Two Considerations to Help Your Firm Adopt Technology in the Digital Age
By: Amy McArthur, Chief Customer Officer at PCLaw | Time Matters
The legal profession is steeped in long-standing tradition. But the judiciary’s rich history was forced to adapt to the needs of technology and digital systems in March 2020.
The coronavirus pandemic has firms looking at their current systems and reevaluating their processes. With most state court systems suspending or reducing in-person proceedings and instituting restrictions, legal professionals are looking for the best way to move forward in the new “digital age.”
A major key to success for law firms during this time is implementing systems that strengthen efficiency, accuracy, and collaboration. For many, this means adopting new matter-management software.
So where do you start?
1. Evaluate the needs and capabilities of your law firm. If your firm is technologically averse, avoid systems that require hours of training or lengthy implementations. If your firm is already adapting to the mobile world, select tools that are compatible with the devices you have.
Start by asking a few questions:
What is your approach to new software? Do you seek out training to learn as much as you can up front, or jump in and learn as you go?
Do you generally look for sophisticated software, or do you prefer simplicity?
Are you willing to invest time to learn legal-specific software if it increases your productivity in the long run?
Will you be handling matters that require special demands on your software?
You can expect a quality matter-management system to offer:
Calendaring, scheduling, and tracking of billable time.
The ability to set up reminders and automations that help your firm comply with statutory requirements and deadlines.
Contact and matter management.
A shared database that facilitates fast, easy conflict checks.
Document management with shared access to files.
Systems that integrate with procedures required by your state courts.
2. Evaluate the needs and requirements of the courts. Many court systems are in the process of embracing new technology to streamline procedures. For example, several are receiving documents electronically.
Using an Electronic Filing Service Provider (EFSP) that is integrated with a matter-management system can offer better efficiency, accuracy, and more dependable record keeping.
Matter-management systems like Time Matters® offer customizable case, client, and document management. Time Matters integrates with certified EFSP, InfoTrack, to provide a holistic document e-Filing workflow, with multiple benefits:
o e-Filing is fast, safe, and accurate. File cases and documents directly from the electronic matter, with key fields pre-filled and your document already attached.
o Document management is made easy. Court-returned documents and filing histories are automatically saved back to the matter record.
o Filing costs are automatically tracked. All e-Filing disbursements are recorded, eliminating manual accounting work, and allowing you to seamlessly attribute filing expenses.
The legal world has changed drastically since March 2020, bringing new challenges and new opportunities. Law firms who leverage technology to improve their efficiency, accuracy and collaboration will give themselves a competitive edge.
About the author:
As a Chief Customer Officer, my focus is helping our 20,000+ clients to better implement our software and services to reduce overhead, drive efficiency, and increase profitability. I’m dedicated to partnering with leaders to develop strategies to make their businesses and lives more productive.
My style is to map a process to every solution by understanding the variables, identifying the opportunities, and implementing a strategy to achieve improvement. This method begins and ends with facilitating long-standing customer relationships. This customer-centric approach creates trust and fosters a unique culture of collaboration and should be the foundation of every successful organization.
While I enjoy all aspects of my job, my favorite projects are when I help customers achieve their goals.