4 Ways for Legal Departments to Leverage the Use of Technology
Law firms and legal departments may not typically have a reputation for being early adopters of technological advances. But to add value to the business, it’s important by now to be taking advantage of the time-saving, performance-enhancing software that’s readily available.
Specifically, we’re going to look at software for e-billing, matter management, e-discovery and collaboration. These are tools that allow lawyers and other key people at your business work more accurately and efficiently, focus more time and energy on high-value activities, and gain insight through data capture and analytics. Furthermore, while cost, capabilities and design obviously vary by brand and product, there most certainly are technological solutions to fit your department or organization, be it small or large, geographically concentrated or widely dispersed.
By providing a better overview of your legal expenses, along with accuracy and efficiency through automation, eBilling software can allow legal departments and organizations to save time and money, and help in-house counsel with controlling outside counsel costs. Additionally, with pre-bill information, real-time fee tracking and the powerful analytics that are available with software from a specialized company such as Busylamp, you can also gain an advantage by turning billing information into strategically important insight for future planning and management.
From solo practitioners to attorneys at multinational firms and major corporate entities,
everyone has to deal with matter management. Some software types will offer features going way beyond the essential function of managing case and client information, such as documents, calendaring, communications, and contacts. More is not always better, however: You need to define your needs and then also consider such factors as budget and ease of implementation within your current operations.
The ability to collaborate in real time, securely and efficiently, is critical. Everyday tools such as e-mail, instant messaging and even video conferencing are commonplace examples of technological collaboration. But for legal professionals, creating documents, controlling them, sharing and collaborating in a secure environment has become an important capability. Again, the key to which platform is best for you rests on your needs: what you want to be able to do, with how many parties involved, and in coordination with what other systems.
As with standard discovery, electronic discovery concerns the initial phase of litigation, which can begin even before a lawsuit has been filed and includes the gathering and sharing of relevant information and evidence. E-discovery can include a wide range of electronically stored information (ESI), including e-mails, documents, databases and websites. Across the vast amounts of accessible data, it can include analyzed data and data that is still subject to review by forensic investigators. Many types of software are available to streamline the process of locating, processing, managing and analyzing the vast amounts of data that can be considered relevant to a case these days.
Technology isn’t something for the legal profession to fear. Yes, there may be areas in which software functionality can now deliver a service quicker, cheaper, and better than a well educated, trained professional. But more than anything, the legal tech world is here developing solutions that will allow the legal profession to operate quicker, cheaper and better than before — and allow lawyers to use their training and education in a more focused, effective fashion for their clients.