Consider your daily struggles and what you could accomplish if you minimized them. That is what productivity looks like for you. So when you’re evaluating new productivity software, you must make sure that it fits your purpose. To critically evaluate technology offerings, ask:
- Does nearly everyone need to use this program most of the time for it to be cost-effective?
- Is this program or process wildly different from what you already do?
- Does this program require extensive training for it to be useful?
The right fit for you will address your daily pain points with minimal disruption. Most lawyers identify writing, billing and collecting, matter and relationship management, and attracting new clients as areas where they could work more effectively.
Here are tips and tech tools for each of those areas that meet the above test:
Write, edit, and proofread better and faster with PerfectIt and WordRake. These programs will cut down your editing and proofreading time and allow you to spend more time on substance. Substantive work is more valuable to clients and more fulfilling for lawyers.
2. Billing and Collecting
Spend less time recording time, migrating data, and managing billing by using Rocket Matter, which integrates with QuickBooks. Make collecting easier by allowing clients to pay via credit card through LexCharge. Billing, payment, and accounting should all work together so that you avoid duplicating effort and introducing mistakes. Integrations with products such as Rocket Matter and LexCharge can be key to getting exactly what you want without the extra work and frustration.
3. Client Relationship Management
Phone calls can be disruptive, but they are often the first way that new clients will contact you. Keep your flow by outsourcing calls to a virtual receptionist. This simple change to how you work will increase the effectiveness of all your other efforts. Try Ruby Receptionists, which integrates with two practice management platforms and with a client relationship management platform. It simply improves the client intake process overall.
4. Practice Management
Your practice management software should work the way that you do. It should reflect your thinking, priorities, and process, and integrate with the programs that you use. If billing and collecting is your main problem, then pick a platform that prioritizes solving that problem. If document management or calendaring are your biggest challenges, select a platform that prioritizes those solutions. (Or, better yet, choose one that does both!)
See for Yourself
Don’t just take my word for it. Test out each of these programs by talking to representatives from the companies about the following:
- Price: How much does the program cost? Are there discounts?
- Proof: Who else is using the program? Are there customer testimonials? Are there free trials?
- Predictability: How easy is it to learn? Will it cause disruption?
- Pain Points: What problem does it solve? Is it one that matters to you? Is it a problem that you experience daily?
- Permanency: How long has it been on the market? What is the outlook?
These five factors are an integral part of the evaluation process and will help you choose the right technology for you. The answers to the questions should make you feel confident that your choice will make you more productive in your legal practice.
About the Author
Ivy Grey is the author of American Legal Style for PerfectIt, which is a proofreading and editing program for lawyers that runs inside of MS Word. It adds polish, reduces frustration, and saves non-billable time. Ms. Grey is also a Senior Attorney at Griffin Hamersky LLP. She’s been named as a Rising Star in the New York Metro Area three years in a row, and her significant representations include In re AMR Corp. (American Airlines), In re Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, In re Eastman Kodak Company, and In re Nortel Networks Inc.