By Legal Futures Associate Clio
Legal administrative work is crucial to running a successful firm, but it’s something law firms can struggle with. For many law firm staff, the processes at their firm make admin time-consuming and tedious, and can pull their focus from building the firm. That’s where task and workflow automation comes in.
Automation can make legal admin work easier, improve lawyer efficiency, and increase firm revenue. By automating what can be automated, law firm staff can spend more time on high-value tasks—resulting in greater profitability and better performance. If you’re seeking to maintain a competitive edge in a crowded market, embracing legal workflow automation could be the exact thing you need to take your law firm to that next level.
Let’s look at three of the most immediate areas where legal workflow automation can have an impact:
- Document Automation and Management
Creating new documents from scratch each time one is needed can eat up a lot of law firm time. Document automation makes it easier for lawyers and other law firm staff to create new documents from existing templates, reduces the time to create a first draft, and speeds up the end-to-end contracting and communication processes.
An accessible document management solution (that is, having a shared drive or portal where team members can access any file they need) can make a big difference to efficiency, too. Rather than having firm members searching through multiple places, documents can be associated with specific matters, while lawyers can even search for a specific word or phrase to find just the document that they’re looking for. It also makes it easier to share key documents with clients.
- Time Recording
When things are busy, time recording can often fall to the bottom of firm members’ to-do lists. Then, when the end of the week (or month) arrives and they have to log their time, there can be a rush to pull the info all together—and items can get missed. That can have a knock-on effect for office managers or others who are responsible for collecting this data, putting pressure on firm operations at multiple stages.
With legal time recording software, however, this workflow process can be automated, saving valuable time. Instead of rushing to collate information stored in disparate places, legal time recording software means users simply have to start and stop a timer to record how long they spend on any one particular case. From there, they can create detailed time and expense reports in minutes, which can save hours for fee-earners and those responsible for collating and billing for time.
For an example of how this works, see Clio’s Time Recording feature.
- Issuing Bills
Speaking of billing, legal workflow automation can be a huge boon for legal firms here, too. Instead of manually collecting and applying the information needed to client invoices, automating the process can cut hours from end-of-month billing cycles.
If you use a software that syncs to your accounting system (Clio, for example, integrates with Xero, QuickBooks Online, Klyant, and Cashroom), you can save even more time and admin work on your processes.
We explore this topic in more depth in our recent blog article “How Legal Workflow Automation Increases Law Firm Revenue and Efficiency”.
Or, to see for yourself how Clio can automate your legal firm’s workflow processes, ask for your free demo.