There is always information being collected and shared at a law firm.
Files go between employees all over the Wellington and Wairarapa region, and the world, back and forth among clients, too, and these can contain critical data. One mistake could cost your firm money – and its reputation. Workflow automation technology tackles document sharing and data collection to offer several benefits.
#1 Improved accuracy
Collecting information using workflow automation saves menial tasks, and more importantly – time! The client entering the data saves the paralegal manually, keying it in from a paper form. This also cuts the back and forth over email or time spent on phone calls confirming intake details. Plus, there is less risk of a mistake in the data entry.
#2 Greater productivity
Software such as Power Automate & Power BI, help to notify the lawyer or associate a document is ready for review. The firm can even set up reminders to ensure timely document processing and to ensure they are following the firms policies and procedures. The software may integrate with billable hours tracking to enhance time-spent analysis.
#3 Enhanced customer satisfaction
We’re in a digital age, no matter how much heritage you have in your Northland firm, clients are always keen to save time, and make sure the job is done right, so they do tend to want to take advantage of digital signing options. For example, Adobe Sign and DocuSign integrate with many different software packages. Clients appreciate uploading documents to cloud storage (such as Dropbox or OneDrive) from the comfort of their own homes.
#4 Freedom from the humdrum
No one becomes a lawyer to push paper. With the right automation tools, lawyers can use technology to:
- start document requests;
- obtain internal approval;
- document dates, signatures, and other information receipt;
- organize finalized documents.
Workflow software configurations set conditions to trigger the next action. For example, if the firm is trying to collect prospective client details or if someone signs up for the firm’s newsletter, their email address is automatically added to an Excel spreadsheet.
#5 Collaboration and Mobility
Moving document workflow to the cloud supports improved collaboration. With more people working remotely, sharing information online is beneficial. With many tools, people can work together in real-time online. Even those back in the office enjoy keeping up with case documents and communications on the go. With cloud software, staff and clients can stay involved from any mobile device. Microsoft 365 with Teams and SharePoint has great advantages in this area.
#6 Added security
A law firm relying on paper documents risks all its institutional history going up in flames, or being destroyed in flooding or another extreme weather event. Workflow automation digitizes documents and provides an online backup of the information. It’s still a good idea to have another backup, though, and we recommend keeping a cloud backup and an offsite physical backup.
#7 Cost savings
Workflow software handles administrative tasks more accurately and efficiently, which can mean hiring fewer admin personnel. Plus, with digital documentation, think of the file storage space you’ll no longer need. You might be able to add some offices or meeting rooms, or cut your real estate and off-site document storage budget.
IT Automation Support
Workflow automation is available to any law firm. You can start out with Microsoft Forms or Google Forms, and DocuSign or Dropbox. Intermediate automation tools such as Zapier and IFTTT take it up a notch. Or you can invest in the workflow automation software targeting law firm management.