There's no need to sit and wonder if or why Lawyers should automate their Law Firms. The answers are staring us in the face. There are so many good and valid reasons why you should automate that it seems to be a 'no brainer'.
Certain menial tasks that should be done each day are quite time consuming; but if they were automated, they would easily cut down the time wasted by the tedious manual repetition of these duties. The result of which would be to free you up to give extra attention to the more serious tasks that need your personal consideration.
So, it's a given that the advent of automation into your Law Firm could radically improve your service to your Clients, making for smoother operation of your Law Firm and therefore, also improving your life.
We're not talking about removing the human component, in fact we're rather talking about improving the quality of the human element and making it more meaningful; because now you won't have to waste your and your Clients' time getting hung up on the small and time-consuming things. Some of that extra time you gain can be spent on things that require your legal skills and expertise.
It's crucial we don't take the human element out of our practices, but automation will help to improve efficiency; increase Attorney satisfaction and enhance client experience. You can, as a result, have more meaningful meetings with your clients. Further, while improving communication with clients, you are also improving each member of your staff's work situations.
Automation decreases human error, the overhead costs of staffing, and all those other fees that one would associate with an expected law office.
If you are a solo, or a small firm of Attorneys, the playing fields that automation levels for you, gives you the ability to stay competitive on a smaller budget. Of course, automation allows you to spend more of your valuable time on decision making and highly rated important tasks which should never be rushed. – and now you don't have to.
Over the last few years, there's been a good deal of chatter about Artificial Intelligence (AI) being able to replace Lawyers, in the future. Now, we know that's not true just yet – nor will it be for some time to come but, maybe one day.
In the meantime, no AI available today is capable of replacing a human and, especially one that's at the top of his game in running his business, dealing with his clients and generally being in control.
Whenever a lawyer leaves a firm, they will inevitably take with them valuable knowledge. While many firms struggle to ensure this doesn't happen, to a small degree, it's inevitable. Automation cuts down the percentage of the likelihood of information loss and helps to avoid more of this than usual.
These days Clients demand a faster, more consistent and higher quality service from Firms, and Lawyers need to work smarter instead of harder. When your Firm is automated with knowledge technologies, it brings efficiency, value and cost savings to the Clients.
Firms can transform frequently used documents into intelligent templates that lawyers can re-use across the Firm by means of knowledge automation. Firms can save time and resources while simultaneously reducing risk and increasing accuracy. How? Simply by automating document assembly and workflows for transactions and litigation.
For the modern law firm, compliance and cybersecurity is a significant stress point; and Law Firms will face greater accountability in demonstrating compliance and security. There is, however, a positive side to this, which is, in short, that advances in knowledge automation are modernising the way firms ensure compliance and therefore mitigate risk.
The Firm operates more efficiently with automation technology, which adds value to client relationships by enabling faster turnarounds, increased responsiveness, and high-quality service.
Knowledge automation technology not only helps firms operate more efficiently, but also adds value to client relationships by powering faster turnaround, increased responsiveness and higher quality service.
Given that today's clients are used to being more well-informed, self-reliant and value-conscious means they usually when it comes to legal matters they are out of their depth and thus need answers as quickly as possible.
These Clients will probably look for a Law Firm that isn't overly 'traditional 'but more modern, with answers they can understand from these contemporary non-traditional legal service providers.
Today's shrewd Law Firms need to clearly differentiate themselves from their yesteryear image of being an old-fashioned hardcore firm; and communicate the high value of the modern, superior and comprehensive service they provide today.
If your Law Firm is well structured and innovative you will be in a position to assist large corporates who make what would have been considered impossible demands yesterday but today such Law Firms as in a position to keep up and supply the legal requirements of such corporates.
Have you thought about how much time is spent each time you greet a new Client? With the inevitable forms to be completed before we even reach the Mandate and Fee Agreement which is time-consuming. Almost immediately that one-hour consult has become much longer.
If a client were to receive standard documents before the consult, and if the banking details were sent so that the Client has paid for the consult before arriving, would save a good deal of time.
Again, this levels the playing field to what should take place during a consult – dealing with the Client's needs, discussing their personal situations and advising on the legal aspects – not form filling and explaining.
By integrating legal knowledge, process knowledge and compliance into lawyers' workflows, knowledge automation technology enhance speed, accuracy, and value. Improved efficiencies allow lawyers to deliver high-quality output while spending more time building trust with clients.
It's a known fact that the credit card is anathema to Attorneys! Law Firms are the slowest of businesses to allow their clients to pay via credit cards online. It is believed that the average percentage of Law Firms enabling their Clients thus are in the region of between 16% and 20% but certainly nothing higher.
Clients become incredibly frustrated when their efforts to pay some Lawyers by credit card are thwarted as the Law Firm has ruled against the use of credit cards. Naturally, this has an impact on the Client who is then caused to think that particular Law Firm is old fashioned and could well be out of step with other aspects – including the law.
A Client needs communication giving them easy access to their documents regarding your Law Firm and a good knowledge of how you operate; for example, billing, appointments, understanding of your fee structure, of what they need to know legally regarding their matter, and about their options. Once again, this speaks to the advantage of automating the Firm's systems.
Whether it's a clearer understanding of some facet of their matter; being it financial or even that they would prefer to work with a different lawyer in your Firm; your Clients need to know they have a line of recourse set up for them whenever they need it. All these things, and many more, can be accommodated because automation has afforded the time to handle unexpected interruptions in your daily schedule.
In the automation of the Law Firms, Lawyers can do nothing but benefit. If you can look at your calendar and see all the activities expected from you that day.
You can see consults booked for you and details regarding same; you'll see meetings you should attend with attachments regarding the meetings; if you want to, you'll be able to see everyone else's diaries at the press of a button.
Click on another file, and you'll see the Client's entire payment history, legal history, etc.; another file will show you court dates, results, presiding judges and whatever else is relevant, and so on. There are many more advantages not mentioned here, but they far outweigh the old time-consuming methods.
How can any Lawyer say no to hi-tech relevant automation? In fact, how can anyone say no, regardless of their business? The staff are happier – their days are planned, and they are infinitely more organised and thus more productive; the owner is happier with the automation of the practice because with that comes the freedom and power to deal with true business ownership.
To embrace automation means to let the owner work in their creative zone – allowing them to experiment, imagine and create a more reassuring effect and professional impact on the Clients; and your Clients' happiness is key to your success.
Most Clients feel challenged with their situations when they're in the position of seeking out the services of an attorney. They don't know the law and have probably listened to a few horrible experiences their friends, family or colleagues have had in the past.
Of course, you're hearing a personal opinion only, but it still has an effect. So, by the time that person arrives for their consult at the chosen Law Firm, they are uncomfortable and mistrustful, and things could be awkward.
Yet, thanks to a fully automated system, our Client to be is made to feel comfortable, reassured and at ease in no time. Therefore, hopefully, becoming the Client and giving instruction to that highly automated Law Firm. Why? Because the Client felt they were modern, they were professional and gave that Client as much time and attention as was required – making a brilliant impression.
There was no time wasted on paperwork which had been done in advance; payment had also been made before arrival and, at no time, was the Client made to feel 'at a loss', uncomfortable or challenged for lack of knowledge on their part.
Automation leaves everyone in the office available to 'go the extra mile' with the Clients, in the roles that they play on behalf of the Firm. To make the Clients feel welcome, to show respect, to reassure them that you're there to help them, and to let them know that you care – without getting personally involved.
Paving the way for vast improvements in productivity, risk management, and client services are new advancements in knowledge automation. Obviously, automation will not, cannot, ever replace lawyers, but it can augment how they work and assist them greatly with their detailed personalised knowledge of the Clients on whose behalf they are working.
Prospective Clients will phone to ask how many Lawyers are employed at the Firm but, if your Firm is automated, it doesn't really matter in most instances, as automation saves you sufficient time, and keeps you so comprehensively informed that you can take on more business than you could before the modernisation of your services.
Law Firms of the future are seeking to explore the use of advanced technology so that they can adapt fully into 21st-century modernistic practices. It's becoming more and more necessary in view of the fact that not only will this save time and money, but they are dealing with a new breed of Client.
These modern Clients are 'clued up' and already have automation in their firms. They will take a matter to a Law Firm and demand answers – immediately. Law Firms of the future will need to keep up with these demands and will use automation to equip their staff better and thus their practices to operate at a more detailed and efficient speed.
This accelerated speed is becoming the new normal for Law Firms, and by integrating legal knowledge, process knowledge and compliance into lawyers' workflows; knowledge automation technology enhances speed, accuracy, and value. Improved efficiencies allow lawyers to deliver high-quality output while spending more time building trust with clients. This gives Lawyers more time to address complex issues and collaborate closely with Clients on strategy
When a Client is handled in such a manner whereby, they don't feel embarrassed, or awkward, or a lesser being in any way; they will always remember you, recommend you, and return to you whenever they require legal assistance.
People everywhere might not remember what you said or what you did or how you said or did it, but they will never forget how you made them feel, and that is priceless.
If that is the result of office automation – what is there to talk about? It's a winner!