Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and you’ve likely been reflecting on gratitude. Without a doubt, you have many things you have to be thankful for, both personally and professionally.
When it comes to the latter, I would suggest that in 2019 lawyers have many reasons to be grateful, in large part due to technological innovations that have simplified and streamlined the practice of law. Here are just a few advances that help law firms run efficiently and provide lawyers with more flexibility and convenience than ever before.
Cloud and mobile computing
First, there are the many benefits of cloud and mobile computing to be thankful for. These technologies go hand and hand because together they make today’s computing possible. When mobile phones and tablets – which are limited by their memory, processing power, and battery life – are used with cloud computing tools, the data processing and storage needed to make mobile apps useful and functional can happen outside of mobile devices on cloud computing servers. In other words, mobile and cloud computing allow lawyers to practice law and access important law firm data from anywhere, night or day.
In light of how well these tools work together, it’s no surprise that there has been a significant rise in the use of cloud and mobile computing by lawyers in recent years. In fact, according to the American Bar Association’s most recent Legal Technology Survey, lawyers are making the move to cloud-based legal software more than ever before, with 55% of lawyers surveyed reporting that they’ve used cloud computing software for law-related tasks over the past year, up from 38% in 2016.
According to the survey, the reasons for using cloud computing software are many, and include ease of access from any location, 24/7 availability, the affordability and low cost of entry, robust data back-up and recovery, the ability to get the software up and running quickly, the elimination of IT and software management requirements, and better security than the firms were able to provide in-office.
Given all the benefits that cloud and mobile computing provide lawyers, it’s no wonder that so many lawyers use these technologies on a daily basis. If your firm is in the majority then you know why there’s so much to be thankful for. If you’re still in the minority, download this free guide to learn what all the fuss is about: The Benefits of Cloud Computing and the 7 Pitfalls of On-Premise Software.
Automation and AI software
One of the most challenging aspects of running a small law firm is making the most of your time. This is because managing a law practice isn’t easy. When you’re in charge of both practicing law and running your firm, your to-do list can quickly become overwhelming.
That’s where streamlined law firm processes come in. With the right legal software, you can easily reduce repetition and automate the more mundane aspects of your daily routines as a lawyer. By taking advantage of 21st century legal software to streamline your firm’s processes and reduce redundancies, your law firm will run more smoothly and efficiently than ever before.
And guess what? Transitioning you firm to legal software that will help you achieve these goals isn’t as difficult as you might think – and there are lots of tools available that are up to the task. Interested in learning more? You can learn how to streamline your law firm by automating its processes by downloading this free guide: Tips for Automating Your Law Practice.
Flat fee and alternative billing on the rise
For many lawyers, billable hours are a necessary, albeit unpleasant part of practicing law. Tracking and billing time has long been part of the daily lives of lawyers, often adding to the stress of the their already busy practices. That’s where alternative billing and flat fees come in.
One of the top reasons to use alternative fee billing structures is because clients prefer them. When the total fee and expectations are established up front, clients are able to budget and plan for fee payment. Because unexpected and costly legal fees can be stressful, flat fees and alternative billing structures such as fee subscription plans reduce client stress and result in happier, more appreciative clients.
That’s why you should be grateful that hourly billing isn’t your only choice in 2019. Many lawyers are using alternative fees in their law firms and reaping the benefits. To learn more about how to set fees in your law firm, including alternative fee structures, then download this free ebook: The Ultimate Guide to Legal Billing.
A keyboard just for lawyers
Have you ever wished that there was a keyboard made with lawyers in mind? Wouldn’t it be great if common shortcuts and abbreviations used by lawyers could be typed with just a few keystrokes? Well guess what? You’re in luck! There’s a legal keyboard available that does just that, and more.
As Bob Ambrogi explains at his blog, LawSites, here’s why this keyboard is so useful for lawyers:
(T)he LegalBoard is a computer keyboard that includes legal-specific keys, to help shortcut the work of writing a brief or legal document. As I explained in my original hands-on review, some keys insert common words and phrases, such as “e.g.,” “F.3d,” “plaintiff,” and “respondent.”
The wired version of this keyboard has been around for a few years now, but good news! A wireless version was just announced. You can learn more here, and preorder the wireless version for $85, if you’re so inclined.
So those are just a few things that I think lawyers should be grateful for as we head into Thanksgiving. What do you think? Did I miss anything? What are you the most thankful for this year?