Whether you run a solo practice or part of a bigger law firm, using the right software can make a huge difference in your day-to-day tasks. The legal industry quickly adopted technologies that aided in their productivity, as 64% of attorneys say tech tools led to better workflow in their organization in 2020. As remote work became part of a legal professional’s scope of duty, law firm software became just as important.
This article will discuss the top law firm software that attorneys can use to organize their files and improve their efficiency at work.
1. File storage tools
Secure file management is paramount to becoming an effective lawyer. That’s why attorneys must invest in an online file storage tool to keep their client’s documents safe. Most attorneys nowadays use cloud technology to store sensitive data, as they’re readily accessible and more convenient than physically storing documents.
When it comes to online file storage, your two main options are Google Drive and Dropbox. If you’re familiar with Google’s ecosystem and want easy file sharing, Google Drive is the way to go. But for the vast majority of attorneys out there, Dropbox is the better choice as it delivers consistently faster upload speeds, has LAN sync for sending files around your local network, and has unlimited storage.
Whichever one you choose, having a reliable cloud storage solution will make things easier for sharing, accessing, and securing sensitive client data.
2. Electronic signature tools
Nowadays, it’s common for lawyers to use e-signatures as part of the industry’s move towards a paperless environment. Plus, e-signatures facilitate legal work, as meeting a client face-to-face just for a signature will take valuable time off your hands. If you find yourself using your e-signature often, it’s about time you consider a dedicated tool to simplify document signing.
You’ll find plenty of e-signature tools online, but DocuSign’s the best one available for law firms. The software has everything you need to sign documents electronically, thanks to its feature-rich application. You can view all signed documents, keep track of signatures, create signature groups for specific tasks, etc.
While e-signatures aren’t always applicable in every situation, they are valid in all U.S. states and wield the same legal status as handwritten signatures. A reliable e-signature tool saves valuable resources and transforms your document signing into a streamlined process.
3. Office tools
Part of a lawyer’s job is to draft letters and documents, which can be challenging if you’re not using the right tools. Thus, a word processor is a must-have to ensure you craft a document in clear, concise language. Cloud-based word processors are the most sensible option for attorneys as it enables you to work remotely and access your documents anytime, anywhere.
Microsoft 365 is a perfect example of a comprehensive tool that combines productivity tools with efficient word processing. Microsoft Docs lets you draft structured documents while teams make it easy to communicate with your colleagues. On the other hand, Contacts let you manage phone numbers efficiently and do away with the manual phonebooks.
4. Scanner apps
The legal industry is moving towards a digital landscape, and for attorneys to keep up with the fast-paced changes, having a scanner app is an absolute must. The ability to digitize documents is great for organizing files and keeping a copy of documents that you need. Gone are the days when physical scanners are necessary, as mobile phone apps do an excellent job of scanning paperwork accurately.
Office Lens is the top choice when it comes to scanner apps. The tool captures information and enhances it to ensure the document is easily readable. Office Lens eliminates shadows, boosts clarity, and straightens images, making it the ideal option for scanning virtually any paperwork.
5. Billing software
Legal billing software is slowly becoming a staple in many law firms as it helps attorneys save time on administrative tasks. While not every law firm will benefit from such software, it is a worthy consideration if you spend a chunk of your day on billing. The last thing you want for your team is to deal with a huge backlog of outstanding bills and compromise their productivity.
The billing software must have automatic time-tracking capabilities and customizable invoices/templates. We’ve covered a topic on choosing the best law firm billing software to help you make an informed decision. Manage unpaid bills more efficiently and improve your collection rates by using the right billing software that fits your firm’s needs and preferences.
6. Accounting software
As a legal professional, you already have a lot on your plate. But, that doesn’t mean you should neglect the accounting side of your law firm, as it’s crucial to manage your finances to maintain profitability. The good news is that modern accounting software has come a long way in providing solutions that rival a full-time accountant.
From bank reconciliation and cash flow management to expense claims and invoicing, you can find all these features with Xero. The software can perform bookkeeping functions and even automate your bank feeds, making your accounting more efficient.
QuickBooks is also a worthy consideration for law firms that want strong reporting capabilities from their accounting software. If you’re looking to run more complex reports down the line, QuickBooks is an excellent choice. Both software offers rich feature sets that will help elevate your financial management to the next level.
7. Password management apps
Lawyers bear the responsibility of handling sensitive client data, and they must protect that information at all costs. If you plan on using multiple law firm software, it helps to use a password management app that will keep your client’s information out of harm’s reach.
A password manager like LastPass is the only solution you need to strengthen your online security and organize your usernames/passwords. The app lets you automatically sign in to apps and websites, making it convenient for handling several different accounts. LastPass also stores payment info and personal notes and is encrypted at the device level for maximum security.
An app that can organize all your passwords is a major plus for every attorney who uses law firm software. The best part is that LastPass is free, which gives you even more reason to add it to your browser as an extension.
8. Automation tools
One of the best parts of using law firm software is the ability to automate daily repetitive tasks. Lawyers are always looking for ways to maximize their time, and automation tools help achieve that. Zapier is a great example wherein lawyers can automate tasks using its drag-and-drop interface. No coding is necessary, so using the app is straightforward at best.
You can also set reminders and deadlines to track the progress of each task. What’s cool about Zapier is you can customize your workflow, thus helping your law firm run smartly and efficiently. By using an automation tool, you can focus on the important tasks and maximize the hours you spend at work each day.
9. Phone call apps
While most businesses nowadays rely on text messaging, emails, and social media to communicate, the legal industry still relies on the good-old-fashioned phone call. Conversations flow more naturally over the phone, and for attorneys, it’s simply more convenient to dial a number than send a lengthy SMS or email.
Vonage relies on a solid internet connection to make and receive phone calls. The software is capable of conference calling, automatic call forwarding, and even an automated answering system in the form of a virtual receptionist. Along with the cloud-connected functionality, Vonage ensures that you can access your phone line anytime, anywhere (provided you have an internet connection).
10. Video conferencing solutions
Communication is at the heart of what every lawyer does. But given the situation we’re facing, meeting clients face-to-face isn’t always a viable option. As attorneys adapt to remote work, video conferencing solutions provide an easy and convenient way to stay connected with your colleagues and clients.
While Zoom is the go-to for meetings and video calls, lawyers will benefit more from Legaler, a tailor-made video conferencing solution for legal professionals. Thanks to in-browser video, the software makes it easy to connect with your clients, removing the need to download video conferencing apps. As expected with most law firm software, Legaler is end-to-end encrypted, giving you peace of mind that your video calls are safe and secure.
Technology is fast evolving, and for those in the legal industry, embracing these tech tools is key to modernizing your workflow and streamlining your internal processes. Lawyers will benefit greatly from the law firm software mentioned in this article as they’re more than capable of handling legal tasks. Try out these tech tools and see how they can elevate your law firm’s performance.
Knowing how to manage your finances is crucial to maintaining profitability in your law firm. If you need any help with expert bookkeeping services, our team is ready to help. Feel free to fill out the form below, and our team will get back to you shortly.