Employers in the legal service field will know that to stay ahead of the competition and provide a better service to their clients, they need to adopt technology successfully. Technology has already started to change the face of the legal service world, and more changes are expected in the future. It is important for law firms to keep up with these changes and keep moving forward. Below is a list of ten ways by which a law firm can adopt technology successfully:
Making Sure your Staff has Up-to-Date Computer Systems
Having all staff members use computers that can access information on both past and present cases makes them more efficient at their jobs. A recent case happened in England and Wales where a solicitor went ahead and emailed crucial documents (which were also produced as hard copies) to his client instead of delivering them through court officials as was required by law, this led to him being fined for contempt of court.
Providing Staff Members with the Latest Version of Computer Software
By providing employees with up-to-date software, firms can expect to enjoy several benefits which include faster speeds and better security. Employees will also appreciate not having to put up with outdated programs, or spending money on purchasing new programs themselves.
Avoiding using Paper Wherever Possible
Using technology in law firms is not only limited to work purposes; it can be implemented at home too! Legal service professionals who make use of technology like laptops, tablets, and smartphones can cut down their overall paper usage. This means that they deal with fewer hassles such as printing documents, storing documents away, or filing them alphabetically into filing cabinets.
Implementing Paperless Contracts
Some firms have made the switch towards using digital contracts which are stored through a cloud network. This makes them accessible to clients who easily sign their documents without having to wait for hard copies to be sent over or deal with faxes, emails, or couriers. Paperless contracts also allow legal service experts to track the status of particular cases more effectively as all details of each contract are kept on record, along with comments regarding any necessary changes that need to be made during negotiations.
Providing Tablets and Smartphones for Law Professionals to Use at Work and Home
As mentioned in point three, offering tablets and smartphones allows legal service experts and their employees to do much more than they could by using paper-based systems. Smartphones enable users to check emails, search for case information online or on a firm’s intranet system, and view documents that are stored electronically. Tablet devices offer law professionals more flexibility as they can use apps whilst out of the office if they need to review new cases, speak with clients, or visit professional bodies.
Allowing Employees to Telecommute from Time-to-Time
Law firms should consider allowing their staff members to work remotely at least once in a while. This is because being able to work outside the office, whether it be at home or any other location gives employees the added flexibility of being at ease whilst working on projects which require long hours of research.
Not only does this benefit the employees but also the firm because this reduces the amount of paper that is used by each law professional, which in turn helps to reduce overall paper usage. Telecommuting also allows one to save money on commuting costs and time, which can be otherwise utilized productively.
By training employees on how to effectively use online meeting applications such as Skype, law professionals are not only able to work collaboratively with colleagues who are also located remotely but they can ensure that more work is completed within a shorter space of time due to increased communication between staff members. Not only does this save time for all parties involved but it is also more cost-effective.
Allowing Employees Access to their Work Email Accounts from Any Location
By allowing employees access to their firm’s intranet remotely, it has been proven that productivity levels are improved due to the fact that employees are able to communicate with colleagues more frequently outside normal working hours. This not only gives staff members peace of mind knowing they will receive important messages when they need them most but also enables firms to make sure all staff members have a constant link with the company’s network, thus being able to access case information at all times.
Introducing New Technology Slowly Over Time
New technology is an essential requirement in legal service firms; however, it should be implemented slowly over time so that employees can gradually learn how to utilize these systems and embrace them rather than resent them. Employees need to feel confident in knowing they are using the best tools which not only help their jobs become easier but ensure they receive accurate results throughout their work processes. Forward-thinking law professionals may even gain a competitive edge by understanding and mastering new technologies before their competitors do.
Training Employees in How to Use Digital Document Storage Systems
On account of the fact that many people struggle when they first use electronic storage devices, training employees on how to use them properly is essential if legal service firms wish to see successful results from their investments. A common error many employees make when they first begin using cloud systems or intranet networks is that they fail to understand which files need to be saved onto the network and which do not. Not only does this waste storage space but also creates frustration among staff members who are unable to find their work quickly enough.
Using Document Management Software to Monitor Electronic Usage
When used correctly, document management systems allow law firms to keep track of who is using documents and when. The benefits of having access to this data are that legal service professionals can avoid wasting time by speaking with colleagues who have already looked into a case, they can easily locate work that has been completed in the past and the overall efficiency of the firm’s employees is increased.