The modern attorney is expected to be available in some capacity even when he’s not in the office, whether he’s in court, commuting, out to lunch, or at a meeting. If you’re not available on the go, your clients or potential clients will find a lawyer who is. For many lawyers, being available out of the office is merely a favor to keep their clients happy. However, attorneys are doing themselves a disservice if they are not keeping track of every billable minute of work performed outside the office. A practice management system with a mobile app can help you record time for all the tasks you do on the go and enable you to make more money. When your entire legal practice is available on your phone or tablet, you are also able to do a lot more for your clients. Going above and beyond for them will gain you repeat business and referrals. Whether you’re taking advantage of cloud storage, automating your time recording, or scanning documents, your clients and your support staff will appreciate the efficiency with which you practice.
Storing Your Documents in the Cloud
Have you ever grabbed the wrong file on your way out the door to a meeting or court? It can be a waste of time and an embarrassment to have to run back to the office to grab the correct file or document. When you have a practice management system with a mobile app, this will no longer be a problem for you because everything will be readily accessible on the cloud. Cloud storage is used all over the world, and in almost every industry, to save time and make lives easier. There’s no reason that the legal industry should be any different. When you store your documents on a cloud server, you can access them from any device, as long as you have an internet connection.
Lawyers should take the security of their clients’ information very seriously and might be worried about the dangers of storing client documents and forms in the cloud. With stories about data breaches in the news on a near-weekly basis, it’s hard to blame them. That’s why it’s vital that you go with a storage platform that puts data security first and uses a trusted provider, like Amazon Web Services. In addition, merely uploading your files to DropBox or Google Drive, is very insecure. If you’re serious about data protection, you must use a system like LawConnect, that requires a secure login from both staff and clients.
Time Recording Challenges when Working on a Mobile Device
When you’re performing work outside the office like taking calls, answering emails, scanning documents, or completing forms, it can be difficult to track exactly how much time you spent and accurately bill your clients. You may think that inaccurately tracking five minutes answering an email or ten minutes taking a call isn’t a big deal, but it can add up quickly and impact your bottom line. You’d be shocked at how much billable time you can gain when you are tracking properly and billing accordingly.
If you’re using standalone time tracking software, you have to remember to stop and start your timer every time you work on a case. If you’re still tracking your time manually, you have to remember to write down your starting and stopping times in your notebook whenever you work on a case. Besides being a precious waste of time, this method of time tracking can be wildly inaccurate, especially if you wait until later to mark it down.
When you use an automated timekeeping system that is integrated with a practice management system, you no longer have to worry about missing billable time. Next time you correspond with a client or work on a document from your phone, you can choose to automatically record that time and it will be added to your client’s next bill at your preferred rate or fee.
Scanning Legal Documents on Your Phone
When you’re trying to maintain a paperless office that is fully accessible from mobile devices, you may find it difficult to remove every bit of extraneous paper from your practice. Court officials, attorneys, and clients can throw a wrench in the system by providing you with vital paper documents. Luckily, there is an easy way to convert these documents to digital PDFs and maintain your organized practice. When looking for a practice management software, you should look for one that includes a way to scan documents with your phone and add them directly to the matter. Your partners and support staff can then instantly view and manage documents, either from their own mobile devices or from the desktop version of the software. It’s a great way to stay organized, save time, and maintain a paperless office.
Running a legal practice is difficult, but the right software solution can make all the difference in the firm’s efficiency and your peace of mind. When you go with a completely integrated solution, you’ll be able to scan documents with your phone, upload documents to the cloud, and record all your billable time when you’re out of the office. Attorneys who have made the switch to an integrated system often find themselves practicing more from their phones than they do from their desktop computers. Lane Bubka, managing partner at BUBKA Law Group, made the switch to LEAP, and couldn’t be happier with the decision. Listen to his story: