For 2023, which tech tools might help your firm flourish?
The end of the year is a great time to review your law firm’s achievements and challenges, so you can determine needs moving forward.
Part of the process includes conducting an audit of your workflow and technology, to identify process gaps and ensure efficiency and profitability going forward.
After the audit, choose technologies and service providers that will bridge the gaps identified and set your firm up for success. If you’re not sure where to start, this column, which has a roundup of tools I wrote about in 2022, is for you!
January: legal tech survey results, Part 1
In a 2021 Legal Industry Report, the technology purchasing decisions of law firms were analyzed. Data from the report was reviewed in this column, and among other things, the vast majority of survey respondents reported their firms invested in cloud-based software during the pandemic and doing so was beneficial.
February: legal tech survey results, Part 2
Additional legal industry survey results were summarized in February’s column, with a focus on roadblocks and how legal technology purchases affected law firm growth and profitability. Notably, the data showed that the majority of survey respondents believed their investment in remote work software improved their firm’s growth and profitability.
March: remote deposition tools
Out of necessity, virtual depositions were commonplace during the pandemic. Because there are many benefits to them, like convenience and reduced cost, they continue to occur, and there has been a rapid uptick in virtual deposition products and services. As discussed in this article, many rely on videoconferencing tools and software platforms.
April: remote court transcription technology
We also learned during the pandemic that virtual court proceedings saved time and money. Various tools are available, as I explain in this article. Offerings include platforms for remote appearances and AI-based court transcription tools, which capture transcriptions of proceedings nearly instantaneously.
May: trial presentation software
Even though virtual proceedings have increased in frequency, in-person court proceedings aren’t going away. Trial presentation software that facilitates the process is increasingly in demand, and for good reason: it streamlines in-person trials and the presentation of evidence. If you’re in the market for trial presentation software, there is no shortage of options, and I cover the ins and outs of choosing this type of software in this article.
June: e-filing services
E-filing systems can be incredibly difficult to navigate because there is no state or national standard. Instead, individual courts in each jurisdiction implemented a wide variety of different e-filing systems. Website interfaces tend to be clunky and antiquated, and lawyers are often reluctant to use them out of fear they’ll make a mistake. E-filing services solve that problem by providing web-based interfaces for document uploads. As you’ll find out in this article, the e-filing service takes care of the rest and timely e-files the document for you.
July: website chat tools
Legal consumers are becoming more accustomed to obtaining information through websites and usually prefer to find answers online rather than picking up the phone. That’s where chat tools come in. Live chat interfaces and chatbots are an affordable and practical way for law firms to provide potential clients with information and can also be used to obtain intake information.
August: legal technology directories
If you’re in the market for new law firm software, asking fellow attorneys what they use is a good start. Internet searches can lead to an assortment of software directories that may include unhelpful, generalist information, so legal-specific technology directories can be a better option. They provide knowledgeable insight, accurate information and appropriately categorized listings of legal software products.
September: law firm websites
Effective marketing is the key to ensuring your law firm stands out in the crowded legal marketplace, and client-friendly websites are simple, effective ways to reach consumers. In this article, an overview of tools and services for building websites is provided.
October: virtual receptionist services
Practicing law is a demanding job. There’s always something on deck, and there are never enough hours in the day. Doing it all and doing it well can feel like an impossible task.
Fortunately, there are options available that ease overload and reduce the administrative burden solo and small firm lawyers face. One easy way to accomplish this is to outsource nonlegal work on a full- or part-time basis by using virtual receptionist services. By delegating routine tasks like receptionist and intake services, you’re able to focus on doing the work that truly matters: solving your clients’ problems.
Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York-based attorney, author and journalist, and she is senior director of subject matter expertise and external education at MyCase, a company that offers legal practice management software for small firms. She is the nationally recognized author of Cloud Computing for Lawyers and is co-author of Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier, both published by the American Bar Association. She also is co-author of Criminal Law in New York, a Thomson Reuters treatise. She writes regular columns for ABAJournal.com and Above the Law; has authored hundreds of articles for other publications; and regularly speaks at conferences regarding the intersection of law and emerging technologies. Follow her on Twitter @nikiblack, or she can be reached at [email protected].
This column reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily the views of the ABA Journal—or the American Bar Association.