During our recent ALA webcast, The Flexible Law Firm: Is your practice ready to embrace a work from home program?, there were dozens of questions around technology solutions required for successful implementation of a work-from-home program. You need the right devices, the right processes and the right software that enforce accountability, keep your team connected and make your data accessible (while keeping it secure).
A work-from-home policy presents many benefits and drawbacks for a modern law firm. With a virtual law office, your firm will save on monthly rent costs and is likely to experience less employee turnover. However, remotely participating in meetings with clients and employees can be challenging when employees must rely on technology alone for critical communication. Luckily, there are affordable technologies available that will alleviate some of these challenges.
Inspired by the latest Netflix binge craze, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” millions of Americans are decluttering. In the series, organizing expert Kondo travels to homes of stressed-out Americans to help them discard items that no longer spark joy and organize their living spaces in a meaningful way. Kondo contends that having little time or energy to organize can lead to anxiety and tension. As she explains in her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing: “In essence, tidying ought to be the act of restoring balance among people, their possessions, and the house they live in.”
The New Year is the perfect time to reassess how you’ve been doing and make adjustments. Have you thought about cleaning house and moving to paperless? Running a paperless office has never been easier. With the advances in legal technology, the days of large scale cabinets filled with files in disarray are gone. Now, with law practice management software like Zola Suite, you can digitalize your entire office’s case files and communications. Going paperless will save you time, money, and add appeal for potential clients.
We can all clearly picture a lawyer that has been in practice for decades. They are trapped behind a desk piled high with client files, various documents, and correspondence long needed to be sorted and filed. They complain that they can’t ever find what they are looking for in the pile of papers they have amassed. Notes about important client meetings fall by the wayside. The dreaded end of the month comes and they have to enter their billable hours they have scrawled down on a piece of paper. These kind of lawyer problems are a thing of the past with advances in legal technology.
This year’s hurricane season has been disastrous for many people and their businesses. Those that were affected by the storm, and even those that weren’t directly in the storm’s path, experienced devastating encounters that made it difficult, if not impossible, to operate under normal conditions. “In times of need, the legal community is a crucial link in providing help to secure housing, file insurance claims, replace wills and emergency directives and other urgent legal services,” said our CEO Fred Cohen. However, in many cases, the storms made it challenging for lawyers to access files and communicate with their clients during a very vulnerable time.
A User Interface, or UI, is the series of visual elements that you interact with in a software program such as buttons, icons, screens, and pages. All of these elements contribute to the functionality and usability of the application. A successful UI has to be equally appealing to the eye and easily navigable, especially for those who would not consider themselves “techies” (perhaps this sounds like someone you know?). A well-designed interface can shorten the learning curve of an application, helping you perform tasks easier and faster without wasting billable time. For this very reason, some of the country’s most gifted designers, lawyers and technologists have been collaborating to apply legal design and innovation to legal products and services.
What are the unique steps your firm takes to complete tasks?
By now you’ve processed hundreds of new clients. You perform the same steps for every new client, but have no way of knowing their status in the process. With all the work you have on your plate, there is no time to run around the office, figuring out which member of your staff was in charge of each task and if they are on track.
Freakonomics Radio recently did a really interesting podcast about handwriting. During the episode, they talked to regular people and experts about the pros and cons of moving from a pen and paper society to a digital one. Here at Zola, we have an on-going debate about pen and paper vs. digital notetaking, so it was exciting to listen to the podcast and hear that we are not the only people thinking about these things.
The weather’s getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and Cadbury’s famous eggs are back on the store shelves! Spring is truly in the air! Everyone here at Zola is excited to see the seasons start to change, except for one thing – Daylight Savings. Sometimes it seems like we lose way more than an hour when we “spring forward” each March.