The legal profession would be nothing without access to information. So much of being a lawyer, or working in a law firm, is researching, writing, and communicating. And all of that can be achieved better if you have the right tools for the job. Yet, in the world of tech, lawyers often fall behind because of tradition or culture or “that’s just the way it’s always been done.”
But the truth is that “the way it’s always been done” is not the way it’s going to be done anymore. To stay relevant and to thrive in the current legal profession, lawyers’ tools must meet the needs of the client, the courts, and the firm.
And whether that refers to billing software, client communication, productivity tools, or cloud-based practice management software, the answer to the question of “What technology do lawyers use?” is growing rapidly. There are tons of legal tool examples, and there will only be more of them as the firm moves into the future.
So what do lawyers in tech use? Here are seven digital tools that law firms are using to be more productive and current.
For document sharing, there is nothing that compares to Dropbox in terms of convenience and security. Using cloud-based technologies is more prevalent than ever in law firms, and while there are some people who prefer Google Drive, Dropbox has the universality and security that can’t be beaten by other document-sharing platforms.
Dropbox doesn’t require you to pay for their service (though there is a memory limit you need to be aware of for the free service) but there is likewise no cost to the person you’re sending documents to.
It’s long past time for lawyers to get everything on the cloud, because the time when we worried about the security of the cloud has been surpassed and now we worry about the security of NOT being on the cloud.
So much that takes place in the administrative bounds of a law firm requires scanning paper documents to digital, and unless you’re in the paralegal’s office with a large-format scanner at the ready, you need an app on your phone for scanning. Whether we’re talking about legal documents or receipts, everything can be scanned and stored effectively using Evernote. This app, which works for a small fee, can scan any document with the camera on your smartphone and organize your documents.
Managing paperwork in a law firm is half the job, but it doesn’t need to be onerous and troublesome if you can use a document automation tool like Clio Manage. Clio offers a wide variety of law office tech solutions, but one of their best is this program which streamlines document creation using information that you’ve already generated, like dates and contact information, to populate forms for you. You can use Clio to safely store these documents, as well as edit and organize them.
This eDiscovery tool makes the discovery process, which can be endlessly tedious, fast, and efficient. It automates thousands of steps that were previously manual, and gives you options for filtering, all of which will save your law practice time and effort. Saving time with client information when combing through intellectual property, communications, dry files, and an endless amount of other documents will be a lifesaver.
Legal research makes your legal service world go round, but if you can’t do this research quickly, efficiently, and thoroughly, you’re going to lose out on valuable opportunities. Fastcase has one of the largest online law libraries in the world, which gives you access to case law, statutes, regulations, and more.