Increasing your law firm’s efficiency–sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? The problem is that for many lawyers, practicing law takes up so much time there’s very little time left over to examine their law office’s processes in order to locate inefficiencies. Unfortunately, unless you take a bit of time out of your busy schedule to do this, you’ll continue to waste time that could be better spent practicing law.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are lots of resources available to help you increase your firm’s efficiency by streamlining your processes and removing redundancies from your workflow, such as a recent session at ABA Techshow this year, Bryan Sims’ and Victor Medina’s presentation, “Leveraging Technology for Practice Efficiency.”
As part of our contribution to Techshow this year, we brought in Stephanie Crowley to take visual notes of many of the sessions, including this one. The visual notes from that session can be found below, including our selection of the top 6 most useful tips from the presentation, along with links to sites that provide further information (click to view larger image):
1. The presenters suggested that the key to using technology to create a more efficient law office is to view “technology” as another person in your office who will help to streamline your office’s processes. Another key concept to keep in mind is that you must change your attitude about what constitutes your “work product” and realize that it is not paper. Also realize that as a human being you do not excel at multi-tasking and that busy-ness is not the same thing as working hard.
2. According to the presenters, one important part of law office efficiency in the 21st century is to move to the cloud and go paperless. In order to facilitate that move, they recommended a number of new tools and resources, including some of our favorites below. For more on how moving to the cloud can improve your law firm’s efficiency, check out this slide show.
3. A good scanner is pivotal when going paperless. The presenters recommended the Fijitsu ScanSnap iX500, but there are many others available as well. For more scanner suggestions, check out this recent Lawyerist post.
4. The presenters emphasized the importance of a good file naming system. Among their recommendations to help facilitate creating a system that makes sense for your law office is the ibook “Paperless” by David Sparks..
5. According to the presenters, good software is key when going paperless. The software programs that they recommended looking into as options were Nitro ($139.99) or Adobe Acrobat (starting at $139.00).
6. Finally, another software tool that the presenters suggested would prove useful for offices using Apple computers is PDF Pen Pro ($99.99), since it can be used to create and edit PDF documents and works well for signatures.
Those are just a few of the tools recommended by the presenters. Check out the visual notes for more suggestions and let us know in the comments if there are any other products that you rely on for your paperless law office.