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How Tech-Savvy Should Your Lawyer Be?

Posted on February 25, 2020 in Firm News

Ask These 4 Questions to Find the Best and Most Technologically-Competent Personal Injury Firm

Dropped calls, missed deadlines, lost files. When lawyers make mistakes, their clients suffer the most.

What clients might not realize is that these mistakes are often due to the lack or misuse of technology. Perhaps in the past, a good lawyer needed only a pen and a set of law books—but as their work grows more complex, modern lawyers must equip themselves to meet modern needs.

Good lawyers don’t have to be computer engineers—but they must be comfortable and familiar with technology. Competence in technology will help them manage their files, meet their deadlines, and communicate well with their clients.

Before deciding which lawyer will represent you, make sure they are using the technology that will help them win your case. Here are 4 questions you can ask to see if their office is up to speed:

Does your office use legal case management software?

Like an architect needs blueprints, lawyers need tools to help them organize and manage their workload. Case management software helps them securely store their files, track upcoming deadlines, and manage their finances. It ensures that nothing falls through the cracks.

Lawyers with modern case management software are more efficient, allowing them to move cases forward faster and with fewer mistakes.

Can you text me?

One of the most common ways that law firms frustrate their clients is through failing to communicate. Clients feel left in the dark, while their calls go unanswered for weeks. Personal injury plaintiffs seek out lawyers because they have been harmed, but the lack of communication only causes them more pain and anxiety.

The best personal injury law firms will provide frequent updates and quick responses. They will use whichever secure method of communication is easiest for their clients—for many people, this means texting

For the majority of Americans, texting is the preferred form of telecommunication. And yet the majority of law firms don’t have the ability to text their clients. While some lawyers will use their cell phones to text, others invest in technology that lets clients text directly into their case files. This ensures that all your communication is quickly answered and securely saved in your case notes.

Ask whether your lawyer and their staff will communicate with you in your preferred manner, whether it’s texting or some other form of communication. Their answer will help you see whether they’re willing to go the extra mile to keep you informed.

Are you on the cloud?

Every time you watch Netflix instead of buying the DVD, you’re relying on the cloud. For businesses, cloud computing has opened new levels of efficiency and productivity.

Despite the widespread benefits, lawyers have been slow to take advantage of this technology. Lawyers who use the cloud can easily share information and collaborate with their staff. Cloud storage allows them to practice from anywhere, meaning they can visit clients at their homes and access all their case files on one device. While in court, they have all their documents at their fingertips. Even if your lawyer is on a trip far from their office, cloud computing means they can still answer your questions and move your case forward.

Beyond that, cloud storage helps guarantee the safety of your information. Modern cloud applications have the highest standards of information security, keeping your data safer than it would be on a personal server or in a filing cabinet. It’s also protected from disaster—while a small fire could ruin a filing cabinet or local server, documents saved on the cloud remain available through the worst-case scenario.

If you want to understand whether your potential lawyer is technologically competent, ask how they use cloud computing. Tech-savvy lawyers will be better equipped to manage your sensitive information. Those who are tied to a clunky and inefficient process often create more roadblocks for their clients.

How much does your office depend on paper?

Does the firm print out every email and store it in a massive filing cabinet? Do they have to carry a huge briefcase full of files wherever they go? Are they rifling through stacks of paper to find some misplaced documents?

Relying too much on paper is clearly bad for forests—but it can also cause damage to clients. Paper-heavy law firms move slowly and are more prone to make mistakes. They spend more time searching for or recreating documents. One misfiled or lost document could spell disaster for your case.

Tech-savvy lawyers digitize their case files. They can easily find what they need, quickly update documents, and share and collaborate with their legal team.

To find a lawyer who is keeping up with technology, ask about their use of paper. If they’re moving beyond the dusty filing cabinet, they’re more likely to move your case forward efficiently.

At Filevine, we enjoy partnering with tech-savvy firms like Claggett & Sykes Law Firm. We’re excited by the ways they’re constantly learning new technologies, growing their skills, and finding new ways to better serve their clients.

Katie Wolf is a writer at Filevine, the operating core for legal professionals. Filevine’s technology helps firms get more done with less effort and frees them to focus fully on the needs of their clients.