Legal Technology Consultants - A Law Firm's Secret to Profitability, Proper Training, and Efficiency
It is common for legal professionals and law firms to hire consultants.
There are lots of consultants who work with legal professionals on a regular basis. Medical consultants help with malpractice lawsuits. Language consultants help with written or verbal translations. There are even financial consultants who help legal practices with their tax concerns and fiscal planning.
However, there is one type of consultant many legal professionals are not as familiar with – legal technology consultants.
The job title might sound cut and dried. From selecting and installing computer systems to configuring servers and data storage, legal technology consultants help law firms discover the best technology and practices to help ensure future success and digital security.
But did you know that legal technology consultants also help law firms become more profitable and efficient?
John and Mark are two legal technology consultants who work in different parts of North America, with clients who live thousands of miles apart. Most importantly, they have more than two decades of experience helping legal practices grow by helping them be more profitable, efficient, and well trained.
“I help law firms in a myriad of different ways,” says Mark. “Through technology, I work with many clients on the basics of how to run a law firm.
“With my largest clients, I work not just on making legal practice management software like PCLaw® run for them, I also help them use this program to discover what their day-to-day needs are vis-a-vis accounting and administration.”
Legal technology consultants help legal practices with a wide variety of challenges and essential duties to help increase the overall success of their clients. Frequently, legal technology consultants focus on helping law firms maximize profitability, improve efficiency, and ensure all staff have proper software training. These consultants not only help the bottom-line success for their clients’ firms but enable them to improve the quality of service they provide to those they serve.
In the world of business, every leader knows that time is money.
And when legal practices use too much valuable time managing case documents as they make their way through multiple employee touchpoints, it is easy to lose hundreds of billable hours.
Working as a Legal Technology Consultant for a medium-sized legal practice that specializes in arbitrations, Mark noticed the firm required multiple people just to schedule meetings, track web forms, and rekey data into their legal practice management software. The results were runaway costs and wasted labor that rendered the firm barely profitable and unable to stay on top of their caseload.
“There was a huge backlog,” Mark says. “They couldn’t keep up.”
Using Time Matters® software, Mark helped the legal practice to create a fully automated calendaring webpage that allowed the firm’s leadership to track documents and data in real time.
“They were able to free up four or five staff that were keying in appointments and managing that stuff,” Mark says.
The main purpose of automatically coordinating workflows has less to do with eliminating jobs than it does with empowering current employees to help more clients.
“It’s oftentimes not how you can eliminate staff,” John says. “It’s oftentimes how can you grow and do more with the staff that you have.”
Mark adds that by freeing up staff who were manually tracking data and documents, they are able to monitor billable hours with greater accuracy.
“I’ve helped users who are now capturing a ton of time and a ton of money that most people couldn’t remember at the end of the day,” Mark says. “That was a lot of money that was being lost. A lot of money.”
Customizing For Efficiency
One of the most essential challenges in managing a legal practice is mastering efficiency.
When legal technology consultants help law firms become more efficient, they help their clients achieve the following goals:
Increase productivity for their legal practice overall.
Create a less stressful work environment for their employees.
Empower their firm to prepare for future growth.
John remembers one client who managed a firm that specialized in estate planning and had been using the practice management software tool, Time Matters, for years. That said, the client had not really begun to make full use of the software and the myriad ways it would help streamline the workflow and operations of his law firm.
“I had been working with this client for years, and he had only scratched the surface of what they could do,” John says. “So, he decided for his estate planning practice that, ‘I need to do some customizing work.’
“I need to have checklists. I need to be able to pass work from one person to another and keep track of what’s going on.”
John helped his client customize their software.
And when John was finished, his client was able to track all work within his legal practice seamlessly from beginning to end, helping to ensure that no paperwork, documents, filings, or necessary administrative tasks fell through the cracks.
Through John’s role as a Legal Technology Consultant, this legal practice manager was able to streamline tasks and free up time in order to better serve his own clients that retained his firm.
There is a Spanish proverb that says, “A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.”
The health of any company depends on its team’s knowledge of the tools they have – which for law firms includes legal practice management software.
It is for this reason that one of the best and most in-demand services that legal technology consultants provide to their clients is training on how to get the most effective use of legal practice management software.
Mark has a client who takes this belief to heart so much that for the last four years, the client invites every member of his practice to attend a retreat at the Florida coast. The client then invites Mark down to these retreats to host workshops designed to ensure the entire practice is up to speed on the latest software features and customizations.
Aside from getting to enjoy the beautiful weather and great view of the ocean, Mark says the experience is invaluable for his clients.
“I think it’s great because then you are making sure that a retreat is not as much of a getaway so much as the way to reengage and to refocus and sharpen one’s experience,” Mark says.
During the retreats, Mark hosts Q&A sessions with up to 25 team members who would ask about topics that included scheduling, document indexing, automating filing processes, and more. He also helped his clients, who had been using Time Matters for a long time, to catch up on the software’s newest updates.
“They were not aware of things that they can do with it because they don't keep up with what the changes have been in that application” Mark says.
How to Find a Legal Technology Consultant
PCLaw | Time Matters™ has partnered with more than one hundred legal technology consultants across the United States and Canada who are ready to help law firm owners and managers build legal practices that are efficient, profitable, and well-trained.
We call these legal technology consultants Certified Independent Consultants because they go through a rigorous and continuous training and certification program. Each Certified Independent Consultant is fully trained on solutions within the PCLaw | Time Matters™ portfolio. They also help law firms optimize their overall experience with services ranging from software implementation and customization to workflow consulting and best practices.
To find a Legal Technology Consultant, visit the PCLaw | Time Matters™ Certified Independent Consultant Directory at https://partners.pclawtimematters.com. You will find a directory of consultants who are ready to help your legal practice on its journey today.