Believe it or not, there was a time when many attorneys did not have cell phones, requiring them to use an attorney answering service. I don’t mean back in the ‘80s, when mobile phones were big, heavy, and more novelty than actual communication device. I mean since 2007, when the now-ubiquitous iPhone hit the market. That year, only about 75% of the U.S. population owned a mobile phone. As for the rest of us, well, we didn’t know what we were missing – yet.
Today, 95% of Americans have cell phones, and many companies subsidize their employees’ use of them. While mobile phones for work are now a no-brainer, innovation is happening fast. It stands to reason there may be new tools you haven’t started using yet, that could be just as revolutionary. Check out the following techniques, technologies and tools to improve efficiency and productivity. Rather than trendy gizmos that may or may not be worth the investment, these are proven to save busy attorneys valuable time.
- Use an Attorney Answering Service – Minimizing interruptions is key to maximizing productivity. By using an Attorney Answering Service to receive telephone calls on your behalf, you can stay focused on your work while maintaining positive relations with clients and potential clients. An Attorney Answering Service also saves you money you might otherwise spend on administrative staff. And, because answering and directing calls is the Attorney Answering Service’s specialty, your business benefits from every call being answered professionally according to your specific instructions. When selecting a service provider, be sure to look for the ability to make calls on your behalf and pricing plans that match your call volume patterns.
- Automate, automate, automate – Unfortunately, some of an attorney’s work involves repetitive tasks that don’t require a high level of skill or specialized knowledge. The more of these tasks you can automate, the more time you will have to practice law, enabling you to deliver maximum value to your clients. Fortunately, software exists that can do many repetitive tasks for you. These include speech recognition programs that turn your dictation into text, document automation tools designed especially for attorneys, and legal proofreading software. Look for best of breed solutions for each function, rather than one that claims to “do it all.”
- Leverage the Cloud – For inexpensive secure storage of voluminous documents, cloud-based tools can’t be beat. These solutions also offer access to documents across all types of devices, including smartphones, and the ability to share and collaborate with others in real time. Many attorneys are even launching cloud-based portals for sharing information with clients, reducing the amount of time they must personally spend on such communications.
Mobile Fact Sheet, Pew Research Center; February 5, 2018.
Why Lawyers Need to Embrace Legal Tech Tools, LawFuel Editors, www.lawfuel.org; June 26, 2018.
What’s Automation? And, Why Should I Be Using It in My Law Practice?, Heidi Alexander, Massachusetts Lawyers Journal (November/December 2016 edition).
Top Tech Tools for Solo Attorneys (Podcast), LegalTalkNetworkâ€‹.com, June 2017.