June 10, 2014
“We’re not going to be able to get the attorneys to change their current habits.” I hear this far too often when working with customers. Why? I ask. “Well you know…” Yes and No. I know that technology change can be uncomfortable; however, it can bring too many benefits to not be embraced.
Here are five steps to keep those who are afraid of legal technology from becoming overwhelmed:
1) Do your research. What’s the best solution out there for your firm and your workflow? Technology isn’t always a one size fits all. don’t worry too much about specific products. Instead, gather high level information to help understand, and be able to explain if necessary the basic functions of the technologies generally. For example, what is “the cloud?” Many firms are looking to the cloud because they simply don’t have the capacity to store the large amount of data we deal with on an everyday basis in-house…yet they want to alleviate the privacy concerns associated with some hosted clouds. Research cloud technology that is not product-specific so you know what to look for once you begin investigating specific vendors.
2) Go paperless. Take small steps. If you currently scan documents and then put them into your client folder, let’s add to that. Or if you tend to say, “I’m comfortable with the workflow I have right now,” then I ask, How often are you staying at the office into the late hours because you spent hours looking for a particular document? Have you considered going paperless so that you spend less time digging through banker boxes? How much space are they taking up in your office? It is rarely efficient to manually store, find and review those documents.
3) Consider your case file management needs. Now that we don’t have 30 banker boxes in-house, what would you rather be spending your billable time on? Do you want to be able to collaborate with your associates and staff? Should your documents be securely accessible by you when you are at court, or in a deposition out of your office? Create a list of requirements for your ideal cloud-based file
4) Now that you have a list of requirements, on to the product-specific step: investigate specific programs to help you review and analyze that data. A case analysis tool or drafting tool can provide a huge return on investment.
5) Conduct a technology audit of your office. Do you have the right tools that fit your needs? A 30 minute meeting with a consultant will save you hours in the end. Those hours add up to more billable time for you.