Our guide to the legal technology all modern law firms need in 2023
Legal technology solutions aim to help SME law firms across the UK tackle the range of challenges they’re facing. Attracting and retaining top talent to manage case volumes, growing client expectations that demand a more personal and real-time communication style, and cost pressures that mean profit per lawyer is down, tech investments look costly and profitability is at risk.
When reports show that digitalisation could save law firms £400,000 a year and case studies show how legal tech can help to ease the pressures for fee earners whilst enhancing the client journey, investing in a digital-first operational strategy is essential.
How legal tech can make your law firm more efficient
Implementing and utilising the right technology can help SME law firms to:
- Increase productivity: efficiency-boosting tools and admin task automation can help ease the manual load from legal professionals so they can get more done in their day.
- Improve collaboration: tech can help improve the communication and collaboration between clients and third-parties. Avoid endless email chasing and work together quicker using the right tech tools.
- Enhance client service: not only can tech provide client-friendly portals, and improved communication channels but it also helps improve the effectiveness and speed of service to meet their expectations and provide transparency.
- Ease workload pressures: free up legal professionals to do what they do best and let legal tech do the heavy lifting when it comes to admin-heavy tasks and processes. Improve accuracy, speed up tasks, and reduce errors.
- Improve compliance: standardisation using the legal tech reduces errors, avoids data duplication, and ensures you’re meeting compliance requirements across your teams.
Essential legal tech for SME law firms
Whether you’re looking to streamline your digital operational strategy or you’re starting to digitalise your firm, here are our seven essential tech solutions we believe all modern law firms should implement to improve long-term success:
1. Business intelligence & reporting tools
Accessing your firm’s performance, client, and financial data is key to making smarter decision on the management of your firm. Ideally integrated, business intelligence tools help you gain data-driven insights that can help take your firm to the next level. Beyond simply exporting spreadsheets, visual reporting tools and interactive dashboards can provide an easier way to spot trends, make improvements, and celebrate successes.
Gain 360 degree visibility of your firm to help your team out perform competitors with integrated reporting solutions and business intelligence dashboards.
2. Integrated specialised legal accounting software
A law firms accounting requirements differ from the average business as there’s client finances and strict compliance requirements to consider. If you’re not using a specialised legal accounting software that can help you effectively manage those elements of your business you could effect cashflow as well as risk compliance errors. To maximise value and efficiencies, you legal accounting software should integrate with your practice and case management solution. Improved accuracy, access to real-time data, and a reduction in errors will help you make running your law firm easier.
3. Client portal mobile app
The quickest way to enhance your client service is to provide an online portal that enables quicker, easier, and more secure communication. Provide clients with real-time updates, easy access to documents, and quicker ways to provide personal information. An online client portal is a great step for exceeding client expectations but you can go one step further with a fully branded client mobile app. A professional way to improve accessibility and communication.
4. Automated workflows
A fundamental step to standardising and automating daily admin tasks is to implement automated workflows. Available for all practice areas, law firms should streamline processes via workflows that increase efficiencies, improve compliance, and enhance reputation. Easily communicate with clients, build documents, set key dates and more with customisable workflows.
5. Electronic signatures
Electronic signatures, integrated with your case management solution, helps you progress matters quicker. Easily tag documents, send to clients via email or a client portal, and get contracts and documents signed within minutes rather than days. A quicker and more cost effective way to receive client signatures that is secure and compliant.
6. Digital identity checks
Avoid delays in your cases by utilising digital verification of identity (VOI) and verification of funds (VOF) technology. A key part of the due diligence process for law firms, identity checks can be slow and heavily paper-based. Utilising electronic verification checks you can increase security and speed up the processes.
7. Cloud-based all-in-one practice & case management software
Running your law firm using cloud-based legal technology improves flexibility for employees and clients as well centralising data that’s accessible in real-time for the team. Operating from an all-in-one system means better control over your processes, increased visibility of compliance tasks, and improve productivity for your team.
Osprey Approach provides or integrates with all legal tech tools and software solutions above, which means you can easily run your law firm from one centralised solution. Connect your people, processes, data, and technology in one connected system to stay competitive and improve long-term success.