When I was at ABA Techshow with the MyCase team earlier this year, I sought out leaders in the legal technology space to learn all about how lawyers can use technology to run their practices more efficiently. During the interviews, Techshow speakers and other law practice management experts shared their advice and tips on topics ranging from marketing and legal technology to practice management and mobile apps.
One person I caught up with was Heidi Alexander, an attorney and law practice management advisor at Mass. LOMAP. In this video interview (full transcript below as well) she talks about must-have legal technologies and offers tips for facilitating better client communication:
Niki Black: Hi this is Niki Black. I am here at ABA Techshow at the Hilton in Chicago. I’m here with Heidi Alexander, who is a Practice Management Advisor with Massachusetts LOMAP. Thank you so much for joining us.
Heidi Alexander: Thanks for having me.
Niki Black: I had a couple questions that I wanted to ask you. First thing is do you have any advice on technologies lawyer should use to increase their productivity?
Heidi Alexander: Yes, absolutely. So, I think case management is a no brainer. That’s something that I recommend to all my clients. It’s my primary recommendation. You know, but I think that now we’re moving towards automation. There’s tons of automation tools out there. We heard about number of them at the conference today, yesterday.
The Mac track actually, David Sparks and Katie Floyd were talking about tools like If Then This Then That, which I think actually pairs different services together or Zappier which also pairs different services together. So, you know, I think those automation tools, that’s really the next step for attorneys and I would recommend that.
Niki Black: Okay. Those are some great tips. And the last thing I wanted to ask you about was if you could, you know, client communication is so important. Can you tell me why it’s so important and some of your top tips everywhere to help lawyers improve their communication with their clients?
Heidi Alexander: Sure. So, I think it’s important because, for three reasons actually. One, clients can be a great source of referrals. Right? So, you want to make sure you’re communicating with them often enough, and the other is obviously, clients can complain and they can sue you for malpractice. So, you need to be doing that right. And so I think, you know, again this brings back the automation. Again, because automation is a way that you can keep in touch with clients without having to remember to do it.
So, you know, there’s a bunch of tools out there and one in particular that I’ve been looking at is called ScheduleOnce, and what ScheduleOnce allows you to do is actually embed a schedule into your website and you can have clients go in and create appointments for themselves using the software and notifications are automatic so it notifies the client that your, that you know, you have a meeting coming up.
And I also think, you know, I just did a session on web conferencing and so I think web conferencing also is a great way to stay in touch with your clients on a more regular basis because you don’t have to spend that time and the money traveling to your client and you can have these meetings more frequently just by you using a really easy program like JoinMe or Zoom or Google Hangouts or Skype; anything like that you can do it right from your phone.