In our previous blog post, we discussed the importance of technology and how it can enhance your law firm. At this point, you may be feeling ready to integrate new technologies at your practice, but you might not be sure about which one(s) to choose.
Here at Divorce Lawyers for Men, we constantly try to level up our firm by implementing new technology that benefits our legal, administrative, and marketing staff. One of our partners, Frank Morris, often says that to produce the best work, you need the best equipment. From new computers to bookkeeping software to data tracking applications, we are not afraid of welcoming modern technologies into our practice.
Still, we understand that change and new advancements are nerve-wracking or even frustrating if executed improperly. Before diving in headfirst and falling into the too-good-to-be-true trapdoor, we think it is important to do our research and ask a lot of questions. After all, as legal professionals, getting all the facts is our forte.
If you are thinking about going digital and investing in new electronics, but you are not sure about which technology to go for, here are the questions you should ask to guide your decision:
What is our goal?
What can we do to ensure our success in reaching our goal?
Recognizing your goal for the technology is crucial when exploring such unfamiliar waters. Do not waver from your goal and let it keep you accountable throughout the research and usage processes. Coming up with a plan or acknowledging how to successfully reach your goal is equally significant.
What are my law firm’s areas of opportunity?
Do I need better communication with my team?
Do I need better communication with my clients?
Does my clients’ information stay well-organized?
Is my client onboarding experience as smooth as it could be?
Is my marketing effective?
Some firms may be ready to hire a robot while others might prefer sticking to pen and paper. Wherever you land on the spectrum, take note of how you can improve. Look into new computers, software, and services that can make tasks easier. It is likely that the implementation of one technology impacts not just the legal staff, but it affects the admin and marketing teams as well. For us, technology that addresses multiple concerns at once is a huge win.
Is this new technology within my budget?
Will this new technology be worth the money?
If a service or software is expensive, is the cost worth it?
Will it help me save time, money, and sanity in the long run?
A new technological service may have grandiose promises, but this is not to say that you should totally blow your budget on a bunch of unnecessary bells and whistles. Nonetheless, investing in the future of your law firm’s productivity should certainly be at the forefront of your mind. We are more willing to spend some extra cash if it means we save money in the future.
For instance, if a technological service offers a way to both streamline client communication and improve our marketing efforts, but it is on the pricier end, we will still consider it. It could have a greater payoff that results in our staff accomplishing more.
What kind of customer service does this technology offer?
Will they help us with setting up, should we need it?
Do they provide training?
How will the company help me if I run into issues?
A new time-tracking tool or an upgrade in your video call equipment might seem great, but first investigate a brand’s reputation before going all in. You might find that they have poor reviews or a subpar track record when it comes to customer service.
If you are like us and think extensive training or highly responsive troubleshooters are vital for your staff’s success, confirm that the product/service’s company will provide that without hassle. Ensuring that your staff gets the same training is imperative for everyone utilizing it correctly and consistently across the board. Many tech companies will assign you a designated representative that is either meant to be your go-to troubleshooter or they are the middleman for connecting you to who you need to be talking to.
What security measures does this technology take?
Have they ever had security breach issues?
Does confidential information stay protected?
How does it stay protected?
Client and employee confidentiality is particularly paramount at a law firm, and an information breach is not only a huge headache, but in the worst-case scenario, it could result in being disbarred. Be prudent and guarantee that the technology’s company prioritizes vigilant security measures. Let them tell you how they protect information, so that you understand how to use the software safely. Otherwise, we think a lack of transparency regarding security is a massive red flag.
How is information stored?
Is there a cloud where all my data is saved?
Does my information ever disappear or is it always available?
Can I retrieve past information?
Some cases can span for months at a time, and that means a high accumulation of documents. If you are considering a paperless route and want to keep your files in some sort of cloud, confirm that they will be safe from time-sensitive or space-saving deletions. Some programs automatically do this for your convenience, but it quickly becomes an inconvenience when you are like us and tend to save every single record so that old data can be retrieved as necessary.
Is this integration going to be an overall net positive?
If learning this new technology is difficult, is the time and effort worth it?
Is it going to simplify problems in several areas?
Of course, anything new comes with slight disruptions to your firm’s workflow, but once everyone has adapted and the dust has settled, the integration should make everyone’s lives easier. If you think that this digital addition or new computer will cause volatile catastrophes, avoid it! Go for technology that causes a positive domino effect of improvement for legal, admin, and marketing staff.
With so many new innovations out there, choosing the right technology for your law firm can be a challenge. Such an investment is a huge decision that requires thorough consideration. However, after asking these questions, you should be able to discern whether you would like to go forward in your purchase or not. A change in your practice may cause some worry, but a modern update could be what you need to help grow your firm overall.
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Emily Nelissen is the Marketing Administrative Assistant for Morris Sockle Posadas, PLLC, an operation that includes Divorce Lawyers for Men® and Divorce Lawyers for Military. As an avid writer and digital designer, she embraces creativity and empathy when contributing to any marketing efforts.