Redefining Automation: How to Automate Your Law Practice
Automation can be defined in many ways by many industries; however, it doesn’t always have to apply to complex procedures like robotic process automation (RPA) or “advanced tasks.” In law firms, automation is frequently defined as using software to automate tedious and repetitive tasks to get work done faster and more efficiently.
Law firms can automate a substantial portion of their work with technology. For example, most firms repurpose their pleadings, templates, form letters, and other documents completed for past clients – why reinvent the wheel? Yet, according to a recent Statista survey, 75 percent of the lawyers who responded said they spent more than 20 hours per week on non-billable work like legal research, court filings, and administrative tasks.
If this sounds like your practice, you might want to consider legal automation, which optimizes technology to automate certain tasks and free up more time to do what your team does best: provide client service. Here are some areas within a law practice that can be successfully automated with legal practice management software, along with the benefits of doing so.
In the past few years, collaboration has become essential for success in the legal industry. During the not-so-long-ago time of massive paperwork, numerous phone calls, and an abundance of manual processes in many law firms, missed communication led to a general lack of collaboration. However, modern technology has provided a solution to reduce this communication gap.
Cloud-based law practice management systems focus on collaboration to increase transparency and productivity in law firms and ensure that no information or update is missed. In addition, these systems enforce organization, streamline workflow, and facilitate collaboration by incorporating agile case management capabilities, robust accounting systems, and fully integrated email tools in a single application.
Practicing law hasn’t been easy in the past several years, particularly when court closures and updated court appearances presented unique hurdles for litigators struggling to keep up with their continually evolving schedules. However, a simple solution now exists: cloud-based attorney calendaring software.
Although on-premise attorney calendar software has been around for decades, cloud-based practice management systems feature rules-based calendaring that automatically enters critical deadlines into the firm’s calendar and updates them should key dates change, eliminating the need for the manual calculation of deadlines. In addition, these tools offer 24/7 accessibility from any location to help ensure that attorneys are at the right place at the right time, meet the statutory deadlines of their jurisdiction, and avoid legal malpractice claims that often arise due to missed deadlines.
Billing and Accounting
Accounting and bookkeeping for law firms can be complex and time-consuming, but legal matter management software platforms help simplify it. In addition, with real-time visibility across a firm’s practice without relying on integrations with external accounting applications, these solutions give firms the ability to get paid sooner.
Some billing software solutions for attorneys provide firms with the ability to:
- Create and approve bills on the go
- Send, accept, and process electronic payments
- Perform batch billing
- Create accounts payable checks and trust checks
- Quickly follow up on past due accounts
- Securely download account activity from major financial institutions
- Automatically apply interest charges to overdue payments
Automated billing technology also creates an audit trail for firms should a client dispute a charge and allows users to audit and trace changes as a bill makes the transition into an invoice.
Redefining Law Firm Automation with Zola Suite
Automation is a game-changer for legal teams and their clients. While your clients receive customized communications and service, your team will get their work done more efficiently.
Zola Suite legal case management software offers numerous automations, including:
- Intake forms
- Customized invoices
- Bulk billing
- Blast invoicing
- HotDocs document automation
- Task templates
- The ability to convert emails to tasks or events
- Multiple timer options
When you automate your law firm with Zola Suite, you will have access to your entire practice at your fingertips. For more information on how our award-winning platform will turbocharge your firm’s workflow and allow you to quickly do more with less, sign up for a free trial today.
For more information about how automation can help increase productivity in your firm, tune into our upcoming webinar on the topic.