According to a 2018 McKinsey study, 22% of a lawyer's job – and 35% of a paralegal's job – can be automated. When considering the manpower, time and money wasted on these administrative tasks, there's no reason why they shouldn't be automated, if you want to maximize your law firm's efficiency, productivity and earning potential.
This is where a range of law firm software options can help your practice, and guarantee its future success, by minimizing costs through the reduction of time your workforce has to spend on tasks that can be automated, so that they can put spend more time on client cases – in other words, the jobs that only people can do.
Implementing law firm software into your business model has the added benefit of ensuring that administrative tasks are completed at lightning-quick speeds, and – more importantly – mistakes made by your firm are reduced, thanks to the removal of the mitigation of human-error.
Here are a few pieces of software that your law firm should consider using to boost its earnings and guarantee its success. Namely, practice management software that improves your law firm's time and billing.
Did you know that the majority of legal malpractice claims are caused by deadline mistakes and calendar faults, according to the American Bar Association (ABA)?
One of the biggest drawbacks of using human beings to carry out timekeeping administration is the likelihood of human error. Legal timekeeping software, on the other hand, doesn't make mistakes, and is immune to the afflictions that make us more mistake-prone as humans, such as illness and being tired or distracted.
Legal timekeeping software manages all timesheets, schedules, calendars and deadlines to ensure that your firm makes the most of every second, all while reducing company costs by eliminating costly human error.
Great timekeeping software platforms also feature pro bono add-ons, such as document management, trust accounts and automated review of line items. These features can ensure you get the most bang for your buck when submitting invoices to clients, especially if those clients use matter management software or case management software, which is notorious for cutting down legal spend.
If your workforce manages your law firm's billing and spending, this means that you're spending extra time to ensure that your firm gets paid. Time, in itself, that you cannot bill for. To boot, you have to manually keep track of all of your company's costs, resulting in smaller profit margins for your law firm. Task management software is a first step, and it'll increase margins across all legal departments, in-house or external.
A type of law firm software, legal billing software – otherwise known as electronic billing, or e-billing software – you could use your workforce complete work that's actually profitable, and reduce time spent on things that don't add directly to your botom line. E-billing software ensures that you have timekeeping/billing covered in your arsenal of law firm software products, and you spend the least amount of time possible on areas that don't result in your getting directly paid.
E-billing software takes care of batch billing, IOLTA accounting, expense entry and a number of other finance-based tasks, so that your work force doesn't have to. It's responsible for the billing of clients, checking that bills are accurate and whether there are any improper expenses, as well as taking care of any bill auditing.
Furthermore, sophisticated ebilling software can handle all types of client payment, from checks in the mail to to wires/ACH to online payments, which typically relate to payment gateways, such as LawPay, PayPal or Stripe. Clients can use their credit or debit card to pay you, or they can use slower, tried and true methods. Bilr can handle all of the aforementioned forms of payment.
Disclosure: Bilr, the cloud-based solution for law firms and official legal e-billing software of the global e-billing standard, LEDES, is the author of this article.
Though few law firms today keep only paper copies of cases, client records, bills, books, and schedules, as the world has become more thoroughly digitized, it doesn't necessarily get easier to manage your practice. Law firm practice management solutions are a good first step. Hours, and hours per week spend on different tasks can be tracked with this software, so you can take the first step in identifying areas for improvement through the digitization of your practice. Time tracking is just one aspect of timekeeping, and it is consistently overlooked, despite it being another key driver of law firm profit improvement.
Designed to manage law firms' cases and client records, schedules, deadlines, and any other relevant files, legal management software allows your law firm to streamline workflows, add efficiency and – by extension – increase profitability. Management software enables law firm staff to access everything they need, within one super ergonomic program.
Moreover, management software will allow you to see how your law firm is functioning – since all the data about your law firm is kept in the program. This means you can observe where the law firm is least efficient, and what you can do to optimize those areas and increase the firm's earnings.
The completion of administrative tasks is – regrettably – essential to any law firm, and yet these tasks are a drain on your firm's time and resources. On the other hand, when these tasks, such as billing and timekeeping, are automated, it results in fewer costs – since you don't have to pay a machine, and they never get tired. More than this, software can enable you to lose less money, due to the reduction of errors made by machines than by humans, resulting in fewer legal malpractice claims made against your law firm.
So, if you want to cut down on costs and maximize the time your workforce spends on profitable, lucrative work, be sure to purchase the legal practice software that'll make a difference in your law firm.