Remote Readiness: The Modern Law Firm Checklist

Legal Technology

When we think technology companies it is not uncommon for corporations like Microsoft, or even Salesforce to come to mind. And, we would all suspect that these organization’s transition to remote readiness would be a piece of cake. Now consider legal technology and the practice of law.

How legal technology has impacted the modern law firm

Technology has been upending the way law firms practice law for some time now, but never have we seen law firm digital transformation accelerate as much as we have in 2020. In an industry that has historically been slow to adopt technology, it was a bit of a shock for firms to transition to virtual business overnight. Since the spring 2020 economic shutdown, firms have been implementing more technologies that put them on a road to becoming fully virtual operations.

Law firm digital transformation is not one-size-fits-all. Every law firm has its own unique journey to full virtual functionality. Even for firms that have put in a lot of work already, that journey is far from over. While it may seem overwhelming at times, you’re not alone – every firm today is grappling with digital transformation and how to best make use of technology to navigate the new normal.

Whether you’ve just started your digital transformation journey or are well on your way to becoming a virtual law firm, there’s always more you can do to cut costs, boost efficiency, and increase security.

Firms are getting on board

By now it’s pretty clear that technology is key for law firms that want to boost efficiency, client service, and firm growth. However, while “slow and steady wins the race” might have been a viable tech implementation strategy in the past, that’s no longer the case. The unusual demands of the pandemic have caused law firm tech usage to skyrocket.

The legal industry is in the midst of a disruptive shift from traditional office-centric operations to virtual practice. Perhaps due to necessity more than anything else, law firms now embrace remote work, client Zoom meetings, cloud computing, and more.

In a recent survey, “Industry Report: Survival or Evolution,” conducted by Above the Law and AbacusNext, almost 60 percent of respondents reported that technology was extremely important to their firm. Law firms named calendar software (80%), time tracking/billing software (79.11%), and document management tools (74.67%) as the top three types of technology they rely on most.

Many suspect that the changes law firms were forced to make in response to the pandemic will became permanent down the road. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that remote work, automation, and cloud solutions offer newfound ways for firms to better serve their clients and streamline day-to-day practice.

Status check: Where are you on the digital transformation journey?

The shift to remote work in the spring of 2020 came as a rude awakening. At this point in the game, the question is, “have we done enough, or are there additional changes we need to make to optimize our digital transformation and improve our law firm management?”

Work through the Law Firm Technology Checklist to assess your tech-readiness in the following areas:

  • Remote work and automation: Can you fully support all your remote staff? Are you using automation to streamline operations and reduce costs? Have you eliminated paper processes and storage?
  • Functionality and integration: Does your current legal practice management solution handle most or all of your functions? Is it tailored to your firm’s specific needs? Does it integrate with other critical tools you use? Does your current tech stack allow you to adapt, scale, and grow in the future?
  • Virtual client relationships: Do your current tools offer virtual support to clients and allow you to build strong virtual client relationships? Do you offer your clients convenient processes like electronic payment options?
  • Data security and privacy: Is your client and financial data secure? Are you up-to-date on the latest data privacy regulations and compliance requirements?

Ask firm partners and other key contributors complete the Law Firm Technology Checklist – you can think of it as your guide to continuous improvement. The exercise is bound to provoke some interesting discussions and uncover some areas where you can implement additional digital transformation ideas that will help carry your law firm into the future. Investing in a legal practice management software solution is one way to modernize pretty quickly.

If you have further questions about cloud strategy, security, integrations, legal practice management, or automated payments, contact our expert team today. AbacusNext offers SaaS, remote desktop, and virtual application support for law firms of all sizes – no IT team required