Driving a successful Law Firm in a post lockdown environment
Make your law firm some promises
Continued social distancing regulation at any level or a return to lockdown will not disrupt:
- Our ability to work.
- Our ability to communicate with clients and stakeholders.
- Our ability to win new clients
It is not a question of if you use technology to fulfil these promises, it is a question of how.
We call it the OspreyApproach.
Find out why, and end the uncertainty surrounding the future of your working life.
We have found the transition from office to home to be seamless, I don’t think clients realise we are not in the office as there was no disruption in service at all.
Having software which is modern and constantly evolving to suit business needs is a massive bonus. And the secure web portal means clients do not have to worry about sending sensitive information electronically.Kelly at H&F Legal
This is the post lockdown playbook
First, you need to acknowledge that working from home is here to stay.
Then, most importantly, invest in the right technology to drive your business:
- Become device independent by using real cloud software
- Collaborate with stakeholders at home or in the office
- Stay compliant and secure, mitigating emerging risks
- Work smarter on matters, reassigning staff where you can
- Use your website to generate new business and accept instructions
- Provide real time client access to correspondence and case progression through your website and an app
- Integrate your legal and business accounting with your case management
Finally, with the foundations set, your website is your new shopfront.
Grow your business by embracing online marketing.
Working from home, to an extent, is here to stay
Whilst there are legitimate reasons for staff to come back to the office, social distancing and staggered working patterns will mean that only some of your teams will be allowed back at their desks at any one time.
Your own risk assessments might indicate that staff should only be in the office in exceptional circumstances for the time being.
The lessons learned during lockdown have enabled law firms to operate in a remote environment.
It may not have been perfect, but the easing of restrictions now gives you an opportunity to build a more resilient and potentially more profitable law firm.
This change will bring opportunity.
Invest in tech
The hastily put together solutions which may have seen you through lockdown will need upgrading, and any ad-hoc arrangements now need to become processes and procedures.
Good quality, high availability legal technology will be the backbone of your business to support a mix of home and office working. Centralising business processes and information unlocks a lot of opportunities for compliance and efficiency wins.
Osprey Approach supports your whole business from marketing and client Intake through matter management and business process automation to client and third-party access.
Our customers have taken full advantage of these solutions throughout the UK’s period of lockdown, enabling them to continue trading and providing an excellent level of service to clients.
1. Device independence is essential
Don’t settle for VPN access to software that is sat on yours or your supplier’s hardware, (Remote Desktop, Citrix et al). They are not a ‘proper’ cloud solution, they will hold you back and frankly you deserve better.
You need a real cloud solution – we can’t stress that enough. Imagine having to log into a virtual desktop every time you needed to read an email? You need software that lets you access your centralised information from the device that suits you at the time – whether that’s your computer, tablet or smartphone.
2. Collaborate with your colleagues, clients and third parties at home or in the office
With people spread across offices and homes, it’s crucial to utilise a virtual file. Everybody must have access to the same live data across their devices. You don’t need to tell a colleague when you’ve recorded time on a matter, or produced a document, because they’ll see it immediately.
Osprey Approach’s comprehensive version control functionality will enable you to collaborate on documents, with staff and trusted third parties (other side solicitors, for example) submitting new versions of a document to the matter history in a secure and safe manner.
3. Stay compliant, secure and mitigate emerging risks
Use workflows to meet your compliance requirements and schedule automatic exception reports to ensure conformity.
Collect information directly from your client through your web access portal, and receive documents, photographs and scanned copies directly into the matter. Along with video conferences, these tools will help assist with identity checks whilst social distancing remains a consideration.
Combined with integrated digital signing solutions like DocuSign, the whole process of instructing a client can be confidently completed remotely.
Enforcing a ‘single point of truth’ has enormous compliance benefits, both in relation to your obligations with the SRA as well as those with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Our secure legal software uses UK based servers and industry best practices to ensure your data remains safe.
Your virtual file ensures there is no reason to take files home, physically or on a memory stick. Your adherence to GDPR best practices will be as easy from home as they are in the office.
4. Work smarter on matters, reassigning staff where you can
Many systems claim to have workflows, however, merely ordering documents or sending an email isn’t enough.
Osprey’s legal workflow system provides comprehensive business process automation through data collection, document and form generation, critical date management, time recording and multiple communication methods.
Quick and easy tailoring lets you model your business processes, guaranteeing compliance and driving efficiency. Following your process, staff can be confidently reassigned to areas of law they might not be as familiar with.
Osprey comes with over 40 Focused Workflows, designed by qualified lawyers, to cover most areas of law and can be customised to meet the demands of your firm.
“We have had an increase in clients enquiring about Wills, and the focused workflow for Wills has helped with productivity, and it is great that the workflows can be published to the client portal so easily.”
5. Use your website to generate new business and accept instructions
When a potential client arrives on your website, they will make up their mind about instructing you in a few short seconds. Your website should be optimised to give them the information they require and to capture their enquiry as easily as possible.
Make your website inviting and easy to use. Use plain English and target your customers when you’re wording it.
Make it easy for website visitors to make an enquiry. Prominent buttons (call to actions) throughout your website that direct them to Osprey’s work type specific enquiry forms enables simple and relevant data capture in seconds.
For appropriate areas of law, a range of built-in quote calculators should be provided to give example costs. Osprey’s quote calculator can give prospective clients an indication of costs immediately, increasing their likelihood of instructing you.
Taking this a step further use Osprey’s AI-powered interactive chatbot to obtain the data in a conversational format and provide a quote instantly.
6. Provide real time client access
Osprey’s web access portal allows you to communicate with your clients and third parties securely and instantly, 24/7. Collaborating online greatly reduces the need for face-to-face meetings or posted correspondence.
Direct from your website or better yet, one of Osprey’s dedicated branded apps, your clients will be able to access the information you have chosen to share at any time of day or night. Documents, key dates, deadlines, and the current stage of their matter can all be shared to improve your relationship with the client.
7. Integrated legal accounting is more important than ever
Your firm relies on efficient and compliant legal accounting software. Osprey’s fully integrated legal accounts package is a comprehensive, yet easy to use system. It eliminates the need for additional accounts software and ensures your financial data is accurate and centralised.
This centralisation is crucial when teams are working remotely. Wherever your staff are working from, you will have full visibility of your client and office accounts, with side-by-side client ledger postings and support for as many bank accounts as you need.
Osprey’s electronic requisitions and the ability to scan expense receipts are essential when operating remotely.
Grow your business by embracing online marketing
It will still be some time before consumers feel confident enough to visit the high street again. Throughout lockdown you have learned to service your clients remotely, but have you considered how to attract new ones in ‘the new normal’?
Facebook adverts get you in front of potential customers whilst your shop front might be closed. They can be targeted to the audience you want to attract using location and demographic information. Don’t forget even your commercial clients will have personal Facebook accounts so it’s application need not just be for B2C. Better yet, those ads can direct the audience to your Osprey data capture screen giving you the best chance of converting that view to an enquiry.