Lawyers frequently claim they went to law school to learn the law, not how to manage a practice. Even the brightest legal minds require assistance to establish a successful approach when faced with challenging everyday responsibilities like tracking invoices and reconciling trust account transactions.
The good news is that you can go with others. In this post, we outline eleven technological technologies: Simplify workflows in legal firms.
- Eliminate administrative hassles
- Allowing you to focus on what you do best to speak for your clients
Software for tracking time
More than 2,000 survey participants who participated in MyCase’s 2021 Legal Industry Report revealed that 61% of lawyers found it challenging to capture billable time.
It’s hardly unexpected because switching between matters or handling phone conversations and emails frequently results in lost billable minutes. Inaccurate timesheets and, thus, erroneous billing might come from attempting to register time entries utilising emails and calendar events retroactively.
Attorneys are using legal time management software to address these problems. More than 80% of attorneys use legal time-tracking software to reduce workload (as reported in our Legal Industry Report).
For instance, the MyCase time-tracking programme lets you start and stop up to three timers. You can record and log all billable time using this functionality when you switch between subjects. Our agenda will notify you if you need to remember to start a timer to track when you finish an activity, like writing an email. The advantages are substantial.
- Taking Charge of Previously Unbilled Hours – After deploying legal time-tracking software, more than half of law firms reported more significant time, with 9% reporting at least 15 extra hours invoiced each month.
- Increasing the Speed of Logging – Less time spent on administrative tasks means more time for your team to pay the bill.
- Accuracy of Invoices Growing – You can adequately compensate for your labour by keeping track of every minute, increasing business profitability.
Software for Automated Billing and Invoicing
The financial performance of a law practice depends on the creation of invoices and the administration of payments. Unfortunately, they rank among the chores that take the longest. 73% of the lawyers questioned for the MyCase Legal Industry Report said their firm has trouble being paid. And 80% said that achieving profitability in law firms is difficult.
The billing process is automated using legal invoicing software, which can:
- saving time
- Allow for more regular and timely billing.
- Increase the level of financial oversight for your company.
- Improve the client experience, especially if they can make a digital payment immediately through the invoice.
With MyCase’s legal billing software, your business can quickly produce itemised bills using time-tracking data or flat prices. Then, with just a few mouse clicks, send invoices to your clients easily. You’ll then see when a client views or responds to an invoice. Even whether to automate invoice reminders is up to you.
Paying Lawfully Software
Anonymised data from MyCase users shows that law firms that accept online payments are paid 32% faster than those that don’t. (Read more about how lawyers are compensated in Part 2 of our Benchmark Report.)
Don’t worry if that sounds like a hassle. Accepting digital payments is made simple by effective payment processing software. What should you consider when evaluating legal payment software?
- User encounter – How easy is it for your group to accept payments? Is it simple for users to navigate the system?
- Payment Procedures – Does the programme support electronic payments, debit and credit cards, and eChecks? Can you accept credit cards in person, online, and by email at your business? If your business needs to offer a refund, does the payment processor handle that transaction?
- Utilising payment processing software should assist you in adhering to legal requirements. For instance, LawPay, our sister firm under AffiniPay, may ensure that no IOLTA debits are permitted. LawPay subscribers who use MyCase do not incur any ongoing monthly costs for the duration of their subscription.
- Versatile Qualities – Do you want to include other services like buy now, pay later, payment plans, or regular payments? You can offer clients the option to enrol in automatic payment plans using LawPay’s ClientCredit service, and your business will be paid in total upfront.
- Security – Does the legal payments software offer top-tier security to safeguard sensitive information?
- Legal practice management software integration. – Your firm’s payments software should integrate your legal practice management system to simplify billing and collections. For instance, LawPay and MyCase have a smooth integration that lowers administrative burdens.
- Your client can use LawPay’s payment processing software to pay your bill once you monitor time and generate an invoice automatically in MyCase. Your MyCase dashboard will show the invoice as paid, ensuring smooth, ongoing monitoring.
- Reputation – What are the opinions of other attorneys on the legal payments software? How many small, medium, and large firms and solo practitioners have adopted it? Does the software company collaborate with any professional organisations or bar associations? For instance, LawPay provides services to over 50,000 lawyers and has received endorsements from the ABA, more than 60 local and speciality bars, and all 50 state bars.
Accounting Law Software
According to the MyCase Industry Report, nearly 50% of attorneys have trouble reconciling trust accounts. Firms utilising QuickBooks or other non-lawyer-specific third-party accounting software may find this considerably more difficult.
You may handle trust account transactions to adhere to state bar rules with comprehensive legal accounting software. For instance, MyCase Accounting supports three-way trust reconciliation and is wholly integrated with MyCase. Tracking transactions and cash flow, centralising your company’s financial data, and enabling financial projections can keep your finances on track.
Client Intake Forms That Are Automatic
Because your business cannot make money without clients, the intake process is essential to profitability. Unfortunately, if your company needs the proper procedures and equipment, customer intake might take a lot of time.
By using automated client intake forms, you can minimise human labour and allow potential clients to enter contact information via your law firm’s website whenever they choose, day or night. Our research found that lawyers who used online legal intake forms used more lead than manual ones. The results speak for themselves.
- After incorporating online legal intake forms, one to ten extra leads were acquired monthly, according to 35% of surveyed attorneys.
- 13% of attorneys obtained 11 to 20 more leads per month.
- More than 21 extra leads were obtained by 6% of law firms per month.
Here is an example of an automated intake procedure using client intake forms from MyCase.
- Each intake form can be modified by your legal firm. Customise form fields to different practice areas and/or stages of your intake pipeline by adding your logo.
- Incorporate the form into your website.
- The data should instantly sync to a client file on your MyCase law firm customer relationship management (CRM) system after a prospect fills out and submits their form.
- Your staff can quickly screen cases over the phone after receiving an alert regarding a new form submission to see whether they relate to the practice areas of your law firm (s).
- If you decide to keep the client, MyCase client intake forms ensure that their intake data sync immediately to the client case file. Doing this avoids the time-consuming and prone human-error process of manually transferring data.
It should be no surprise that most law firms use conflict-checking technology, given that it is a crucial aspect of the intake procedure. Conflict-checking software is the software law firms are most likely to have.
This kind of software is already in use by many businesses since it makes quick, accurate, and morally acceptable conflict checks simple. Nevertheless, only some conflict-checking programmes are created equal.
The top ones rapidly and accurately verify electronic customer records and case-related data using full-text search. By doing this, ethical compliance can be ensured without taking a lot of non-billable time to go through law firm data.
Management of Documents in the Cloud
As teams adapted to remote and/or hybrid working environments, many introduced collaboration tools to foster efficiency among dispersed team members, and COVID-19 forever transformed how law firms conduct business.
According to our 2021 Industry Report, about two-thirds of lawyers currently use software to manage the documents for their firms.
- 94% of survey respondents who worked for law firms that utilised document management software felt that the software made it simpler to share documents.
- In addition, 92% said the programme made it simpler to collaborate on documents.
Legal professionals and clients can work together on a single document with the help of MyCase legal document management software. It updates instantly on desktop and mobile devices, guaranteeing everyone accesses to the most recent document version.
With eSignature functionality in their document management software, highly effective businesses can further reduce their time expenditure. This makes it simple for customers to sign and submit crucial case paperwork to prevent expensive delays. The signed forms instantly link to the relevant case file after they have been presented.
Legal scheduling programme
Do the frequent, shifting deadlines present a challenge for your team? Does checking everyone’s calendars for availability need back-and-forth emails? Do potential clients routinely cancel appointments?
Legal calendaring software might be advantageous for your business if you said “yes” to any of the inquiries above. It helps you coordinate meetings and firm-wide appointments with your entire staff (and clients), lowering the likelihood of missed deadlines.
Use a central calendar to stay informed about team availability and future events. Text messages can send reminders and changes automatically or on a predetermined schedule. Alternatively, arrange them for clients to raise consultation attendance at your business.
The nice aspect is that superior legal calendaring software doesn’t necessitate calendar switching for your law company. You can easily include MyCase’s legal calendaring software into your existing system if you already use Google or Outlook for scheduling. To avoid wasting time on redundant data, event updates will sync in real-time to all integrated calendars.
According to our 2021 Legal Industry Report, nearly 70% of polled lawyers said that client communication is a problem for their firms. Try using law firm client portal software to enhance client connection without adding many hours of administrative work.
In a secure environment, lawyers and clients can communicate through a legal client portal like the MyCase Client Portal. In addition to answering questions and delivering invoices, your law firm can send messages, share case updates and documents, and more. This offers your company and clients several advantages.
- Convenience – Your coworkers’ need to learn, manage, and maintain different systems and logins is significantly reduced or eliminated by a centralised attorney-client interface. Clients are also constantly aware of where to turn for their needs.
- Efficiency – Your team may minimise administrative labour and concentrate on billable tasks that increase law firm profitability by optimising workflows and client communication.
- Engagement and empowerment of the client – The client experience could be significantly enhanced with client portal software. Clients and your company can communicate thanks to the software directly. Your customers will probably believe they are getting individualised attention as a result.
Visit the MyCase blog to learn more about the essential elements your legal client portal needs to have.
Find All the Tech Tools Your Business Needs
At this point, you might think: While each tool seems excellent, installing and managing them all seems like a significant effort. The benefit of legal practice management software is that it gathers all the resources your law company requires in one location.
For instance, MyCase is a comprehensive case management programme for lawyers. We provide a wide range of features, such as the following.
- tracking of time and expenses
- Invoicing and billing
- Payments for MyCases
- Accounting in MyCase
- customer intake forms
- Calendaring for eSignature
- management of documents
- integrated text messaging
- Powerful integrations with the business tools you already use via the MyCase Client Portal