Every forward-looking firm is constantly searching for ways to optimize its efforts and bring in the best possible profit. As technology continues to advance daily, different tools are being developed to help businesses minimize their drudgery, maximize their efforts, and ultimately increase their ROI.
However, one industry that’s lagging when it comes to business automation is the legal industry. This isn’t surprising because law firms are service-based, and most of their services are paid for based on billable hours. Irrespective of this, there are other aspects of legal work that need to be taken care of and aren’t billable. From client intake and communication to document automation, law firms can take advantage of automation and maximize their efforts.
Despite the obvious lag, some experts in the legal industry are not quick to notice the lag and make conscious plans to implement automation. However, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, the current technology could be used to automate up to 23% of legal work. Lawyers can now reduce the time they spend on non-billable work because automation, which gives flexibility, can help do the job and properly manage other law firm activities. From small firms to large ones, automation can be used in a number of areas to streamline processes, save money, and improve the client experience.
Law firms provide valuable insights for their clients. However, what's not always seen is the behind-the-scenes work that makes the higher value expertise and strategic advice possible. Critical responsibilities such as sales, marketing, and client intake are typically outside of the scope of billable hours, and foundational needs like document review and contact generation often require teams of associates and paralegals to perform tasks that could be automated manually.
The current technology gives a great opportunity for law firm automation. Legal automation allows law firms to stand out and provide better services for their clients. It helps your firm decide what activities will be centered on human power and spend your time and expertise on those, while leaving the other tasks to automation.
The value of legal automation can be seen in the following circumstances;
It’s worth mentioning at this point that law firm automation is something that needs to be prepared for, especially if you’re into it for the first time. Based on our experience with software and working with businesses to identify their inefficiencies, we highlight five areas where automation can aid legal professionals. They include:
Every business needs to generate sales leads and market its brand, and legal services are no exception. Fortunately, solutions to automate these responsibilities are some of the most prevalent. The three major aspects that automation comes into marketing are social media marketing, sales lead capture and email marketing.
All businesses right now need a proper inclusion of social media into their marketing strategy to thrive. However, handling social media services can pose a bit of hassle on legal professionals, especially for small to medium-sized firms. Using automated tools to improve your firm’s social media presence is one way of handling this non-billable task. An example of a social media automation platform that can specifically work for law firms is Sendible.
What if we told you the right marketing automation could give you the right intel on where to get the right leads for clients? With automated tools, you can track new leads and get smarter insights into simplifying your marketing efforts while growing your client base. Hubspot Sales is one of the best platforms that help you track email marketing and sales.
Email automation can aid law firms in their entire processes. For instance, automated email campaigns can be used to update your clients automatically as soon as changes are made to their case. Automated messages can also be scheduled to check in with clients at different levels of their case.
Intake forms are an important aspect of a client’s experience in a lawyer-client relationship. When new clients come in, you want to impress them by properly taking in their personal and case information, as it would usually dictate how far and well you go in your case. As straightforward as client intake may seem, it’s a task that can consume working time. Automating intake forms will reduce human error and improve accuracy in data collection.
You can automate intake forms on your firm’s website and streamline the process for you and your clients.
One of the tasks that take the most time in law firms is research and review of documents. And it’s one of those tasks that cannot be included under billable hours. However, automated technology has made it possible for artificial intelligence to take over the herculean task for lawyers. When AI and ML take over research and market review for you as a lawyer, you can turn your attention from these repetitive tasks and focus your attention on more compelling legal issues. It also cuts down the need to employ more attorneys. You’ll not need more associates and therefore reduce your overhead costs.
Legal documents that don't require customization, such as certain contracts, leases, estate documents, and invoices, can be automated using dynamic templates that use merge fields, which are populated from a database or spreadsheet. For example, Formstack can connect to a Google Sheet and automatically take information such as names and addresses and place them in the appropriate place in the document. Tools like Formstack are powerful enough to use conditional logic that will skip or omit portions of documents where the data needed for it is intentionally absent.
A major benefit of document automation is that it helps to share and retain knowledge across lawyers in your firm. This cuts down on the level of inefficiency that may occur if the typical manual process is followed.
All law firms work towards the same goal. However, the paths to reach that goal are usually different. Therefore, whatever process your firm has can be automated for all your lawyers and new hires to adapt quickly.
Law firms can automate their workflow processes to ensure that everyone’s on one page as you go through each task. Automating tasks also ensures that those left to human efforts will be accounted for at the appropriate times. Having an automated workflow ensures that your firm’s business is accounted for and the entire process can go smoothly.
Law firms consist of processes that don’t necessarily require the attention and time of attorneys or paralegals at all times. Legal automation can help your firm use technology to complete these tasks and give you time for other important tasks.
It’s important to retain a no-code agency over a traditional software developer or full-time IT department. And this shouldn’t be dependent on whether you’re a small or large firm. Even as a small firm, you have more advantages in using software innovation agencies like Twindeavor than having an in-house IT department. Take advantage of legal automation and leave the human element and complex tasks of the legal field to lawyers.