Family lawyers can improve their well-being by implementing processes that automate manual tasks that they handle each day within their practices.
By Scott Classen, Marketing Director
Wellness is an ongoing issue within the legal community. Family lawyers notoriously work too much and rest too little, so it’s vitally important to find strategies that lighten your workload without sacrificing client services or law firm profits.
Manual processes keep legal professionals working harder than necessary – yet many attorneys fail to see the value in automation. Systematic changes can make your day more productive and efficient, positively impacting your physical and mental well-being.
Below are some tips for reducing the amount of manual work you take on within your legal practice. Think about implementing some of these approaches to improve your well-being.
You Can Improve Family Lawyer Well-Being by Embracing Automation
While some attorneys resist automation and the use of artificial intelligence (AI), these technical innovations can actually increase the efficiency and productivity of your legal practice. By automating the least profitable and most tedious tasks, you can free up time for rainmaking, providing quality legal services, and getting some much-needed sleep. You can even increase your firm’s profitability with reduced overhead expenses.
Some common family law firm processes should may be automated include:
- Time and expense entries
- Client intake processes
- Billing coding, like UTMBS (Uniform Task Based Management System) or LEDES (Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard)
- Firm budgeting
- Document review
- Invoice submissions
- File format conversions.
Utilizing the Right Cloud-Based Applications can Help to Improve Family Lawyer Well-Being
Cloud-based applications provide valuable tools for automation and more free time. Just think about the convenience of accessing client files and data from any place and at any time. This level of mobility opens up a world of greater productivity, immediately impacting the efficiency of your law firm staff, as well as their overall job satisfaction. It centralizes your firm’s workload by creating an environment where data flows freely. From firm partners to associates and administrative assistants, cloud-based software promotes wellness throughout the practice.
Let’s look at an example. The manual process of converting a file into LEDES format by hand and then walking it to the right location is time-consuming and therefore expensive. With a cloud-based application, these conversions (and the delivery) can be handled quickly and effectively, freeing up time for the tasks that bring more money into the firm.
A cloud-based time-tracking and billing software designed for the legal profession transforms the way you handle key tasks within your firm. As a result, you and your employees spend less time handling tedious administrative tasks.
Saving time within your legal practice is completely doable with the adoption of automation applications. Imagine how many headaches you could avoid with an application that handles expense entries, budgets, or monthly billing! How about automating your client interviews to screen prospects quicker and easier or using an app to guide greater revenue generation?
Now imagine the benefit of having all of these applications integrated with your current practice management or legal billing system. A game-changer, right? By automating those mundane daily processes, you can clearly add value to your law practice while improving family lawyer well-being.
Lift the Burden of Manual Processes from your Staff
What if I told that one of your firm’s biggest automated value-adds is already sitting right in your office? Law firms frequently overlook the valuable resource they have in their staff members. These employees are often inundated with manual processes that bog them down and stifle their creativity. By inspiring innovative changes and providing training in new technologies, you can encourage staff members to think outside the box and share their ideas.
Inspired employees are happy employees, and happy employees are productive employees. According to the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index, happy employees take fewer sick days than their unhappy counterparts – an average of 15 fewer sick days a year! They also tend to have better immune systems, which allows them to cope better with the inevitable office viruses that make the rounds during cold and flu season.
So give your staff the tools they need to automate their everyday tasks. The benefits will be swift and extensive – including greater efficiency and talent retention because valued employees are less likely to leave and take their talents elsewhere.
How to Implement Automation
Virtually everything you and your staff does several times each day or each week can be automated. While large legal projects like document review and trial preparation are commonly identified for automation, you shouldn’t overlook smaller tasks.
To start the automation process, start by identifying the tasks you find yourself repeatedly handling. Three areas of legal practice that are almost always ripe for automation include:
- Emails –Why are you wasting time writing the same email over and over again? Automated email responders allow you to easily respond to common client inquiries without having to spend time repeatedly drafting responses.
- Documents –Whether you draft a contract or a pleading, make sure that you save every written document into a document database. You can either repurpose the entire document or turn it into a fillable form saved in a form library. That way, when someone new walks in the door needing a contract that you have created more times than you can count, you can simply fill in the form and provide them with a customized contract – in a fraction of the time.
- Scheduling –How much time have you or your administrative assistant spent trying to coordinate a settlement conference or mediation? There are several applications on the market that can automate this process for you. These products create a poll for all parties to provide their availability and then come up with a winning day and time that is synced with your calendar. Even client scheduling can be automated with a calendar application on your website. Your clients can book an appointment with you without you having to spend a single minute of unnecessary time.
Automating Repetitive Work Will Improve Family Lawyer Well-Being – and Law Firm ROI
If done correctly, automation provides law firms with a substantial return on investment – both financially and in relation to attorney well-being. These innovations allow you to manage time spent on administrative matters while freeing up time to focus on more complex money-making issues, or to simply relax.
By automating the repetitive work in your office, you can accomplish your list of tasks faster, cheaper, and even better. But even more importantly, you can use these innovations to promote your own health and well-being.
Scott Clasen oversees all aspects of TimeSolv’s marketing efforts. With 20+ years of marketing experience, he has seen the full transition to the digital age. To learn more about automating your law firm tasks with TimeSolv, click here for a free trial: apps.timesolv.com/App/Registration
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I like that you mentioned that you can help your family lawyer by letting them use automation. I’ve been going through the beginning stages of a divorce and have been trying to find a good family lawyer. Maybe I should find one that can help make their work go along faster with an automated workflow.
Seek a Family Law Specialist on your State Bar Association website. Don’t worry about inner office processes. Focus on an attorney able to answer your questions, whom you’ll trust to guide you through the ordeals of divorce.
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