When people imagine law firms and the lawyers in them, they don’t tend to think much about the technology that actually comes in useful for them. They think about equipment and stacks of paper and expensive suits, almost as though lawyers needed nothing else to keep their business going. Perhaps that was true, once.
These days, law firms need to get engaged with technology in some capacity. The same goes for any business out there, right? If you’re starting up a law firm, or just want to know more about the inner workings of one, then take a look at this guide to the technology concerns of your average law firm!
Desktops, laptops, or tablets?
Desktop computers aren’t exactly under threat, but many newer law firms do seem to be opting for laptops, especially with how mobile lawyers often find themselves. Which, of course, raises the question: was a move from a desktop a good idea? And, given the required mobility, shouldn’t all lawyers be using tablets now? Well, desktops should certainly be mainstays of the office. If it can be afforded, then a desktop at the office and a laptop on the go is probably the best approach. As for tablets, they can be useful in some scenarios (especially reading documents on the move), but they’re not great when it comes to typing at length.
People often underestimate the importance of software to the legal industry. One thing to remember is that a lot of the software that other businesses use are also required in law firms. Good examples of this are accounting, communication, billing, and calendar software. Of course, law firms also have their own needs that can only be dealt with using pretty specific software tailored for this industry. When you think about it, the need for interactive legal accounts, practice and document management software becomes pretty clear.
Yep, just like every other business out there, social media is useful in this field, too! But it may not be quite as important as it is for other businesses. Social media is great for increasing outreach, making it an extremely useful tool when it comes to marketing. But law firms don’t tend to engage much with people unless they’re directly linked to cases or potential cases. So it’s better to take more of a marketing approach if you decide to use social media as a law firm. It’s not absolutely essential – after all, it’s worth remembering that many profitable law firms in the U.S. don’t use Twitter!
If there’s one thing that law firms should know, it’s that security is paramount. They have access to extremely sensitive data, and leaks to unauthorized individuals or even the public at large can not only severely disrupt a case, but also bring heavy and expensive legal repercussions on the firm itself. So as you consider the technology infrastructure and necessary gadgets and software for your firm, you must always keep cybersecurity firmly in mind. Only work with trusted manufacturers and developers!