5 Ways Software for Divorce Attorneys Can Help Small Family Law Firms
Divorce attorneys guide their clients through some intense experiences. From dividing assets to negotiating child custody, they handle some of the most contentious and sensitive issues brought to a family law office. Add these to the usual legal practice challenges like billing and document management, and it’s clear divorce law is not for the faint of heart. The good news? Specific legal technology tools tailored for their challenges can help.
What is divorce software for attorneys?
Divorce software typically comes as part of a practice management software package. Equipped with customization settings unique to Family Law attorneys, software for divorce lawyers assists with virtually running a firm, case management, workflow and document automation, client service, billing and payments, and visibility into firm productivity.
5 Ways Family Law Technology Helps Divorce Attorneys Manage Their Practice
Here are 5 areas where divorce software for attorneys can improve their firm’s effectiveness and revenue.
1. Communication and collaboration
Even in an “amicable” divorce, the process of determining child and spousal support payments or allocating assets can spark tumultuous feelings. Divorce lawyers and their clients need a confidential channel for candid discussions. Legal practice management software can facilitate secure video conferences that are more personal than a phone call – which can help build client trust and make it easier to discuss sensitive topics and settlement scenarios. Video conferencing is also helpful in answering questions and resolving issues without delay, instead of waiting for a face-to-face meeting – providing clients with a sense of access to your expertise.
Divorce software for attorneys also helps your staff connect with each other. Not only is this invaluable in remote work situations, but it keeps cases moving forward when you can check in with your support staff to discuss case developments and action items. It can also build stronger relationships with social workers, law enforcement officers, witnesses and other people connected to a case.
2. Document management
Divorce attorneys tend to use or create the same set of contracts, court forms and letters over and over. Instead of recreating the wheel each time, you can benefit from using document automation software that includes a library of templates and standardized forms. Not only will this reduce manual errors and give your firm a more consistent and professional look, but you can reduce preparation time from hours to mere minutes.
Divorce software for attorneys can also solve information storage and security issues. Clients may ask you to store and retrieve medical records, child visitation schedules, police reports or children’s school records from years ago – something that can create burdensome storage compliance issues over time. Document management tools can not only digitize and easily store such records, it can also improve security and compliance by giving each family member or professional a different level of access.
3. Faster and easier payments
Tracking billable hours and collecting payment can be a challenge for any law firm. When a client’s life is in turmoil from a divorce, they can be especially disorganized about paying invoices. Divorce software for attorneys can help both lawyer and client be prompt and more efficient, helping you get paid faster.
On the client’s side, electronic invoices, automatic reminders, and digital portals make it easier for them to check their account balance and make online payments. For attorneys, time-tracking features ensure every billable moment is captured and helps you see where your staff are spending their time. Automated payment technology removes the laborious work of billing and tracking activities and creating invoices – so you can focus on more valuable tasks while shortening your collections cycles.
4. More efficient practice management
As you’re well aware, a busy family law practice consists of dozens of small moving pieces. The administrative work of scheduling appointments, tracking deadlines, organizing evidence, confirming court dates, producing state-mandated forms, and communicating case updates can eat up hours of time and require additional support staff as the firm’s caseload expands. That’s where legal practice management software comes in to automate and digitize daily workflows.
The results may range from the small (such as fewer phone calls from clients when they can simply make an appointment or check a court date online) to the large: stopping a critical deadline from falling through the cracks or pulling together a client’s stories, historical records, timelines and evidence into a compelling case. Some software can even calculate tax-optimized settlements or child support payments so you don’t have to consult an outside accounting firm – saving your firm considerable money over time.
5. Client attraction and retention
While the world probably won’t run out of divorcing couples anytime soon, divorce attorneys must still compete with each other to attract their ideal clients. Family law case management software can help in several ways.
One is financial: software can allow divorce attorneys to price themselves appealingly. Divorce clients are often worried about money. A lawyer with a small army of staff to compensate may have a difficult time arriving at a price point that’s friendly to clients while lucrative for the firm. Divorce attorneys who go digital find they can work faster, take on more clients and require fewer support staff, allowing to run a profitable practice that’s still appealing to clients.
Another benefit: the client experience. No one enjoys photocopying documents and visiting the post office to mail them or waiting for a return phone call to confirm a court date or hunting for a paper invoice that came in last week’s mail. Software for divorce attorneys can smoothly take care of client needs like electronic invoicing, document uploads or real-time case updates. Security is also a big selling point. Today’s clients are well aware of cybercrime and they will prioritize a lawyer who offers secure, encrypted methods for sharing sensitive information.
Leveraging legal technology to run a successful family law practice
Managing a successful firm while practicing divorce law can mean a high workload for any family law attorney – but the right legal practice management software can reduce that burden and help you spend more time on client advocacy. AbacusLaw, the all-in-one legal practice management and accounting solution, includes specific tools and add-ons for family law practices — including customizations for divorce cases. To find out more about how divorce software for attorneys could transform your practice, check out a free demo – and imagine new ways to take your client relationships and revenue to another level.