The legal industry has a pretty serious paper problem. While fields finance, education, and business made an early push to join the world of cloud-computing and document automation, the legal industry has lagged behind. Now, even government and healthcare organizations are pushing to make the switch to digital, shareable files.
Times are changing and the legal industry is starting to wake up to the ways technology can revitalize and empower business. But adoption doesn’t happen overnight and there are many, many ways to start incorporating legal technology into your organization. While AI and blockchain are excellent, they aren’t accessible to businesses of all sizes. If you’re considering updating the tools you use to get work done, here are some entry-level ways you can dip your toe into the pool of technology.
When it comes to technology, a major barrier to entry for law firms is data security. There is a lot of misinformation spread across many industries—not just law. People are concerned about what a breach of security could mean for their organization. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Aderant listed data security as the top challenge to technology adoption.
To be fair, these concerns are not entirely unwarranted. Breaches do happen. In 2017, about 22% of firms in the American Bar Association experienced a data breach. Statistics like this one appear frequently and should not be disregarded, but they don’t tell the whole story. In reality, most cybersecurity attacks hit web-based email browsers and on-premise environments, not data held in the cloud.
From Amazon AWS to data encryption, there are several trending data security options law firms can adopt—all of which are likely more secure than what your organization can provide on its own. Certainly, the trendiest of the data security options is blockchain. Almost impossible to forge or hack, blockchain is incredibly secure. As firms start to dip their toes into the world of “smart contracts”, blockchain will start to play a larger role. However, there are many less complicated, less expensive options waiting at your fingertips. These options include: Amazon AWS, SSL, Firewall, Data Encryption, or Secure Download.
There are a lot of ways your law firm can start safely storing digitized documents, forms, and surveys. There are a lot of options in between manually storing paper documents and using blockchain. Now is the time to find the one that works best for your organization.
2. The Cloud
One of the easiest steps most law firms take in tech is initiating the transition to cloud computing. Cloud computing is essentially the storage of an organization’s data in an online server. Many tools that simplify contract management processes or legal analytics rely on cloud document storage. For small to medium-size law firms, cloud computing can make your firm more competitive by increasing the amount of access your clients have to your legal services.
If your firm’s legal technology and digitized documents are not currently cloud-based, now’s the time to make the switch. Without monopolizing on cloud technology, you could be creating a major barrier in the way of your organization’s future growth.
3. Marketing Automation
As the legal industry becomes more saturated, marketing will become more and more critical to success.
Alex Babin, CEO of the legaltech company, Zero, made this prediction for legal technology advances in 2019: “Email will finally catch up to other workflow systems to make lawyers more productive and profitable, thanks to automation.” Without automating your email, newsletters, and other campaigns, marketing turns into a seriously time-intensive task for your organization. But with the right tools, automating your marketing is easy, helps retain clients, and peaks the interest of new ones.
Many marketing automation tools can go above and beyond simply automating emails and confirmations. Business savvy organizations use tools that support legal analytics or integrate with an analytics tool to promote and empower their marketing strategy.
4. Pricing and Billing
25% of General Counsel say that the biggest problem they face in their firm is billing. They want to lower the cost of fees, but can’t without improved efficiency and increased productivity. Documentation problems often stand in the way of these improvements. Stop relying on paper checks or money orders as your primary way to collect payments.
In 2019, make the quick and easy switch and add a payment processor or payment gateway to your financial workflow. Find the payment gateway that works best for you and make sure that it easily integrates with the tools you use every day.
of5. Collaborative Tools
Nowadays, legal work requires input from specialists, translators, and subject matter experts. It's no longer a solo performance. In fact, the need for collaboration has been one of the earliest pushes for many law firms in their adoption of legal technology.
Document management systems and customer relationship software tools let you send legal documents for review, approval, and signing, These tools breakdown geographic barriers and enable agile, collaborative workflows. our team’s productivity and efficiency will improve, freeing up time to proactively address the needs of your clients.
Make the Switch
Are you ready to start digitizing your documents and implementing more technology across your organization? Do you use a contract management system or customer relationship manager? Then, you need to try Formstack Documents.
Formstack Documents helps you securely build forms, store and manage your documents, and automate your processes, all while integrating with many of your favorite tools. Take advantage of Formstack Documents' capabilities today with a free trial!