Law-Firm-Technology-That-You-Need-in-2022_BLOG

Law Firm Technology That You Need in 2022 (and Beyond)

Published on October 13, 2022
10 minute read
<a href='https://www.lawmatics.com/blog/author/sarah/'>Sarah Bottorff</a>
Written by Sarah Bottorff

Think of a beautiful symphony with various notes that depend on each other to create one single harmonic tone. A legal tech stack, much like a harmonic symphony, is a group of different legal technology tools that enable your firm to run seamlessly, integrating with each other to improve your productivity and better serve your clients.

You may already use various tech tools to run your law firm and may have a “tech stack” whether you realize it or not. Yet, toggling between different programs can be laborious and frustrating if they don't integrate well with each other. Read on to take inventory of your tech stack and identify the potential gaps in your efficiency with the technology all legal teams should have in 2022 to be successful.

Legal tools used by competitive lawyers in 2022

CRM (Client Relationship Management)

How it works

A legal CRM is a platform created to help lawyers manage all of their interactions with leads and clients. A CRM allows you to track a lead from the minute they first contact your firm through signing as a client.

Why you need it

As a lawyer, time is money. Relying on a manual client intake system is eating up hours of your week that you could be spending on client matters.

Form tool

How it works

Creating client intake forms can be a tedious and complex task. A form tool allows you to easily get all the information you need from your clients, by creating customized forms in only a few clicks.

Why you need it

A form tool makes it easy to gather important information from your clients, speeding up your administrative work and decreasing the chance of errors.

Case management software

How it works

Case management software is probably something you’re already familiar with. It keeps lawyers organized with their existing clients' cases by organizing your tasks and notes, storing important case files, date tracking, and managing your time and billing. Its ultimate purpose is to store lawyers’ most important case details in one single location, keeping their matters organized and streamlined.

Why you need it

As a busy lawyer, you need to be able to access case details quickly whenever you need them and easily track your time and billing. By investing in case management software you can make your life easier with one location to store important case details. Since everything is in one central location, you can guarantee that everyone in your law firm stays on the same page. If you want your firm to run efficiently, case management software is a must.

Cloud file storage

How it works

Once upon a time lawyers had to keep physical copies of all of their important documents in paper files. Accessing necessary documents often involved a tedious process of digging through multiple locations trying to find the right file. Next, law firms moved to electronic storage on costly servers located in their own offices. This required expensive upkeep and IT support. Now, thanks to cloud technology, lawyers can store their most critical files digitally in one secure location in the cloud, saving space and IT costs, and making your files accessible anywhere you have an internet connection.

Why you need it

A cloud storage solution makes it easy to access any critical case file you need whenever and wherever you need it. Find, send, and receive your most important files without the headache of going into the office or connecting to your server.

Document assembly

How it works

Manually creating and filling out documents is incredibly time-consuming. Document assembly software auto-fills your documents by merging data directly from your database in just a few clicks.

Why you need it

Documents that would have taken you hours or even days to complete manually, can be generated in a few clicks with less risk of errors. As such, you can take back precious time for your law firm and increase staff productivity.

Virtual receptionists

How it works

Statistics show that nearly 35% of the time that prospective clients call law firms, their calls aren’t answered. When you consider how much work goes into running a practice, it’s understandable why busy lawyers don’t always have the time to stop what they’re doing and pick up the phone and talk for 20 minutes. Unfortunately, missed phone calls equal lost business. The same goes for emails.

Why you need it

Relying on a virtual receptionist service means you can ensure that your firm always answers the phone without having to hire staff to do it. Although a virtual receptionist service costs money, it’s considerably more affordable than paying a full-time receptionist. You also have to take into account all of the missed revenue when you fail to answer the phone. Chances are if you don’t answer, a potential client will call the next firm on their Google search results. Virtual receptionists mean better, faster, and immediate customer service, without having to stop what you’re doing.

Email marketing software

How it works

The key to running a successful law firm is implementing an effective marketing strategy in place to increase your law firm's visibility. One of the most important pieces of your marketing strategy should be email campaigns. Email marketing reaches your prospects and keeps them engaged with scheduled and targeted email automation for law firms.

Why you need it

There's never been a better time than now to continue to engage your clients. Whether you send a message welcoming them as a new client, or you send a happy birthday message after their case has closed, email marketing automation helps you nurture and engage contacts so you stay top of mind.

Time & billing software

How it works

Track every billable hour without disrupting your workflow. Bill your clients in an easy and efficient way using automations, and let them pay easily with online payment options. Generate data insights on your firm’s performance so that you know you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck.

Why you need it

Clear communication is key to client satisfaction. With Lawmatics, it’s easy to let your clients know exactly what they owe and why they owe it. By keeping all of your time and billing functions in one centralized location, your firm can be more agile, more efficient, and a better communicator with your clients.

Analytics software

How it works

Making the most out of every minute is critical when running a law firm. Since time is such an important resource for lawyers, it's important that you know where your time is going. Visual reporting and analytics can help you measure your law firm's productivity, and identify where your time is going.

Why you need it

Reporting software makes it possible to identify the most problematic bottlenecks in your processes and determine what factors are driving the most business. Keep an eye on your staff's productivity, and regularly monitor how close you are to reaching your goals. Data-driven law firms are the most revenue-producing because they have greater insight into what's working and what's not.

E-Signature tool

How it works

E-signature allows you to get important documents signed more quickly and easily, without requiring the firm to track down clients to get paper copies signed.

Why you need it

Without all the right documents signed, you can't continue progressing on a case. E-signature makes it possible for clients to sign documents wherever they are — from the palm of their hand. They simply sign and send directly, keeping the ball rolling on their case. Not only is it much more convenient for you as their lawyer, but it's incredibly convenient for your clients as well.

Video communication software

How it works

The pandemic totally flipped the legal industry upside down as lawyers had to change the way that they do things in order to survive the demands of the market. Statistics show that nearly half of legal clients now prefer their first consultation to be done virtually. So, video conference software ensures that you can still provide consultations despite social distancing measures.

Why you need it

The more that you can enhance the client journey, the better. Virtual consultations are preferred by many clients and can help streamline your operations.

How to get started building your tech stack

Before you start feeling overwhelmed, remember that you do not need to go out and purchase every single thing on this list. The great news is that you can find the bulk of these features in one central platform. With Lawmatics you’ll already have:

  • CRM
  • Client Intake Automation
  • Reporting & Analytics
  • Automated Appointment Scheduling
  • E-signature
  • File Requests
  • Time & Billing
  • Pipeline Management
  • Custom Forms
  • SMS/Text Messaging
  • Email Drip Marketing Campaigns
  • Audience Segmentation
  • Client Portal

With a comprehensive all-in-one intake and CRM for attorneys, you’ll have the perfect foundation to build your tech stack on. Here is how to get started finding the tools to add to your foundation.

1Identify where you have the most room to grow

To determine which timesaving software and automations you could benefit from the most, you should break down where the majority of your time is going. Ask yourself what frustrates you the most, and what you think could be improved. Are there particular parts of your client intake process that you would rather be automated? By answering questions like these, you can identify the bottlenecks in your process, and then research the best software specifically designed for your law firm's inefficiencies.

Another great resource for finding where your law firm has room to grow is within your client reviews. What is a problem that is consistently coming up? If you only see one specific complaint in hundreds of reviews, then it's probably not worth being concerned about. However, if several clients have brought up the same frustration about your law firm, then it's time to start looking into whether software could help you improve the problem.

2Read software reviews

Before you choose software, make sure that you read peer reviews. Get to know what your fellow lawyers think, and look for reviews that are directly related to your law firm's concerns. Make sure that you go over the weaknesses and strengths of the program, and try to keep an eye out for praises or complaints that keep coming up. If you see a considerable amount of user reviews that complain about the same thing, then it's probably for a reason. If your peers are consistently getting frustrated with the same issue, then chances are you'll experience the same problem as well.

3Determine which tools should be industry-specific

There is some software that is perfectly acceptable to purchase industry-agnostic, yet there are other tools that will be much more useful to you if they are industry-specific. For example, your video conferencing software does not have to be made specifically for lawyers. However, opting for an industry-specific CRM like Lawmatics built by lawyers for lawyers can pinpoint functions that will streamline the efficiency of your legal practice in ways that an industry-agnostic CRM never could.

When choosing between your different options, consider whether your core issues are specific to your industry, or something any business could potentially have challenges with.

4Think long term

When building a tech stack it's important that you think far off into the future. If you fail to think long-term, you could find yourself having to go through a painful software switch that slows down your productivity. To avoid having to switch software prematurely, plan for the future by considering criteria like:

  • How customizable a software is
  • Whether a software has the scalability to grow with your business
  • How well software integrates with other tools in your legal tech stack
  • How affordable it is

​​By making these reflections, you'll have a better idea of whether the software choices you make now will also work for you tomorrow.

Build your tech stack on the leading all-in-one legal intake solution, marketing automation, and law firm CRM

Build a solid foundation

One of the most practical ways to build your tech stack is to opt for an all-in-one legal CRM that comes with the bulk of the tools you need in one platform. Lawmatics, for example, is an all-in-one legal intake, marketing automation, and law firm CRM with built-in reporting and more. Importantly, it can also seamlessly integrate with some of the most popular legal tech applications helping you automate repetitive tasks, and build a sophisticated tech stack for your law firm to save you time and money. Lawmatics includes:

  • A CRM - Lawmatics CRM automates and streamlines all of your most important tasks that would be tedious and time-consuming to complete manually. In turn, lawyers can turn their attention towards what matters most in their law firm while legal software manages and engages clients on auto-pilot. 
  • Client intake automation - Developed by attorneys, Lawmatics client intake software was built to automate your client intake process from start to finish, making it easy to capture client information and seamlessly guide your clients from one stage to the next. No more manually entering information or digging through emails to see who’s been followed up with yet. Client intake software tracks every lead, eliminating errors, and ensuring no opportunity slips through the cracks, even engaging clients when their cases are closed, encouraging repeat business
  • Reporting & analytics - Built-in reporting gives you the power to make smarter decisions for your law firm based on real data, making your processes much more efficient by identifying where your time is going. See where your leads are coming from, organize your lead sources into actionable data points, monitor your staff’s productivity, identify what factors drive repeat business, and stop wasting time on what isn’t driving revenue, thanks to analytics. 
  • Automated appointment scheduling - Lawmatics built-in automated appointment scheduling allows you to set your availability on your terms while also empowering your clients to self-schedule. It’s as simple as syncing your calendar and sending a link to your clients. They can choose an appointment from the time slots you want them to see, and automatically receive follow-ups, eliminating the chance of no-shows or mixups. 
  • E-signature - Get your documents signed right away with Lawmatics e-sign software. Clients can sign from their device anywhere they have an internet connection, getting the ball rolling on your cases even faster.
  • File requests - No more scouring your email inbox for attachments. Lawmatics allows you to find and send files within seconds, modernizing and streamlining your routine procedures.
  • Pipeline management - Lawmatics automated and customizable pipeline management tool allows you to organize all of your pipelines in a way that’s easy to understand. From who needs to be followed up with next to how your clients are progressing, you’ll gain total insight into what to take action on next to ensure lasting connections. 
  • Custom forms - Custom forms make it easy to design forms, saving yourself hours of busy work. Custom fields allow you to customize your forms with only the relevant questions you need, giving you maximum control over your client intake process, saving everyone time. 
  • SMS/text messaging - Two-way SMS messaging lets your clients contact you in their preferred form of communication. You can send and receive texts directly from your computer, and view all of your client conversations in one single place. As soon as a client messages you, you’ll receive an immediate notification, which means no more keeping clients waiting.
  • Audience segmentation - With Lawmatics audience segmentation software you can send personalized and relevant messages based on where your clients are in their journey. With client list segmentation you can target people with relevant content based on their real needs instead of an all-in-one marketing approach.
  • Email drip marketing campaigns - Build repeatable processes that send based on triggers of your choice. All of your follow-ups are totally streamlined thanks to your emails being built straight into your lead conversion campaign. Hands-off automated messages make your client feel consistently followed up with at every stage of the client journey.
  • Time & billing - Track your time, generate invoices, and bill your clients all from one location. Generate reports about individual user performance within your firm. Our LMPay billing solution provides an easy way for your clients to pay their bill electronically. 
  • Client portal - A client portal offers a convenient and secure way to communicate about your clients’ case details. All relevant case details are consolidated in one central location, accessible online at any time. This benefits lawyers, and clients since clients can get the information they need without having to wait, and lawyers don’t have to stop what they’re doing to update their clients on case details. 

Technology can be daunting

When you've been running your practice one way for so long, change can be uncomfortable. And although it requires a certain amount of effort and time commitment to build a tech stack for your law firm, it's well worth it if you hope to be a modern scaling profitable law firm.

The right legal tools that seamlessly integrate with each other can help your firm run more efficiently, and ultimately put more revenue in your pocket. Putting together the perfect combination of tech tools can make all the difference when you're trying to scale your legal business. If you can manage to put together the perfect combination, you'll find yourself more profitable and successful than ever.

While there are plenty of options out there to choose from, you don't have to tackle it all at once. The best place to start is with Lawmatics all-in-one CRM and client intake solution. From there you can slowly build your tech stack one brick at a time, ultimately becoming the modern and profitable law firm that you hope to be.

 

Sarah Bottorff

Sarah is the Head of Growth at Lawmatics, the #1 attorney-client relationship management platform that provides law firms with client intake, CRM, and marketing automation. She has over 18 years of marketing and sales experience and has a proven track record of building brands and driving growth at companies like MyCase, Smokeball, CJ Affiliate, Johnson & Johnson, and FastSpring.
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