The legal industry’s adoption of collaboration tools and cloud technologies increased considerably in 2020. To ensure that your law firm is able to thrive with the technological trends in 2021 and beyond, you need to continue adjusting to change. You also should anticipate what changes to implement in your practice in the coming years. Based on our experience in the technology industry, we have a few recommendations to consider.
Technological Trends in 2021 for the Legal Industry
VideoconferencingOnline video conferences have skyrocketed in the past year due to the pandemic, but this trend is likely to stay. Clients are finding online meetings with lawyers to feel safer and more convenient. Setting up an online meeting is now a breeze. There is also video conferencing software made specifically for law firms. This provides extra security for conversations with attorney-client privilege. Make sure that all the lawyers in your firm are well-versed in conducting online meetings and sending out video conference links to attendees.
Remote workSome legal offices have already started opening their doors once again, in light of the distribution of vaccines worldwide. However, some lawyers and firm staff have started enjoying remote work. Many in this profession want to continue this arrangement, even on a part-time basis. The trend of remote work will most likely persist. Thus, law firms have to adjust and allow their staff and partners the freedom to work from home or from co-working spaces.
Technological Plan for Your Law Firm
Establish your online presenceIf you haven’t created a website for your law firm yet or updated it in a while, it’s time to make that a priority. An established online presence provides your target audience and clients with a place where they can interact with your business. Many people expect businesses to have a website where they can look for updates, contact information, address, and directions to a physical location. Not investing in a website and growing your online presence can harm your credibility as a business.
Go paperlessIf you haven’t gone paperless in your law firm, now’s the time to consider it. Most law offices already have a computer, scanner, printer, and internet connection. The following steps will help you move forward in going paperless:
- Scan your documents and store them in your computer system.
- Create backup files in other external hard drives.
- Invest in secure cloud storage for documentation.
Automate basic administrative workLaw firms should also start adopting ways to automate basic administrative work. An example of this is the use of software that performs due diligence accurately, reportedly reducing the time it takes to accomplish this by 90%. There are also digital tools for:
- Automating non-disclosure agreement processes
- Generating court transcripts from recordings
- Jury screening
- Drafting other documents.
Technological Innovation for Law Firms
Cloud-based communication systemsMore law practices will be looking to modernize their communication systems. Additionally, more clients now expect communication to be easy because of technological advances. While traditional office and mobile phone systems still work, shifting to a cloud-based communication system will benefit your law firm and client experience. Law practice management software offers features for:
- Automatic call recording
- Tagging of prospects to marketing campaigns
- Instant notification of missed phone calls
- And more