Why Every Law Firm Should Be Using eSignature

Published on July 12, 2021
11 minute read
<a href='https://www.lawmatics.com/blog/author/matt-spiegel/'>Matt Spiegel</a>
Written by Matt Spiegel

Before computers and other legal technology, running a legal practice was laborious and time-consuming. From searching for documents to communicating with clients, lawyers had their work cut out for them.

However, as technology has continued to progress, there are more and more programs available for facilitating the legal process, and legal work has become much more efficient. One of the most significant advances in legal technology is electronic signatures— especially during these times of social restraints as a result of COVID. Lawyers have had to make adjustments to continue to carry out their work while still respecting social distancing measures. Thanks to E signature, lawyers can get what they need from their clients without having to think twice about catching a deadly virus.

Beyond the convenience of offering an alternative way to sign legal documents during a worldwide pandemic, there are also other benefits that electronic signatures deliver for law firms.

Benefits of eSignature

They’re easier

In the absence of an electronic signature, getting a signed document back from a client involves asking them to print, sign and scan or fax back to you. Since there are so many steps involved, sometimes lawyers find themselves waiting hours and sometimes even days to get important paperwork signed and returned. Unfortunately, the longer the wait, the longer it takes for lawyers to get started on a case.

eSignatures streamline the contract signing process and speed up your client's case, getting the ball rolling even sooner. Rather than having to go through a lengthy back and forth, lawyers can easily get what they need from their clients in a matter of a few clicks. The best e-signature software makes it easy to create, sign and keep all important documents in one single space, ensuring they get things done quickly and securely, making everyone's life easier.

Improved communication

Unfortunately, one of the most common complaints that clients have about lawyers is poor communication. Since some law firms stubbornly remain loyal to their traditional paper signing process, they often fail to follow up properly, and the progress of their client's case is significantly hampered as a result. Electronic signatures reduce the need for going back and forth in communication and potentially missing a follow-up with the client for an important document. It's as simple as signing a document on the spot and sending it back with zero effort or stress on anyone's part. The end result is better communication and the elimination of wondering who got back to who and what needs to be done next. eSignature means things get done right away, so you no longer have to wonder if it's been done— giving your clients the best possible experience.

Better protection of data

Believe it or not, law firms are one of the biggest targets of cyberattacks. Because they have such large amounts of highly confidential information stored from their clients, law firms need to make sure that security is a top priority. As more and more law firms turn to more efficient methods for protecting their clients' data, the more popular that electronic signatures have become.

Rather than sending legally binding contracts through places like unencrypted emails, eSignature provides a safe way to receive and send important data. Beyond being instant, clients and lawyers can rest assured that their data is protected from third parties trying to access sensitive information.

More convenience

You never know where you or your client may be when you need to get a document signed quickly. It's incredibly convenient to know that you can get whatever you need to get done from wherever you are. The convenience of signing contracts on the go means that you don't have to be restrained by your physical location. eSignature allows for getting things done on the fly regardless of where you are geographically. Needless to say, it's a much more convenient option than having to deal with printers and scanners.

Not only does it make it easier for everyone in your office to keep the ball rolling on cases, but it makes your clients happier too. This speed of electronic contract signing shows your firm offers a modern approach to law.

The simplicity of being able to sign from the palm of their hand rather than having to deal with printers scanners and lengthy back and forths says a lot about your law firm’s approach.

Better relationships with clients

When it comes to building a strong relationship with your clients, communication is key. Speedy communication methods like eSignature mean that your client has direct access to you at any time from anywhere. Traditional methods can leave clients and lawyers both wondering whether the other party has even received an important document yet or not. Offering digital signatures means better organization, increased communication, and ultimately stronger relationships with your clients.

Lowered costs

Paper and ink cost a lot of money. It goes without saying that digital signatures are a much more cost-effective method of getting an important document signed. Beyond paper and ink costs, you may also save on postage. When you add up all of your clients over the course of a year, the savings can be significant, which is certainly something to keep in mind.

More time saved

Every time that you use digital signature technology as opposed to manually using a pen and paper, you're saving yourself and your clients a significant amount of time. The end result is more time to focus on what matters most at your law firm and increase efficiency. eSignature means fewer time-consuming and repetitive tasks in your routine.

It's as simple as creating a document, sending it to your client, and receiving it back immediately, all from the palm of your hand. When you compare this process with all of the steps involved with printing, signing with a pen, and mailing or scanning back, it's easy to see how much faster it is.

More eco-conscious

More and more law firms are taking a modern approach to serving clients and embracing a paperless workspace about as modern as it gets. People are more environmentally conscious than ever, and the more that you can take on an eco-conscious mentality in your law firm, the more you can show that you're a brand that’s ahead of the times. Simply put, appealing to eco-conscious clients is a great way to modernize your practice and prove that you're doing your part for a greener earth.

Better planning

The truth is that with traditional document signing methods that require printers and scanners, you never know when you're going to get what you need back from your client. However, when you offer instant eSignature technology, you know that the wait won't be long. Digital solutions are a great way to improve your planning and speed up processes that won't just save time for your firm but also your clients.

As a result, you can start anticipating taking the next steps in your client's case, knowing that important signatures won't take hours or even days to get back.

Tips for getting the most out of eSignature software

1Identify bottlenecks

Understanding how you can benefit from technology like eSignature and actually implementing it into your law firm's routine are two different things. In order to get the most out of e Signature software, you'll need to know why you need it to optimize your process and start implementing additional tools like workflow automation for law firms.

The first step is reviewing where your process currently stands and what isn’t working. Identify any bottlenecks in your law firm's processes, and then ask yourself how the right technology can make things easier. Take note of where the delays and setbacks are, and you'll start to recognize how the right software can make a difference.

2Develop a routine

Once you have a better idea of where the problem areas are and where you could benefit from better efficiency, it's time to start rethinking your client intake process. The first step to getting everyone on the right page is establishing a more effective routine through the help of software that does it all for you.

When switching to a more modern approach in your practice, some of your team who are used to traditional processes may be hesitant. However, once your team starts to see the benefits that a CRM for lawyers and law firm client intake software provide, like electronic digital signatures, it won't be difficult to get everyone on track. Once you establish a better workflow with your CRM for attorneys and client intake software, you’ll keep the ball continuously rolling.

3Anticipate uncertainty

Even though eSignatures are hardly brand new, some people may be hesitant about them. People may not understand the technology behind it, or they may simply prefer the comfort of what's familiar. Therefore, it's important that you anticipate some uncertainty and prepare for having to do a little convincing here and there.

Arm yourself with the right information to advocate for the technology. Get to know how it works, what the technical details are, and of course, understand the security. One of the biggest concerns people have about eSignature is that it's not as safe as a traditional handwritten signature. The truth is it is much safer, and the more that you can explain why, the less resistance you'll meet within your firm and with your clients.

4Prioritize security

Not all legal software is built the same. You want to make sure that you choose the right legal CRM with built-in eSignature technology to get the most out of it. Since you're looking for something extremely secure, you only want to work with a company that offers top-notch security. Your clients deserve their sensitive data to be protected with state-of-the-art security features.

From encryption to two-factor authentication, make sure that any platform you choose is adequately protecting your private information with robust security.

5First impressions count

First impressions are everything, and the way that you handle your client intake process will set the tone for what your client can expect for the rest of their time working with you. The client intake process is a critical area of your law firm. Relying on software is the best way to ensure that everything gets done on autopilot. Outdated manual methods result in lost valuable time that you could otherwise be spending serving your clients. However, with the right technology like a client e-signature tool, something that would have taken a considerable amount of effort to do manually can be done with a few clicks.

Offering immediate digital solutions like electronic signature for legal documents will set you apart from other firms because of your modern approach. Most clients are eager to get their case started as soon as possible, so the faster you can get the intake process completed, the sooner you can get your clients the results that they are paying for. eSignature makes it possible to get what you need signed to keep the momentum going on your client's case. No more leaving your clients waiting or causing them to struggle to find time to print, sign and scan back lengthy documents. An effective client intake process that uses tools like legal file request automation and eSignature is the best way to make a good impression by asking less of your clients.

6Tracking client's important documents
are a must

In the absence of the right law firm CRM and legal client intake software, it's extremely difficult to track every client’s information. When your process relies on spreadsheets, spread out emails in your inbox, and papers spread on your desk, it gets difficult to know where your important information is and who needs to be followed up with. However, with a legal CRM like Lawmatics that has built-in features like eSignature, you can store all your important documents in one place. Once you receive a digital signature from your client, the document goes directly into the database, where it can be accessed at any time from anywhere.

You can effortlessly see which clients have sent back important signed contracts and which ones still need to do so. The end result is better organization and meticulously tracked client journeys.

7Keep everyone on track

Lawyers aren't the only busy people— their clients have busy schedules too. It can get challenging to keep everyone on track without the right software. Using a legal CRM and attorney intake software will show you exactly what needs to be done and even send out reminders for important events.

No more wondering whether an important consultation may be missed or whether you've received a signed contract or not. Software gives you a birds eye view of everything you need to know so that nothing slips through the cracks.

8Discuss details in advance

During the consultation process, it helps to explain how the process will work. Discussing details in advance, like what paperwork you'll need signed when and what sort of fees you'll charge, helps avoid issues down the road. Make sure that your client clearly understands what's expected of them and that you give them an opportunity to explain their expectations as well. Going over everything in the beginning greatly reduces the chances of misunderstanding and encourages a smooth process where nothing gets forgotten or misinterpreted.

9Save time with document automation

The right legal document automation software makes it easy to get important paperwork signed by your clients in a fraction of the time. Custom fields make it easy to extract data from your matters and contacts and autofill directly into your document, all with a few clicks of a mouse. The end result isn't just more time saved on documents that may have potentially taken you days to draft up but also increased accuracy.

Automation makes it easy to generate documentation that can quickly be reviewed, signed, and sent back with eSignature, free of human error. Generating, sending, signing, and receiving documents has never been easier.

Why law firms are making the switch to eSignature

Better impressions on clients

There's no shortage of lawyers to choose from in today's competitive market. A common stereotype about lawyers is that they're old-fashioned, so when your law firm offers a fast and streamlined process by offering something like eSignature, you’ll make a big impression. Starting things off on the right foot by offering a tech-savvy approach to their case will show your clients that you're up to date with the latest technology and capable of a modern approach as much as the competition.

Better organization

Outdated methods full of manual processes aren't doing anyone any favors. You're losing time, and ultimately revenue. Making the switch to technology like eSignature means you can cut back on time lost getting things done the old way and make way for what matters most at your law firm by improving your workflow.

No more chasing after clients to get important documents signed or digging through your inbox to find important documents. Technology makes it easy to stay organized and easily access whatever you need from wherever you are.

Improved experience

The better of a client experience that you can deliver, the better of a reputation that you'll build for your firm. Offering modern solutions like eSignature is considerably appreciated by clients who want to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible on their cases.

No more time wasted on lengthy back and forths or losing track of what you need from your client. The right legal software provides a faster and more streamlined process for clients looking for a more modern approach. By leveraging technology, you'll make lasting impressions and happy clients who will refer you to their friends and family.

Less stress

Let's face it; no lawyer wants to have to take time out of their day to chase after their clients to get important documents signed. Playing phone tag trying to get contracts signed isn't something any lawyer with a busy schedule wants to have to do.

When you make the switch to a legal CRM, you no longer have to worry about manually creating contracts and asking your clients to print, sign and send them back to you. Thanks to automation, everything moves faster, and there's less to worry about.

The most successful law firms know the importance of a powerful client intake software that takes care of the heavy lifting for them. An efficient law firm prioritizes speed and leverages technology to get things done as quickly as possible.

When your law firm is a chaotic place, your clients can sense it. So when you make use of tools like a legal CRM, you're able to deliver a stress-free experience that your clients will benefit from. Less stress for you means less stress for your clients— it's really that simple.

Give your clients a client-focused experience with the right technology like Lawmatics

Although a common stereotype is that lawyers spend most of their day in court, the truth is that most of their time is taken up with administrative tasks. The right software like Lawmatics takes care of the tedious time draining work for you so you can focus on what matters most— your clients. What would have normally taken you hours or even days can be completed instantly thanks to legal technology like Lawmatics.

Seamlessly input contact information using templates, and send it to your client to be signed on the spot— it's as easy as downloading and emailing documents from wherever you are without having to bother with printers or scanners. The end result is a streamlined process that saves you and your clients time.

The overall success of your law firm depends on each stage of the client experience. By delivering a top-notch and efficient journey, you'll create delighted clients and more time to dedicate to what matters most at your practice—getting your clients the best results for their case.

Are you ready to see how embracing technology like eSignature can help you take your law firm to the next level? Sign up for a free product demo today!

Matt Spiegel

As Co-Founder and CEO, Matt leads the vision at Lawmatics. Matt is a serial entrepreneur, Attorney and golf enthusiast. Matt was a practicing criminal defense attorney for 6 years. In 2010 he founded MyCase, which went on to become one of the most popular cloud based legal practice management solutions.
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