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Technology

Where should law firms invest their technology budgets?

The capabilities of legal tech are constantly expanding. It seems that new solutions that accommodate nearly any aspect of a law firm are being introduced at a dizzying pace—from front office to back office to case strategy and beyond. Consequently, it can be difficult to know where to start. Managing partners, practice heads and others frequently ask about the best way to focus their investment in legal technology. Ask ten legal tech experts and you’re bound to get ten different answers. So, the simplest and most sound guidance that can be given is to approach each potential investment with one consideration in mind: your clients.

In an ever-changing legal industry where firms are constantly having to fight to keep the clients they have and to win new ones, many are focusing on solutions that enhance their level of service to current clients as well as prospects. In the white paper, Discerning Clients Are Forcing Firms to Raise Their Games, attorney Jordan Schuetzle, Director of Proposition Strategy and Market Development Lead at Thomson Reuters, tells us, “I’m very supportive of firms improving their operational efficiency, but if pressed to choose, I would first invest in solutions to better serve your clients.”

Here are some common law firm challenges and possible solutions you could implement to keep your client service front and center:

Streamlining legal research and finding accurate answers faster: For many firms, there is nothing more important than having immediate access to accurate information. Indeed, client service, case strategy, document preparation, and most other case-related functions demand it. Westlaw Edge is an AI-powered legal research solution. It provides you with the most relevant search results and drives you to the strongest authority for your matter.

Learning new practice areas and quickly getting new associates up to speed: Some firms are becoming less willing to refer cases outside of their core practice areas to other attorneys. In many cases, they decide to learn the new practice area so they can handle all their clients’ needs personally. They are also able to expand their service offerings in the process. Practical Law is a comprehensive solution for attorneys that need to quickly get up to speed on a new area of law.

Streamlining client intake and locating individuals connected to a matter: In some cases, the ability to quickly research a client or locate a person or business associated with a particular matter is critical. Whether you need to dig deeper into your client’s past, locate a witness to testify in one of your cases or find a beneficiary of an estate you’re settling, the amount of time it can take to find the information you need can be considerable. The functionality on PeopleMap and Company Investigator on Westlaw can help you find essential information in a fraction of the time so you can keep your matter moving forward and minimize wasted resources.

Streamlining tasks associated with a particular client or matter: An increasing number of firms are implementing matter and practice management systems to help them organize case documents, better track billable time among all time-keepers and simplify collaboration across the firm. ProLaw is a holistic solution that allows your firm to manage any matter from initial intake to the conclusion of the matter. In addition to the internal benefits, it allows everyone at the firm to be more responsive to client inquiries.

Meeting potential clients wherever they are looking: For many firms, handling cases and managing the business side of the practice can take up almost every minute of every day. In situations like these, one of the things that often gets neglected is business development. Implementing a holistic law firm marketing plan can take a lot of the legwork out of the process. FindLaw provides a variety of services designed to help firms that struggle to find time for business development activities. Websites, online directories, and other solutions allow you to reach prospective clients at any time, wherever they are when they decide to begin the search for an attorney.

Clearly defining your firm’s goals and priorities can provide the direction you need to determine the best approach to your firm’s legal tech investment. There are undoubtedly other challenges attorneys face in addition to those mentioned above. Take the time to learn more about the latest solutions that can help you overcome them. Speak with a representative to learn more.

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