Many law firms have increasingly harnessed technology to re-envision their practice. One way in which law firms are innovating the way in which they practice is with automation. The power of automation offers limitless benefits, including filling out a court form within minutes. With automation, key information is only entered in once to be re-produced across multiple forms within a matter-of-seconds. There is little to no data entered manually into documents and forms. Overall, automation allows for a seamless experience, saving time and reducing typographical errors.
The modern-day attorney will click on the legal form that he or she needs and have it automated within seconds. There is no need to finance a support staff to re-enter information into separate forms. Automation makes support staff nonessential, and even extraneous. A small law firm might question why they pay four secretaries to spend hours re-keying the same information into multiple documents when it can be automated by a single software system in minutes. The idea of back office staff becoming obsolete elicits the fear of job loss. However, there shouldn’t be opposition to automation due to the potential layoffs it could cause. In fact, automation doesn’t have to cut jobs, it can allow for support staff to become useful in other areas. Technology can be a means for secretarial staff to upgrade their skills and hold more complex positions.
Let’s now consider how a small law firm thrives with a legal management software system that provides access to automated forms.
Clark & Mack Law Firm: Gaining Back Billable Hours
Since Clark & Mack Law Firm has begun using an all-encompassing legal software management system, with advanced pre-configuration and automated forms, the firm has significantly enhanced their productivity and profitability. As the Clark & Mack Law Firm has access to a range of up-to-date legal forms within their practice management system to conduct their family law and real estate matters, they no longer spend hours searching multiple websites for that form they misplaced. Every form in their comprehensive library is automated to work with even the most cryptic data and information. The functionality of auto-population across all forms ensures that a fix in an error is carried throughout the entire matter. When a paralegal reversed the “ely” in McKenelly the change is corrected once and automated throughout all documents. Ms. Mack doesn’t have to take time out of her busy day to amend for the paralegal’s mistakes and proofread his work to make sure the mistake was changed throughout all forms. Instead, the tedious task was done for Ms. Mack, allowing her to accomplish more in her workday.
Since using the intuitive software Ms. Clark has spent more time on billable work, instead of wasting it on manual, time-consuming calculations. Ms. Clark has saved hours with a multitude of calculations automatically completed for her. In her family law matters, the gross income, deductions, and net income are calculated automatically and then populated throughout the matter. Additionally, all key financial documents by the courts are auto-populated, optimizing the practice of Clark & Mack.
Empowered to do more legal work
By being able to quickly and accurately merge data into a document within the software, Clark & Mack law firm saves upwards of 7 hours per week per staff member. With the extra time, their firm is empowered to take on more work and significantly increase their profits. The amount of time their paralegals spend on data entry each day is reduced, and there are no more complex calculations that consume Ms. Mack and Ms. Clark’s time. Two of the paralegals no longer must trudge away re-typing the same key information into multiple forms. With the enhanced efficiency and extra time, these two paralegals are now able to shift their focus to more pressing and higher level roles of marketing for new business.
Automation allows the law firm to reach its fullest potential, as the process becomes simplified. Ms. Mack and Ms. Clark have the initial meeting with the client, and then advise the paralegals on what forms and templates need to be created. The paralegals then produce the forms and templates in a timely fashion within their work day, and enjoy their work more as they are no longer overwhelmed with double data entry. Clark & Mack have grown their family, real estate, litigation, and bankruptcy departments by 30%, without increasing headcount or working longer hours.
In the last few decades, advancements in data entry and computers have revolutionized the small law firm market. Instead of working harder and longer, firms, such as Clark & Mack, have discovered how to work smarter. These legal leaders are now entering information once to be re-produced throughout the life of the matter, without human error.