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Law Firm Software that Helps You Grow: 6 Technologies to Adopt

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Lawyer life is complex, and in an attempt to take care of the small details that make or break a client’s case, it’s easy to let go of a firm’s own operations and unintentionally stunt its growth. But, as they search for law firm software that will take away the need to choose between clients and themselves, many companies find themselves going down a rabbit hole, learning about more and more options, and uncertain what they need to take into account.

Today’s article is meant to highlight six law office software categories that have the ability to help firms improve their current operations and accelerate growth, plus what to look for in these types of software products in order to maximize their impact on the law firm.

 

Law Firm Software Categories that Improve Current Operations and Help Companies Grow

To get the most out of this article, review the recommendations for each category, and make a list of top features to look for, so it will be easier to vet legal software programs. Consider getting feedback from stakeholders in relevant departments on your list, in order to personalize the feature search to their needs.

 

Law Firm Client Management Software that Creates Smoother Workflows

There’s a lot that goes into managing clients and their cases, so it’s easy for legal firms to find themselves wasting non-billable hours on logistics and administration. Firms that see this happening too often for too long might benefit from digitizing the process and using legal case management software that allows them to have everything related to a client or a case in one place.

That includes all client-related data (documents, notes, research, interviews, investigations, transcripts, witness data) and teamwork tracking (meetings, consultations, court hearings, depositions). Some client management software products allow law firms to handle invoicing and scheduling, as well as communication and collaboration, both between different team members and between the firm and the client, which is usually accessible from every device.

Law Firm Accounting Software that Improves Profitability

The common advice for law offices is to get a legal billing software that tracks the billable hours lawyers investing in clients’ cases, to make sure no billable hours are left untracked. This type of software often makes it easier to bill tens, if not hundreds, of clients with a couple clicks of a button, and offer multiple payment options, then track which clients still owe payment to the firm, and how much.

While all this is important, a law office billing software is not enough on its own. It is much easier if the product is a full blown law firm accounting software that lets the organization plan a budget, log what’s being spent, analyze trends, and improve the bottom line as the years progress.

 

Document Management Software for Law Firms that Need to Get Organized

If there’s something lawyers have in abundance, it’s documents. Contracts, research data, hearing transcriptions, job offers to candidates and quotes to prospects are just the tip of the iceberg. A document management software for law firms keeps everything in one place, usually the cloud, that’s accessible anywhere and enables collaboration among team members.

If a firm doesn’t need a full legal case management software, this could be the type of legal practice software that will serve it well, as it often allows the firm to include document templates, plus text, audio and video-based tutorials on how to best personalize documents based on templates, or about processes involving these documents. Law firms can then track what team members are doing, and get notifications to help them make sure work gets done.

 

Transcription Software for Legal Firms that Saves Time and Reduces Costs

Legal firms are filled with transcriptions files from hearings, depositions, and meetings. Lawyers are used to paying high fees and waiting long periods of time for transcriptions to be ready, even if the proceeding is recorded, let alone if complex terminology, complex accents or multiple speakers are involved.

Yet as technology evolves, new legal software programs are entering the market. The most exciting type is artificial intelligence transcription software for legal firms, as this technology can be trained with industry knowledge, and be enriched with automatic speech recognition. In other words, the software can identify the spoken topics and differentiate the speakers, plus provide an almost-accurate transcription within seconds. Often, human transcribers review the produced transcript, and make adjustments to ensure 99 to 100% accuracy. Their adjustments are then used to train the software even more, which reduces turnaround time, and therefore costs, the more the software is used.

Cybersecurity Software that Protects Sensitive Information

Firms looking to upgrade their legal practice software stack are highly recommended to review their cybersecurity strength. The everyday antivirus is not enough, and it doesn’t matter what size a law firm is. Even the small ones deal with sensitive information on a daily basis, and small firms get targeted just as much as the large ones, if not more, since they are often less protected.

Software that provides detection and response matters, yet it’s important to prioritize prevention as well because the result of an attack can be both extremely expensive and deeply impact clients’ lives. The best place to start is the most vulnerable one, which is different for every law firm, yet organizations as a whole tend to be vulnerable when it comes to files entering their organizations, mixing personal and business data on team members’ smart devices, breaches in Web browsers and easy-to-hack passwords, just to name a few.

 

Day to Day Office Management Software

Office management software for legal firms is a solution that encompasses much of what was previously discussed today. It includes case management, document management, calendar and time tracking, and might have additional features, such as marketing campaign management. Yet it does not cover everything a firm needs to invest in its employees in order to ensure its longevity.

While not created specifically as law office software, employee happiness software products help law firms retain top talent that contributes to their credibility and profitability. Some of the tools focus on running quick surveys that help firms get direct feedback from team members. Others encourage team members and managers to be more proactive about giving employees credit for their accomplishments.

Of course, part of leading a company culture that retains top talent is making sure that everyone feels like they’re being treated equally for equal qualifications and performance. Thankfully, there is a growing industry of tools to help firms overcome the often unconscious bias and prejudice in talent management, from blind skill-based screening software (where gender, race, religion or sexual preferences have no way to influence a recruitment decision), to software that advises managers how to make more inclusive decisions when it comes to their team.

 

Where to Start with Your Law Firm Software Upgrade

With such a wide selection of law firm software products, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. To prevent that, firms might be better off choosing one area to improve, preferably the one that will make the biggest impact for them. Once the first one is implemented, a second and a third one can be added as well. Focusing on the biggest impact based on the firm’s specific situation and goals will help ensure that every step forward will upgrade the firm’s operations in a significant way.

 

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Positive Effects of Technology on Education: Make a Bigger Impact

Education has been opening doors to professional and personal growth for centuries, but not for everyone. Therefore, an increasing number of education organizations are tapping into the positive effects of technology on education, realizing that choosing the right tools and methods can be a game-changer for students that have been previously marginalized.

To get organizations ready to expand their impact next year, today’s article is all about how technology has improved education and the wealth of options available to easily make a bigger difference.

How Has Technology Improved Education?

As you review with us how technology has improved education, list down ideas your university hasn’t adopted yet, and start dreaming big about how your team can scale its impact in the next decade.

One of the first thoughts that come to mind when talking about how technology affects education is often about the almost unlimited access to knowledge. Instead of sticking to books they can physically carry, or the ones that happen to be available in nearby libraries, students have complete abundance at their fingertips with ebooks and audiobooks, giving them great options to buy and to rent, and a lot less back pain.

Of course, virtual books are just the beginning, as knowledge is available online in a variety of formats. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) enable free access to courses. Podcasts, videos and blog posts from both education organizations and other sources are a click away and cover every topic imaginable. All these options, combined with a wide range of discipline-specific tools, make it easier for education organizations to open the door to experiential learning, where students no longer need to wait for graduation in order to go beyond theory.

In addition, students gain deeper access to another important learning resource: their own peers. A key positive impact of technology on education is that it brings students together through discussion and collaboration tools, who might never have considered, or had the opportunity, to communicate or help each other offline.

 

Improved Teaching Operations that Encourage Collaboration, Efficiency, and Diversity

This last positive impact of technology on education is relevant for professors as well. Professors can use online collaboration tools and course management tools to organize student materials and give students feedback. This makes it easier for professors to keep track of student performance data and evaluate trends over time, in order to see what aspects of the course need to be changed.

Technology helps professors get support, too. For example, when professors find themselves facing tech challenges in the middle of a class, they can reach out to IT digitally. IT can then connect to professors’ computers remotely and solve the challenge quickly, instead of wasting half the class in an attempt to overcome it. Professors can also collaborate with fellow professors and faculty members, to ensure the department keeps moving toward its goals.

When it comes to team management, technology enables faculty members to ensure equality in opportunities. At the brink of the third decade of the 21st century, more and more diversity and inclusion software products aim to help management recruit and promote with less unconscious bias.

 

The Rise of Accessibility and Assistive Technology is Opening Doors to Student Populations Who Were Previously Left Behind

One cannot really talk about how technology affects education without talking about accessibility for sectors of the population that were previously left behind. This is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting positive effects of technology on education. For blind students, the technology converts slides and texts into electronic Braille, and audio recordings of classes provide another option. Similarly, video recordings of classes provide hard of hearing and deaf students with the ability to access lectures as well. In this case, captions are added to the video, of course. With artificial intelligence software, captions can be provided quickly and accurately. The software produces captions within seconds or in real-time, allowing students to keep up with the class. Human transcribers review the captions and edit them for deeper accuracy. This feedback is then used to train the software better about topic-specific terms and events, turning the process faster, more cost-effective and more accurate over time. Alternatively or in addition, classes can be transcribed and presented to students in text-only format. Artificial intelligence academic software is available for transcriptions as well, operating in the same way it does with captions.

Either way, the ability to access course materials in multiple formats and participate in courses via multiple channels allows both students in wheelchairs and students dealing with physical and mental illnesses to continue their education. While it’s easier to hide, many students face mental illnesses that make it challenging to get out the door, sit in packed classrooms or participate in conventional ways, even if their grades depend on them doing so. Step by step, technology helps them reach their education dreams, too.

  

Distance Education and E-Learning that Enable Creative Collaborations and Learning Experiences

Besides making education accessible to students dealing with disabilities, distance education and e-learning technology open the door to students who would otherwise not be able to afford higher education. Whether they can’t afford to move near their desired university, can’t afford standard tuition and textbooks, or need to work a full-time job or taking care of family members, and therefore need a more flexible schedule, technology opens the door for them too. Distance education and e-learning also make it much easier for people who have graduated with a BA or MA to continue their education, whether for professional development or simply for personal joy. But the positive effects of technology on education don’t end here. Technology enables education organizations to partner with each other, and to easily bring professors from other universities to teach their students, despite geographical distances that would otherwise require more availability from the professors and higher costs for the organization. A professor can record a class from her home in Alaska, and it will be screened in New York. Similarly, a hospital can partner with a university and bring cameras into its operation rooms, so med students and medical device engineering students could see (almost) firsthand the professional world they’re about to enter. To expand experiential learning, universities can connect students with real-life people who will be impacted by their future work, and can give them insights that a textbook can’t. When training social workers, for example, universities can host a video conference with people who have grown up in foster care but are not able to come into the classroom, to share their stories. The impact of technology on student learning, and what students take with them as they enter the workforce and shape the country’s future, is abundantly deep.

Commit to Making an Even Bigger Impact on Education in the Next Decade

Now that education organizations have seen how technology has changed education positively, it is understandable to feel hungry for more. The timing couldn’t be more perfect for universities to look for ways to expand their impact, as we enter a new decade. Bringing representatives from multiple departments together, universities can strategize goals for every department, and for the organization as a whole, and start turning it into a game plan. If all this is possible on the brink of the 21st century’s third decade, imagine where we could be in 10 years. Your university can be the leader of this transformation.

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