Top tech tools for lawyers
- July 11, 2017
Whether you’ve been in the legal field for one year or for 25, you’ll know the value of being organised. However, in the modern ‘information overload’ world that we all live in, it can be challenging to remain on top of things. There are myriad different apps and programmes you can use to help organise your life and get ahead from your competition, however even cutting through the noise and working out what works and what doesn’t can be a major challenge. So what are the top tech tools for lawyers and how can they benefit your career?
Only the most technologically illiterate are likely to have not heard of Dropbox, the most advanced and robust file storage tool out there. As lawyers, you’ll be well aware that your existing storage space on your phone, tablet or desktop can get filled quickly with all the documents that you’re sent on a daily basis, and using a programme like Dropbox can provide extra storage as well as helping you to remain organised. It’s also a useful – and secure – tool for exchanging information online with your clients and colleagues.
There are plenty of different types of practice management software out there, some of which are suited to firms of a certain size or specialism. However, it’s probably fair to say that the most widely effective platform is MerusCase, a tool that lets you manage and automate your cases, communication, calendar, court forms, templates and case files. And as the programme is cloud-based one of the main benefits is that everything is one place. It’s advisable to do your homework as different programmes will suit different firms and individuals, however it’s likely you’ll find that adopting the software will make you more organised and your files safer.
Ensuring your data is secure should be an absolute priority, particularly with the spate of high profile hacks taking place in recent months. If organisations with the resources of the likes of Sony, Google and IHG haven’t been able to stop hackers, then the average legal firm doesn’t stand much chance, unless that is, it invests heavily in its online defences. However, most companies still have their head in the sand when it comes to data security, and it’s often down to the individual to ensure that they remain safe when operating online. Almost every app or programme requires a password of some sort and the ever growing list of phrases with or without a grammatical symbol, number or capital letter can be hard to keep up with. By far and away the best product is Lastpass as this means you need to remember just one password. It also offers a safe and secure place to store login and credit card details, for example.
As you’ll all be only too aware, one of the more time consuming aspects of the average lawyer’s role is research. However, that’s about to change as there are now two tools which look set to shake up the status quo in the legal industry. The first is Casetext, which contains a programme called Cara that finds relevant case law files for lawyers who upload legal documents, allowing them to get the exact cases they need. And the second is Ravel Law, which gives lawyers insights into how judges have ruled on previous cases, allowing professionals to tailor their preparations ahead of their cases, both of which can potentially save you a huge amount of time.
Don’t laugh, it is possible to achieve a work/life balance when working in the legal sector. Obviously, a lot of the pressure is out of your hands, however creating boundaries is an effective way of regaining control. By using Google Voice to separate your phone lines – for free – you can set up a separate number for your firm on your mobile and restrict its hours, meaning the days of late night calls will be a thing of the past. It also means that clients can call or text you without reaching you on your personal number or pursuing you when you’re busy. You can even read transcribed voicemails and text messages when you’re in court and, as if that wasn’t enough, there’s also an automatic timing function so you can bill clients accordingly.
Ignore the reports, technology is here to help make our jobs easier, rather than stealing them from us. If you’d like to speak to our expert team about their favourite tech tools for lawyers then get in touch now.
What are your favourite tech tools for lawyers?