Pivoting to the Practice of Virtual Law
The law profession has been slow to embrace virtual work. It’s a people-oriented business, and there is great reliance on sensitive files and court documents, yet the pandemic pushed lawyers – and the rest of us – to embrace more digital technology.
Sure, lawyers were using mobile devices before. They worked in satellite offices, on-site with clients, or from home. Still, the profession’s traditionalists were loathing putting paperwork online or meeting virtually. Now they have to do so.
In the United States, 70–90% of firms surveyed by the American Bar Association still used traditional offices in 2019. By early April 2020, 48% were working online, and a further 40% were doing a hybrid of on-site and remote.
While many are eager to get back to the office, digital transformation has still taken hold. Let’s discuss the digital technology available to law firms today.
Digital Technology in the Law Firm
Digitizing documents and uploading them to case and practice management software has many benefits. The law firm gains:
- collaborative access;
- streamlined process;
- improved productivity;
- storage space previously wasted on boxes of file folders;
- greater flexibility of interactions with clients familiar with digital upload of documentation;
- peace of mind data backup is available;
- centralized systems.
The software also adds a layer of accountability, as firm leaders or administrators can see who is accessing what and when. This enables better measurement of productivity and billable hours.
Clients also enjoy not having to leave home and find parking to drop off documents. Paperless transactions can speed the process on both sides, especially with virtual forms collecting data. This also avoids the inaccuracies that can come from manual data entry.
Another significant development for the virtual law firm? Relying on c