There is no shortage of new tools, technologies and software for lawyers and their firms that offer the promise of greater productivity and efficiency. The question is how to prioritize the IT budget to reap the greatest rewards from those said value propositions.
Before you make your next IT investment, here are 6 areas worth investigating closely.
1. Information Security Software for Lawyers
Information security is consistently ranked as one of the biggest IT challenges for law firms and with cloud-based applications and technologies becoming more pervasive, the threat of cyber attacks also increases. According to an ABA tech report, upwards of 80% of the top 100 law firms in the US have been hacked in this decade alone. On March 4th of 2016, several law firms were the victim of hacks that saw national headlines. The FBI was forced to issue an alert regarding the hacker activity and their intention to barter the information gained with the intent to use it for insider trading.
With most things in life, you get what you pay for so in this category the mantra should be to enlist the support of experts and spend wisely.
2. Data backup tools/Storage
To ensure your company is well protected from your data becoming compromised, lost, or stolen, consider having your legal documents and other confidential data stored both in the cloud and by using a local backup drive.
In a previous article, New Technology Trends For Your Law Office, we outlined how cloud-based storage applications are becoming more popular with law firms. While it may be convenient for your lawyers to have all of their client data and documents accessible on all of their favourite devices and in all of their favourite coffee shops, data security is a concern for your firm and your firm’s clients.
3. Reliable All-in-one Printer, Scanner, & Fax Machine Combo
While artificial intelligence, eDiscovery software, and cloud-based practice management are getting a lot of “ink” in the media these days, printers and multifunction devices still play a critical role in every law firm as purchasing survey data indicates. We’ve mentioned in previous articles the shift towards paperless law offices. While going paperless has it’s many benefits, like better organization, improved client service, and lower costs, there will always be a need for creating physical legal documents.
Beyond printing, copying and scanning, these devices are now a critical component of your document workflow and an important consideration is how well your document creation applications are integrated with document production and print management. When you and others in your law office need to print several documents at once, how efficiently can that be done? Can you automatically generate and send, client documents, file copies, envelopes, and labels, to your printer and route these different jobs to different trays? Document automation technologies that can communicate with your printer to maximize workflow efficiencies can save your firm time, paper, and printer tray frustration.
4. Legal Practice Management Software (Case Management Software)
If you are spending several hours on a client that isn’t as valuable as one of larger, higher profile clients – is it worth it? These types of questions can be answered with the capabilities and reporting tools offered by Legal Practice Management Software. This software for lawyers allows you to better manage your time, calendar, documents, contacts and more. Most vendors operate in the cloud, which makes it easy for everyone to gain access to the important files of any case, anytime, anywhere. Most vendors will also provide billing and accounting support features as well. Think of this as your all-in-one solution for law firm management.
5. Internal communication platforms
In a previous blog post, we highlighted the several ways lawyers can manage their email inbox for time savings. Workers in the U.S. spend an average of 6.3 hours a day in their email inbox. Many time reading internal communications that were either unimportant, non-relevant, and spending several hours deciphering what is spam and what isn’t.
An Internal communication platform like Slack or ThreadKM, for instance, can streamline communication in the office by facilitating several group chat and private conversations or channels for different functional areas, practice areas or discussion topics. This will reduce clutter and provide relief on your inbox and best of all, many of these applications are free.
6. Legal Document Automation Software
Microsoft Office comes with a suite of software that comes preinstalled on most lawyers computer. Microsoft Word for one, has been adopted as the word processor of choice by many in the legal industry over the years. Everyone is familiar with Microsoft Word and it is the largest word processor on the market.
That said, Microsoft Word was created to accommodate documents being created for several different purposes. Word helps people fill out resumes, newsletters, brochures easily – but that’s not something lawyers are concerned about. Software for lawyers needs to be more streamlined, powerful and tailored to their profession.
Infoware’s legal document automation software for lawyers leverages the power of Microsoft Word. This innovative software gives lawyers an interface that any attorney can easily understand. Its main benefit is customized, firm-branded legal document templates, that streamlines the legal document creation process. This works for legal documents, contracts, forms, labels, envelopes, and all other forms of legal correspondence. Try out a free demo of Infoware’s Word LXTM software here.