What Does Digitising Legal Processes Look Like?
Through all its challenges, what COVID19 has done is highlight the need for law firms to be flexible and find alternative ways to deliver legal services.
So, what does digitising your legal processes means? Simply put, it means that you’re finding digital ways of completing tasks and processes that were previously paper based.
Challenges to digitisation in Law Firms?
Before we can even talk about how to digitise, we need to understand the typical challenges faced by law firms, these challenges can be categorised under the following, People, Processes, Technology and Costs. Here is a quick summary of them:
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to the digitisation of law firms speaks to legacy systems that people follow and because of this, changing people and how they work becomes a challenge.
Understanding how people behave and work and being able to create systems and technologies that are in line with that process can be incredibly difficult.
- No standard processes and procedures: Because of how lawyers work, it makes it quite difficult to have a standardised set of processes and procedures, which ultimately can make automating legal processes possible.
- No systems and tools: Because of non-standardised processes and procedures, getting systems and tools to support can become a difficult task.
- Unstructured data, hardcopy data and legacy data: The way in which data is kept continues to be challenging and it is usually decentralised and in different formats, across different machines in a law firm.
- Insufficient financial resources: There is a cost associated with digitisation and often, it is the costs that prevent most law firms from adopting legal technology tools.
Lessons can be taken from how inhouse legal teams operate. Taking processes, the in-house team perform into law firm structures can both accelerate the process and efficiency of the internal workload.
The challenges to maintaining and operating effectively with old paper-based systems need to be addressed from within the business first to adapt a more agile approach before bringing in new technological advancements. This means that lawyers first need to understand the Business of Law.
How to digitise using Practice Manager Pro
At a very basic level, this step involves digitising your records and core processes – client intake, drafting, for example. This, on its own, will offer significant time and cost saving advantages. The scope for automation, however, goes far beyond this. Basic legal automation processes can now reduce need for manual input in a variety of ways, particularly with our Practice Management Pro solution:
Consider automation of manual processes a baseline level of legal digitisation. On-the-market solutions can stretch far beyond it, and this trend is only going to accelerate as time goes on.
With Practice Manager Pro, If managed well, digitising legal processes in your law firm offers these key immediate advantages, some of which include, keeping you compliant, e.g. for FICA, Trust Accounting, etc, amongst others include:
Digitising your records into an easily searchable database, or automation of repetitive manual processes like legal billing, allows you to complete your work quicker, remove bottlenecks and hit tighter deadlines.
Digitization reduces labour costs associated with manual processes. You can reinvest the money you save into your competitive assets rather than pouring it into non-beneficial cost centres. You can also pass these cost savings onto your clients by offering a more competitive price point for your services.
Reducing human error:
In fields like compliance, where regulations differ across different departments, boarders, etc the risk of human error is high and the legal consequences potentially serious. Digital solutions reduce this risk considerably.
A better customer experience:
Digitising your legal processes brings your customer experience in line with the fast, seamless experience customers demand from their service providers in other industries.