How Estate Lawyers Can Better Address Key Concerns with Technology
Given that 40% of Americans will get some kind of inheritance, there's lots of work out there for estate attorneys.
However, if you're working inefficiently or using old technology, you can't address the concerns of your clients at the level you should be. Estate lawyers who want to take advantage of the service fees and amount of billable hours you could be getting from clients need to use better tools.
Here are 4 concerns that your firm could be handling better with the help of technology.
1. Too Many Resources Devoted to Research
If your firm is spending precious labor hours doing research and combing through law libraries, you need to find a way to cut back on your spending. Using advanced research tools can allow your interns and paralegals to devote their time to building support for a case rather than nodding off in the library.
The various legal search tools now available to firms allow lawyers to comb through legal data, get analysis, and output relevant charts and graphs. If your search tool is connected to a reputable law library, you'll be able to easily practice with high-quality data and information.
There are several legal information providers that can provide free services to law students and pro-bono attorneys alike. If you're a civil rights attorney offering your services for the greater good, there are tools that are on your side.
You'll still have access to these tools usually via a subscription. It will be well worth it if you can search using contextual research technology and AI to help automate your research. When you've got high-quality research, you can build the best and strongest case possible for your clients.
You can free up your time and spend more of your efforts on that high-value billable work rather than being caught up with research. You'll be on top of key precedents and important decisions with the help of these digital assistants.
Gathering information to help with litigation while supporting it with relevant data is the best thing that these tools can offer to you and your firm. With the entire history of estate law and precedents at your fingertips, you will be able to provide the best services for your clients.
2. Not Enough Client Interactivity
With the help of tools on your site to automatically fill in forms, you can empower your clients to make important decisions about estate planning. Whether you decide to have documents be fully created online or you gather information to help better serve clients, you can make billable hours worthwhile.
Rather than waste your clients' time dealing with basic questions or filling out documentation, give them the tools to do it online.
With a form building tool built on your site, you can give clients a reason to stick around and explore your site. When you give your clients a reason to see your site as valuable, they'll look at all the other services you offer.
Since offering one free service is a great way to get your clients interested in other services, giving them a free estate planning tool will increase engagement.
3. Accounting Taking Too Many Resources
Accounting software is important no matter what the size of your practice is. You'll be able to get all kinds or service solutions out of most commercially available accounting software for lawyers.
Good accounting software should give you the ability to do legal calendaring and time-tracking in order to make the most of your schedule. It should also have include functionality for creating bills and invoices. With the documents that are linked to your software, it should allow you to better organize all of your documents by date and type.
If you're a larger firm, accounting software can allow your accounts payable, HR, and payroll departments to integrate seamlessly. You should be able to automate some of the work that your office does. Find a tool that offers a free trial so that you can test out what works for your practice.
4. Inaccessible Storage or Lost Files
While some of the software programs that you'll find for accounting offer storage, you might need more than what they offer. A dedicated cloud service provider is never a bad idea for storing your data.
Cloud storage allows you to have a backup for your old clients including years-old files and reports, allowing you to have access to them without taking up space. Whether you need to save space on your servers or inside your office. If you don't have a contingency plan including a backup to your backups, a powerful storm could knock out all of your data.
If you keep everything on site, a fire or a bad storm could make you unable to retrieve important data that your clients need years down the road.
With cloud solutions, you'll get access to documents and files while you're on your phone or when you're traveling. With Dropbox or Google Drive, you can integrate their apps into your mobile device, allowing you to attach things to emails at a moment's notice.
These aren't always the most secure solutions, however. You need to keep your clients' data secure at all costs. It's both your ethical and professional responsibility.
Before you select a cloud service provider, see what kinds of security training they offer to you and your staff. Start implementing two-factor authentication for most of your data solutions so that you can keep hackers out and protect your clients.
Estate Lawyers Can Always Improve Their Practice
It's a myth that old dogs can't learn new tricks and estate lawyers are no exception to this idea. If you're looking to improve your practice with the help of technology, there is no shortage of great tools available. If you're not using the best tools available, you could be wasting time and losing clients without even realizing it.
While streamlining your practice, follow our guide to ensure that you're creating the most accurate and bulletproof wills possible.