Planning for 2021 isn’t an easy task since there are so many unknowns. It’s unclear when the pandemic will abate, and as a result charting a course for your law firm for the upcoming year is no easy task. Notably, your path forward should include contingencies, since you may have to alter your chosen course once or twice. That’s to be expected in what will no doubt be a year of unpredictability. For that reason, it’s important to create a flexible plan that will serve as the foundation for your firm’s success in 2021.
This may seem like a daunting task, but fortunately that there are resources available that will help you prepare your firm for whatever may come. The 4 books that follow are a great place to start. Buy and read one – or even a few – of them, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful year ahead.
Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide
As we head into the new year, there’s a high likelihood that your firm’s workforce will need to work remotely at some point. While you may have jury-rigged a remote working system at the beginning of the pandemic, you’re undoubtedly well aware that now is the time to put a more permanent system in place. As a result, you’re probably considering adding new software and hardware to your law firm’s technology arsenal. You may be feeling overwhelmed by your options and concerned about making uninformed choices. Rest assured, you’re not alone.
The good news is that a great resource available for small law firm lawyers seeking to invest in new technologies from ABA Publishing: The 2020 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide, written by Sharon D. Nelson, John W. Simek, and Michael C. Maschke. This comprehensive guide is updated annually and provides a vast array of technology advice, ranging from how to choose hardware for your law firm to legal software recommendations. If your law firm is in the market for new hardware, including laptops, smartphones, printers, or networking equipment, this book has you covered. Similarly, if your firm is in need of legal software to help you manage law firm documents, improve productivity, or secure your law firm’s systems, you’re sure to find tips on how to choose the software that will be the best fit for your law firm.
Automating Legal Services: Justice through Technology
Another way to get your firm off to a strong start in the new year is to ensure that you’ve put efficiencies in place, both in terms of software and firm processes, that will ensure the highest levels of productivity regardless of whether your firm’s workforce is remote or in the office. That’s where the book Automating Legal Services: Justice through Technology by Jim Hogue comes in.
In this ABA-published book, the author makes the case for using cutting-edge legal technology to streamline your law firm’s processes. The author explains how lawyers can use legal software to eliminate repetitive, inefficient processes, with the end result being the ability to increase the speed, quality, and scale of their legal services.
Internet Legal Research On A Budget
Because of the new world order we find ourselves in as a result of the pandemic, lawyers and law firms need to be able to rapidly shift priorities as the fluid situation evolves and changes. Part of this process includes a focus on maintaining financial stability in the midst of uncertainty by identifying ways to sustain revenue and reduce unnecessary costs both during and after the pandemic.
Behold the recently published book Internet Legal Research on a Budget: Free and Low-Cost Resources for Lawyers! The second edition of this book is co-authored by Judy K. Davis and Carole A. Levitt and is from ABA Publishing. For law firms seeking to reduce their legal research budgets, this book offers a vast amount of information and guidance for lawyers seeking to use the internet to conduct investigative and legal research. No matter what you’re looking for, this book will help you find it. Whether it’s background information on a person or a company, legislative materials, or statutory or case law legal research, this book covers it all. And best of all, most of the resources discussed in this 365-page guide are low-cost or free!
Make LinkedIn Work For You In 2020
Last, but not least, another focus in 2021 should be your firm’s legal marketing plan, including its social media presence. This is because legal consumers are increasing relying on online information when choosing a lawyer. That’s why so many of your competitors are upping their online marketing game by increasing their presence on social media. In fact, according to 2020 American Bar Association Legal Technology Survey Report, the vast majority of lawyers and law firms (80%) now use social media, and LinkedIn is a top online destination, with 73% of lawyers using LinkedIn for professional purposes.
Are lawyers in your firm using LinkedIn effectively as they could be? Probably not. That’s where the recently published book “Make LinkedIn Work for You: A Practical Handbook for Lawyers and Other Legal Professionals” comes in. This book, co-authored by Dennis Kennedy and Allison Shields, covers everything lawyers need to know about using LinkedIn as a legal professional. There’s something for everyone in this book, regardless of whether they’ve been on Linkedin for years or whether it’s a new endeavor.
Finally, for even more information that will help you plan for a successful 2021 for your law firm, make sure to check out our ebook library. There are lots of great (and free) guides that you can download that will get your firm off to a strong start in the new year.