If your law firm is trying to make more money, you have several options. You can decide to cut down on expenses, but there is only so far that goes. Eventually, you will hit a point of diminishing returns where you can not make any more cuts without the quality of your service suffering. You may see some financial relief in the short-term, but it is not a viable strategy for growing the business. The real game-changer is when you increase law firm efficiency. Saving time and working smarter will enable you to take on more clients so you can make more money.
You can practice outside the office to get work done faster and automate time-consuming administrative tasks. You can also switch practice management systems to a single integrated system, make your office paperless, and start using a secure cloud file-sharing system. All of these changes can completely transform your practice to one that is efficient, makes more money, and provides better service for your clients.
Establish a Mobile Law Office
When you are tied to the office and can only get work done on your desktop computer, your efficiency is limited. Imagine you arrive at the office in the morning, and your internet is down, or your power is out. These issues can take time to solve, and you may have to wait for an IT company or building administrator to get started on a fix. You can lose hours of productivity if you can’t work from another computer, laptop, tablet, or phone. When you and your staff can work from any device, anywhere you have an internet connection, work can continue even when there are issues at the office. You could head home for the day or to a local coffee shop and accomplish everything you need to do, without any interruptions or wasted time.
To set up a law office that you can take on-the-go, you will need a cloud practice management system. A cloud system syncs over the internet immediately so that any work you do is reflected on every device where the software is installed. Whether you’re on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or cell phone, you will be able to manage your entire practice from anywhere.
With a mobile law office, you can also allow your staff to leave early or work from home without any loss of productivity. Employees will be able to complete work on their own schedules, enabling better work-life balance and a happier, more productive firm.
Automate Administrative Tasks
Attorneys and their support staff often get bogged down in the necessary, yet tedious, administrative tasks required to keep the business running. If too much time is spent on these tasks, it can cut into the time dedicated to client service and directly practicing law.
One step you can take to improve productivity is to use innovative technology to automate tasks like client intake, form generation, time recording, and billing. Cutting down the amount of time spent on these activities will allow for more time spent on practicing law, obtaining new clients, and providing better service to clients. Increasing the number of billable hours each attorney registers is a great way to increase productivity and make more money.
Single Integrated System
While you could sign up for a different software system to handle each of your administrative tasks, it’s much more efficient to make the switch to an all-in-one system. When your firm uses a single system for managing the entire practice, every aspect of the business will be wholly integrated. For example, when you generate bills for your clients, the tracked time from the matter will be automatically tracked and billed. Additionally, matter information will be automatically inserted into any automated forms you create, and the forms will be saved back to the correct matter.
When you work with multiple disconnected software systems, you have to spend time exporting data from one system and importing it into another. Whether you do this manually by copying and pasting, or through some automated process, this is still wasted time. Time spent on managing data can better be spent on performing legal work for clients and generating more money.
Something that comes along with switching to a single software system, especially a cloud-based system, is the ability to go paperless at the office. Not only will you be doing your part for the environment, but there are multiple benefits from a business perspective. Your law firm can save money on printers, toner, paper, and many of the other usual office expenses. More importantly, your firm will save immeasurable time, which translates to more money in your pocket. Since all your data will be stored in a single system, you won’t have to deal with misplaced intake forms, legal forms, or client data. Everything you need to manage a matter will be organized and at your fingertips, accessible from anywhere you have the internet.
Secure Cloud File-Sharing System
With a paperless law office run on a single cloud-based software system, you will probably have access to a cloud-based file-sharing system. There are many advantages to storing your documents online, including security and privacy, organization, and shareability. Rather than printing out and mailing or emailing documents to clients, you can send them a secure link to your document portal, and they can access and collaborate on it. Unlike with a file sent as an email attachment, you’ll be able to revoke access to a document at any time. This is useful if you accidentally send a file to the wrong client or a document becomes outdated. Your clients will appreciate the convenience of a cloud file-sharing system because they can access the latest version from any device and collaborate with the attorney and staff.
In addition to improving your working relationships with clients (which leads to better referrals), a secure document storage system will keep your entire law firm organized. No longer will you have to look through manila folders and filing cabinets for a misplaced form. Everything related to the case will be stored in your practice management system, and easily accessible via the file-sharing software.
There are countless ways to improve efficiency in any business. In law firms especially, time is money, because you bill for the time you spend on a client’s matter. There are many areas where improvements can be made to cut down on wasted time and make more money. Implementing a cloud practice management system like LEAP can take care of each of the five points discussed in this article. With all the time and money you save each month, you can transform your entire practice. Attorneys who use LEAP have been able to take on more clients, go home early, and spend time on marketing and networking. Increasing your firm’s efficiency with LEAP saves you time. It’s your decision what you will do with it.