8 Tools to Boost Attorney Productivity

Every day, you are being asked to do more with less. Courts and clients impose new demands on you and your practice, but you may not have the resources to hire the additional help you need or invest heavily in new technology that would lighten your load. 

Thankfully, there are a variety of tools available that can help increase your competency, efficiency, and preparedness for court. 

1. Practice Management Software

A comprehensive practice management software program is like having your office’s files and financial books in one place, wherever you are. There is a seemingly endless list of practice management programs to choose from.

Not all these programs are equally helpful, so you must investigate several options and find the one that suits you best. CLIO Manage, one of the most popular options available, boasts versatility and the ability to integrate with other external programs. 

Smokeball is another option. While not as robust as CLIO, it can assist with many tasks, such as case and document management and trust accounting. Finally, CosmoLex’s strength lies in its accounting capabilities.

Gone are the days when lawyers needed robust libraries filled with countless tomes required for legal research. Today, numerous searchable databases can help you speed up the process of legal research. Three of the big names in the industry are Westlaw, LexisNexis, and Fastcase.

Although each option has different features, they all operate similarly. You can either type in a citation or search terms, and the program will help locate matching cases or authorities. 

3. Document Automation and E-Signature Solutions

Drafting documents manually and waiting for paper copies to be signed are both arduous processes. That’s why automating documents and collecting electronic signatures from others can save the attorney considerable time.

For example, suppose that a new client is retaining you. Instead of drafting a new retainer agreement from scratch, a document automation program linked to your intake software could pull the necessary information into a new retainer agreement. The program could even deliver the finished product to your client and allow them to sign it electronically.

DocuSign and Adobe are big names in document automation and e-signature services. Another service, DocHub, also allows you to edit and send documents for an electronic signature after lunch.

4. Collaboration Tools

Even solo practitioners may need to work with other attorneys and professionals on occasion. Keeping your team on task and knowing what team members are working on are crucial to completing your work on time. 

Many collaboration tools are inexpensive and can assist you in managing team members who may not be in your building. If you need to assign tasks and keep track of deadlines for a project, Asana, Monday, and ClickUp may be all you need. Zoom and Slack are video and text platforms, respectively, that help you stay in touch with your team.

5. Data Security and Privacy Tools

Cyberattacks and hacks happen with alarming regularity. Lawyers should take cyber security seriously, as breaches can happen at any time and have devastating consequences. There are several programs that can help you meet your needs, from password protection to data security. Try using a VPN, like Nord or Express, to help hide your digital identity while shopping.

Signal and other programs can help you send and receive information from others that is redacted or otherwise not for public viewing. 

As a lawyer, you will write hundreds, if not thousands, of pages across your legal career. Software such as Microsoft 365 and Word, WordPerfect, or Pages are all word processing programs with some added features. These options can help you create custom templates for documents that make generating frequently-used documents easy.

Most word-processing programs also have built-in grammar and spelling checkers that help catch common spelling and grammatical errors. Grammarly is another editing program option that not only spots errors but also makes suggestions aimed at improving the readability and tone of your writing.

7. Time and Billing Management Software

If you do not bill your clients, you cannot get paid. And if you do not keep track of your time, you cannot accurately or ethically bill your clients. Having all your time entries in one place can dramatically improve the accuracy of your invoices. Similarly, employing a program that integrates with your other software can help reduce the workload and time commitment associated with sending and collecting invoices.

Many case management programs, like CLIO and others, come equipped with billing features. In addition, apps like Timeular and TimeSolv are easy-to-learn and portable options that can be installed on your personal devices. Programs like these function similarly to a punch-in and punch-out card wherever you are doing work. They also automate the billing process each month, saving you time.

No matter what task you try on the go, chances are you can find an app that will allow you to complete it. Some programs, such as certain law practice management software, may have an app you can use when away from your computer. Google Drive and Dropbox are two other apps that let you access files from your cell phone.

If you need to take notes on the go, Evernote and Nimbus Note are two apps to consider. And when you find yourself always running from one crisis to the next, turning to apps like Calendly and Google Calendar may help keep your schedule less stressful. Using these apps, you can view and edit your calendar from wherever you are.

Finally, have you ever wished you had ready access to the legal definition of certain terms? If so, you might appreciate the Black’s Law Dictionary app that can be downloaded to your mobile phone.

Embrace Technology With a Cheerful but Cautious Outlook

Technology is not going to leave the legal industry any time soon. While the sheer number of programs and apps can be overwhelming, several products on the market can help you become more effective and productive without changing much about your practice. 

Consider how your firm operates and where things could speed up or get better. Then, consider what can be done to help address the issue positively and constructively.

If we can assist you in connecting with a virtual secretary who is skilled and trained, reach out to Woven Legal. Book a discovery call today to learn everything that we can do for you.


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