4 ways attorneys can keep up - even when it feels impossible

Even under the best of circumstances, it's easy to feel like you're never quite getting ahead. When you add an entirely new way of working—adjusting to remote offices and virtual courtrooms—it can feel impossible to keep up, let alone get ahead.

Your clients, however, expect this of you. The legal guidance they depend on from you includes not only your knowledge of the law, but also your knowledge of legal events, current events, and trending legal stories. You must keep clients informed of legal developments that are important to them, and they won't be impressed if they hear about critical breaking news before you do.

So how can you keep up when it feels impossible to keep up?

1. Have someone else do the work for you

You're busy. Your colleagues are busy. It's not a matter of simply delegating this to someone else.

Fortunately, this is something you can outsource. Resources like Westlaw Today can do the heavy lifting for you. Set up customized practice area, company, and breaking news alerts to get expertly aggregated and curated content sent to your laptop or mobile device. You can also sign up for the accompanying Daily Docket newsletter with the day's most important news or simply find the latest news whenever you log onto Westlaw Edge.

Whichever way you choose to get your news, you'll be able to keep up without adding more work to your day. This technology means you can quickly and easily receive updates, breaking news, and current awareness that you need to know—and you'll find out about it before you even knew you needed to know.

You can confidently enter any meeting or hearing knowing you have the information you need regarding your clients, their peers, and anything else that might impact their business.

2. Find sources you trust

Whether it's your online legal research tools or the ability to set up alerts to stay up to date on practice areas—or your client's company or their peers—it needs to be delivered by sources you trust. If you are using a free news alert system, you are going to be spending your non-existent time filtering through those alerts to see if they are even relevant, let alone trustworthy. This won't save you time—in fact, it's going to cost you the precious time you were hoping to save.

Just like with your firm and your practice, reputation matters. If you stick with sources like Westlaw and Reuters news that have a solid reputation built on decades of experience, you'll save yourself the time and energy you were looking to save all along.

3. Have legal tech tools at the ready

Your clients are adapting to the current environment in ways that are likely changing daily. And that isn't going to be stopping anytime soon. When they come to you requesting legal assistance on a practice area that hasn't been on your radar recently—or ever—it's too late to try to catch up. They want you to have that expertise now.

Of course, you know you can't know everything about all practice areas. It simply isn't feasible. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean your clients won't still expect it. When you can be agile and take on a new practice area in order to keep a loyal client happy, you want to be able to do so.

The right online legal research tools can ensure you aren't scrambling to figure out how to begin. They can get you up to speed fast, and your clients will have the answers they need when they need them.

4. Know the “why" not just the “what"

An ongoing theme here is that while the world has changed, your clients' expectations have not. Their reliance on you to give them insight into whatever legal challenge they are facing hasn't waned—and there's a good chance it has, or will, increase.

They don't just want answers—they want a deeper understanding. Providing insight into matters you're familiarizing yourself with proves difficult when doing it on your own. Using the right tools can help you answer the “what" but also the “why.” Tools like Westlaw Today provide additional legal analysis rather than simply providing the basic information that might get you by, but certainly won't get you ahead. With Reuters news, you'll get the comprehensive news and analysis you need.

Take steps today to ensure you have what you need tomorrow

It certainly can feel challenging to not only keep up, but to get ahead while navigating new terrain. Having systems in place to take some of the catching up out of your day gives you back some of the time your clients need from you. It can help you stay a step ahead of what your clients expect from you and what your competition can provide. Try Westlaw Today to do that work for you.

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