Where most businesses spend a few hundred dollars a year on equipment for employees, law firms tend to average more than $1,000 a year per employee. When this is the case, law firms need to be prepared to spend their money wisely in terms of law office technology. With so many options, it's hard to know which are the smartest options to implement in your law office.
Here are five of the ways that law firms can update their office technology.
1. Transcription Software
One of the big ways that law offices and legal pads are going to change in the near future is in how lawyers take notes. While some legal professionals use recording devices, this isn't always the preferred method for some clients. Those who wish to speak on a confidential basis don't want an audio recording of their conversations.
Natural language processing hasn't always been the strong suit of digital technology. Most software fumbles language when it's trying to account for differences in speech patterns and cadences. As these tools improve, it'll be easier for lawyers to record and spit out text onto a screen quickly.
As more tools also become more secure, there is a possibility for these listening devices to be removed from networks and to be totally secure. If they block any interference, clients can be assured that their conversations aren't recorded even while notes are recorded for lawyers.
Most of the current tools are a little bit clunky but combined with the help of virtual assistants, there are ways to improve efficiency in law offices unlike ever before.
2. Secure Remote Conferencing
As more people work from their mobile devices and more of the workforce is dispersed across the globe, people are ignoring borders. When they need services from a good lawyer, they're not going to care so much about where that lawyer is located. It's what they can do that matters the most.
Secure communication is vital to any kind of business but it's especially important in the world of estate planners and lawyers. They handle such sensitive and privileged information that clients need to know every communication is secure. If dealing with high profile clients, it's important to keep their communication from leaking or being intercepted.
There could be sensitive family finances being discussed and if it's not over a secure line, that could put their estate in jeopardy. It could also leave lawyers open to being sued.
With secure remote conferencing software, everyone will be able to communicate across any barriers. They'll also rest assured knowing that their communication is encrypted at every juncture.
3. Tablets Everywhere
IF you want to know what's going to change when it comes to legal pads, well it's going to be the legal pads themselves. Don't expect to see as much pen and paper in the future as you might see in your own office today. While it'll take years for some of the most stubborn lawyers to adapt, the time has come to change.
Tablets also make working and collaborating easier. When multiple lawyers are working on the same case, they need to share and compare notes. Rather than having to photocopy messy notes and ship them over to another layer, they can be dragged and dropped into a message in an instant.
With secure networks or messaging apps that have solid security, clients are assured that their information is protected. While law offices can become more secure and more efficient with just a few tech changes. By giving everyone a tablet to work with, it ensures that everyone on your team can connect.
Connect all tablets together on a wireless network and you can send files from one to the other easily as a firm grows and changes.
4. Document Control Software
One of the biggest ways that companies are set to change in the coming years is through the way that they compose and handle documents. Documents are hard to manage in the modern era with a mix of paper and digital documentation, however, it's clear that the future is in digital documents.
With software to help lawyers to compose documents, document processes can be regimented and standardized. Once a firm has a standard laid out as to how they compose a certain type of document, the process can be repeated. Everyone will be up to the same standards with this type of system.
With some document control software, you also get the chance to give clients access to documents. Where once you needed to keep just a few paper copies lying around, not knowing when they could be photocopied, you can have more control than ever. You can give clients a secure password, keep them from printing the document, and know who has seen it and when.
5. Outsourced IT
With everything moving online, it's vital to be able to have high quality IT services. However, even successful law offices struggle to hire the best staff for their auxiliary services. While they might spend their money on hiring the top law talent around, it costs a lot to hire the best in tech.
That's where outsourced IT staff comes in. As the U.S. has become the hotspot for tech outsourcing, it's no longer a four-letter word. You can get high-quality and talented staff to work on protecting your network, data, and client information without having to go broke.
Law Office Technology Should be Cutting Edge
When your law office technology is clearly behind the other offices in your industry, you're going to be left behind too. You need the latest technology to ensure that you're prepared for changes that are sure to come in the industry.
To get started in using software for composing documents, check out our beginners' guide.