Changing from Traditional to Innovative Law Practice

Those who have been involved in the practice of law are all too familiar with the “ancient” practice of taking dictations, transcribing, and filing of documents.  Lawyers and clients met face-to-face in conference rooms and relied on billable hours to keep track of their revenues.  But are all of these changing with the increased desire for value by clients?  Where is the traditional law firm model headed?

The Changing Horizon

It is inevitable that eventually technological advances will reach the practice of law.  This emerging model is drastically changing the traditional law firm model with respect to the delivery of legal services.  The improved storage, organization, retrieval, and eventual dissemination of information is creating improvements in the aspects of communication, access, and transparency, which paves the way for more reasonable fees from law firms.

There changes in communication and exchange of information effected by the technological advances have required law firms to engage in programs that will train not only its staff in using the technology, but also its lawyers.  These services tailor-fitted for law firms opens opportunities for technology-based consulting services and similar companies.

Although not many lawyers are completely comfortable with the paperless system for legal services, this seems to be the foundation of the changing horizon for majority of law firms.

Introduction of the Cloud

What are the basic advantages that Cloud computing provides?  From the purview of technology in the legal services, simplification and flexibility are the most immediate advantages that any sized law firm can get from going into the Cloud.

Lawyers can use Cloud-based billing and management software that are not only more powerful, but also more secure than having case files being tucked away in steel cabinets in some room of a law firm.  The increased security is an offshoot as every lawyer and staff member of the law firm can be assigned individual usernames and passwords with corresponding rights for protection and tracking of document access.

As for flexibility, Cloud technology virtually takes lawyers from the four corners of the law firm allowing them to work and deal with their clients from any part of the world.  The result of this legal mobility is significant savings combined with increased work efficiency with almost limited effect on the firm’s overhead expenses.

On the part of the client, he now enjoys flat fees for legal services instead of the traditional way of billing based on man-hours used.  Thus, not only is the practice model being changed, but also the business aspect of it.  In the end, the client becomes the greatest beneficiary of this emerging model because of the improved services with affordable fees.

Increasing the Value of Services

Is your law firm working on a shoestring budget?  Normally, increasing the value of services would be difficult at this point.  However, with Cloud technology, increasing value goes beyond having a virtual office or using software designed for law firms.

How can your law firm increase the value of services through technology?  Aside from the using VA or Virtual Assistants that can give lawyers to deliver better services in a non-traditional manner, increased value can be achieved by:

  • Stronger web presence to help potential clients to understand legal services;
  • Improved collection of information from virtual locations;
  • Better sharing of information between stakeholders;
  • Use of IVRS or Interactive Voice Response System;
  • Benefits from Global Information Systems; and
  • Constant updating of client using services like virtual conferences, emails, and other similar platforms.

Designing a new law practice around this emerging model can be quite challenging.  In fact, the same can be said for established law firms that are transitioning to this new model.

Contact NexStep to find out more about cloud computing to increase the value of your law firm and let you focus on your expertise.