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Technology can either be frustrating or the best thing ever.
Utilizing the right tech stack can save time, increase profits, and improve your quality of life.
A new generation of young lawyers is leading the movement towards working smarter, not harder. I’m pleased to have a friend and legal technology entrepreneur Mat Rotenberg on share his list of the best apps for attorneys.
Mat Rotenberg is the CEO & Co-Founder at Dashboard Legal which is a productivity software that simplifies workflows and brings teams together in powerful tailored workspaces for busy lawyers.
It’s no surprise that apps for lawyers across various sectors, from marketing, engineering, banking, and other fields have all exploded in sales.
And for firms seeking ideas to stay ahead of the curve? Below are the best apps for lawyers worth incorporating into your law firms so you can focus on helping your clients with their cases.
For more, check out Mat’s appearance on “The Optimized Law Firm Podcast“.
Communication Apps for Lawyers
According to IBM, the global mobile workforce is expected to reach 1.87 billion workers by 2021. This means that office workers are no longer confined to their desks and can work anywhere with an internet connection or WiFi hotspot (provided they have laptops).
The problem is in-office communication doesn’t account for when people aren’t at their desks.
Enter group chat: it offers a better way to communicate internally regardless if you’re on your desktop computer, tablet device, or smartphone! In addition, group chats allow employees across different working hours to collaborate more efficiently than email threads.
Arguably the best free group chat app for lawyers is Slack. You can create “Workspaces” for different departments in your firms and organize groups into different channels. This way, you can communicate with the right people one at a time.
Slack also integrates with third-party apps for lawyers and law firms so you can collaborate on documents and files saved in cloud-based tools like Google Drive and Dropbox with other lawyers in your law firm.
Finally, you can access group chats and messages on your mobile device. This way, you can stay updated with any developments across different departments in your legal research whenever and wherever you are on iOS and Android.
Organization Apps for Lawyers
Since working away from the office has become the norm nowadays, your firm needs to adapt to operate more efficiently.
Therefore, instead of using an outdated management system for working on clients and storing important data for your case, you can use a project management tool software instead.
Legal apps like Asana, Notion, and Basecamp provide lawyers with flexible workspaces for tracking responsibilities, deadlines, and documents.
You can assign the right people to specific tasks and set deadlines for each. From here, you can leave comments on the tasks for revisions, reminders, and other things everybody involved in the tasks needs to know.
Some apps for lawyers have a time-tracking feature that lets you keep track of the hours for your client so you can bill each one the correct amount. Just record before you start working and let it compute the hours for you – no need to guess how much time you spent on the task! You can even break down the hours spent on each task for full transparency to your clients.
Lastly, each tool has its respective mobile apps available so you can keep in touch with the latest developments and changes with your project.
Email Apps for Lawyers
Managing your inbox can be one of the biggest time sinks among lawyers. With an average of five hours a day checking emails, you must find a way to organize and reply to your emails more efficiently.
For starters, Gmail Tags and Outlook Rules allow you to manage email into tags. Just create a tag related to work and label emails into their corresponding tags.
Therefore, every time you received emails from addresses labeled in a tag, you will see all their messages under the same tag. And by clicking on the tags while at work, you can save yourself time from scrolling all over your inbox for emails you may have missed.
Aside from both apps for lawyers, powerful email clients like Superhuman, Frontapp, and Dashboard Legal increase email organization even further to help you save more time.
They help reimagine the look of your email similar to a Gantt chart to help you find what you’re looking for faster. The above tools also have a built-in CRM feature where you can profile leads and clients and identify which level they are in your sales funnel. This allows you to understand your target audience better and close more deals moving forward.
Video Apps for Lawyers
Instead of sending email outreach to communicate with clients and prospects, try sending videos instead. By including a video of yourself in the email, you can potentially increase your open rates by 300%.
Recording a short video from your browser using Loom talking to prospects paves the way to a more personable and engaging approach to your outreach campaign.
Also, videos allow you to show your team members how something is done concerning a specific task. Instead of talking about how to do it, you can record yourself doing the legal research or using online software so everything’s clear to them.
Annotation Apps for Lawyers
With the many things you’re juggling at the same time as a lawyer, it’s easy to forget the email you sent your client this morning or the resource you shared with your team a few hours ago.
In this case, you need an app to help keep track of what you’re doing during the day. An example app for this is Evernote.
In particular, its Web Clipper app and browser extension let you save everything to your Evernote account so nothing gets past you. Whether these are web pages, images, documents, and videos that you want to show to your client later in person, the app won’t let you forget.
However, Evernote is primarily used as a note-taking app. You can organize projects into notebooks and create notes in each like you would a document file. It’s a great tool for taking notes using your keypad, voice, or sketch.
Client Facing Applications
Let’s face it: your clients have been raised in the age of Amazon, so they expect a “consumer-like” experience with everything that they do.
Unfortunately for them, this doesn’t always happen when working with attorneys – but there are ways to make things more seamless and enjoyable!
Similar to PM platforms above, practice management software Smokeball lets you track billable hours to clients. You can also monitor how people in your law firm are spending their time to help you better understand your firm’s profitability.
Smokeball has a document management feature to automatically create legal documents from over 200 matter types and 20,000 forms available. The tool will take care of populating the document with your client information to spend more time working on your cases.
There’s also DocuSign integration with the tool so you can send the document to your clients from anywhere using the mobile app. This way, clients can e-sign and send it back to you in seconds.
Finally, you can communicate directly with your clients from the platform. There won’t be any need for back-and-forth emails since you will find all messages and documents between you and clients in one place.
As lawyers, it is your sworn duty to help you client win their cases as well as running a tight ship with your law firm. And, to do that, you must refine your process of handling clients and managing your people.
With the help of the tools above, you should be able to get more things done faster, leaving you with more time to help your clients and people in your firm better!