to develop content from podcasts, videos and other multimedia, approach a legal transcription service provider. Expert transcriptionists can help you produce accurate content quickly and easily for your social media posts. Moreover, posting transcripts along with your videos and podcasts makes it easier for search engines to find and show relevant content to searchers.
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.
Data and document security is a major concern for lawyers, which is why legal transcription outsourcing companies go to great lengths to safeguard the sensitive legal files they handle. The recent global ransomware attacks made organizations across the globe, including law firms, realize how vulnerable they are to cyber threats. In fact, according to the revised Formal Opinion 477 released by the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility in May this year, lawyers are required to make reasonable efforts to ensure that communications with their clients are secure and not subject to inadvertent or unauthorized cybersecurity breaches.
In the 1999 Opinion, the committee had expressed that unencrypted email was acceptable because lawyers have a reasonable expectation of privacy in all forms of email communications. However, today, lawyers rely on smartphones, tablet devices and cloud storage to manage much of their tasks. Therefore, the new opinion explains: “Each device and each storage location offer an opportunity for the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of information relating to the representation, and thus implicate a lawyer’s ethical duties.”
A lawyer’s ethical responsibilities include competency, confidentiality, and communication. According to Rule 1.1 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, one basic principle of a lawyer’s ethical obligations to his or her client is that the lawyer must provide “competent representation” or “legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.” According to an article in the National Law Review, the requirement for competent representation covers everything from keeping “abreast of changes” to “benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.”
The committee notes that while unencrypted email is acceptable when lawyers communicate routinely with clients, they must take “greater effort” to ensure secure communication when dealing with highly sensitive industries such as industrial designs, mergers and acquisitions of trade secrets and industries like healthcare, banking, defense or education. All of these are vulnerable to cyber threats and higher risk of date theft.
The committee recommended that lawyers undergo a “fact-based analysis” that involves evaluating various factors to determine the level of security that needs to be assigned to their communications:
- The nature of the threat and the extent of cyber security risk
- The manner in which client data is created, transmitted and stored
- Reasonable electronic security measures and their use
- Additional safeguards needed to protect electronic communications
- The need to mark client information as privileged and confidential
- The need to train lawyers and non-lawyer assistants in technology and cyber security
- The need to conduct due diligence on vendors who provide technology services
Legal transcription services are a good example of an area with high potential for security breach. Legal entities rely on transcription companies to convert audio recordings of court proceedings, depositions, meetings, pleadings, and other events into accurate records. Unless lawyers take care to outsource the work to a reliable legal transcription service company, they risk compromising the confidentiality of their sensitive files.
With a trustworthy legal transcription company, lawyers can choose from various options for file transfer such as browser-based drop box, secure FTP, 256 bit encryption technology, and more. They have stringent security measures to protect the confidential data they handle. Employees are trained and monitored on privacy, security, and confidentiality, and computers are password protected and equipped with strong firewall protection. Hard copies of client documents are shredded on site. Facilities where transcription is performed have round-the-clock security services. Such services are crucial as lawyers strive to protect client confidentiality in electronic communications.
Law transcription is much more than just listening to an audio file and putting down the words spoken. Such transcription involves the documentation of interviews, recorded statements, recorded police reports, audio surveillance, and so on. Legal transcripts must be highly accurate, delivered on time and remain confidential. They help law enforcement agencies, attorneys, prosecutors and judges to determine innocence and guilt.
- Producing an accurate legal transcript takes a lot of time. The transcriber has to listen carefully to the audio to provide a faithful interpretation of what’s being said.
- When the volume of files to be transcribed is high, maintaining accuracy is difficult.
- Recorded speech may not always be legible, especially when there is more than one speaker. Moreover, if the recording is disturbed by external noises, transcribing it would be very difficult. Sometimes, hidden microphones are used to elicit important information from the speaker, affecting the quality of the audio to a great extent.
- The transcriber has to take account of features such as voice quality, intonation, rhythm and even non-verbal expressions such as sighs. These may be relevant to determining the legitimacy of what’s being said, and ultimately, the verdict itself.
Considering all these requirements, busy law enforcement agencies prefer to outsource their transcription tasks rather than undertake the job in-house. The transcription of legal audio files requires good equipment, excellent listening skills and an understanding of the recorded event. An established legal transcription company would have a team of specially trained legal transcriptionists that can offer all this and more. Their skills would include excellent ability to work with a legal dictionary and thesaurus, advanced knowledge of legal terminology, spellings and abbreviations of legal terms, and awareness about various types of legal cases. A reliable service provider can meet all law transcription requirements with due regard for accuracy, confidentiality, turnaround time, and security.