Law firm technology is first and foremost about information technologies that are modernizing and streamlining the business practices of individual law offices. For the most part, these information technologies can be broken down into two core components:
First, data management software creates a leaner and more smoothly run office that, in turn, offers more convenience for the client.
Second, the online marketplace and social media are creating new, more efficient ways to market legal services and attract prospective clients.
Only by implementing and leveraging this law firm technology can a legal practice expect to maintain its competitive edge. Naturally, there’s more to the story: Each firm has a different business model and unique pros and cons that require calibrating how these technologies are used.
To get a better perspective of how your firm is responding to these industry developments, consider the following examples and trends—
- Virtual Law Offices: Telecommunications and law office management software has now reached the point where solo attorneys no longer need a physical office space. They can connect with prospective clients online, interview and consult with them over the phone, show up for court dates, and accept payment online as well. Also known as the online-delivery method, a virtual law office often focuses on specialized and unbundled legal services that can be offered with reduced fees.
- New Legal Support Teams: Law office management software can also help brick-and-mortar practices by reducing the number of personnel needed to run the office effectively. These solutions can help attorneys make better use of their time, lower their legal fees, and/or reinvest in the firm with new paralegal staff and services. Better office organization will also increase your client outreach and follow-up services that can provide a substantive boost to referrals and networking.
- Social Media and Networking: That this is an important part of your firm’s marketing is already an established fact. Yet, it’s no longer enough to launch a website and maintain a profile page on a social networking site. Online marketing content formatted for mobile devices is vital for effective social media and networking. This is especially true for bankruptcy, divorce, and other lawyers whose clients may use their smart phones as their primary method for connecting online.
- Personal Branding and Client Relations: These new marketing resources are also changing the way that prospective clients search for legal services and perceive the relative value of individual law offices. In many ways, the proliferation of digital media and online marketing has put a new premium on establishing a personal connection and building a rapport. Consumers have reached a new comfort level searching for services and products online, but they’re arguably more likely than ever to choose a firm based on an individual lawyer, rather than the brand of the firm itself.
Law Firm Technology and Lower Costs
If there’s a unifying theme in these changes, it’s lower costs and legal fees. And while this might sound like a blow to attorneys’ bottom line, law firm technology is less expensive and more valuable than most professionals would imagine.
The practice management platform from Total Attorneys—with a comprehensive dashboard display, lead and client organization, and online billing and payment processing—is available for only $1/month.
Finally, one piece of law firm technology that is frequently overlooked comes from outside your office altogether. Online lead generation uses consumer sites, web-based service request forms, and sophisticated qualifying and matching software programs to deliver leads from prospective clients who are actively seeking legal services in your area.
In this way, our technology may be the most important development yet for your firm and can be leveraged without any logistical hassles for your practice.