There’s been an incredible rise in legal technology to help attorneys optimize their workflows recently, and if you’re thinking about making the transition to a work-at-home practice, these tool can prove to be extra beneficial. Below are some tried-and-true applications that will help save you time, money, and retain more clients.
Split Your Business And Personal Phone
If you’re thinking about moving your practice into a home-office, utilizing your cell phone for business calls will give you more flexibility and freedom within your workflow. This doesn’t mean that you have to give out your personal line to every client, nor does it mean that you have to buy a second line to avoid harassment. By using tools such as MightyCall, you can create a second line for your business, and only have it available during your business hours. This way, you can ensure that you never miss a business call, even if you’re out of the office.
Another option is to hire a virtual receptionist via Ruby Receptionist. Ruby offers you an alternative to the traditional receptionist model, where you pay a small monthly subscription for all of the benefits that having a full-time receptionist would provide.
Schedule Emails Beforehand
Another aspect of your practice that will need to be considered for this transition is your email workflow. In order to keep clients from being upset at you for not responding to emails late at night when you have previously, you will have to make it clear that you only respond to your work email during business hours. With the help of Boomerang, you can draft responses to emails when you see them, and have the emails sent out during your regular business hours. This ensures that you never forget to respond to a client, and also allows you to respond to all of your emails the night before, when you have more free-time.
Take Better Notes
As a lawyer, you take a lot of notes in various settings. As a work-from-home attorney, it’s imperative that these notes don’t get lost, or worse, fall into the wrong hands. Evernote provides a secure app that syncs all of your smart devices and helps organize any notes that you may take throughout the day. Beyond it’s typical uses for lawyers, Evernote offers dozens of additional features that will help make your notetaking more efficient.
Be More Organized
Organization is necessary for any practicing attorney. Hazel is an app that makes organizing digitally-converted documents an absolute breeze. Essentially, whenever you scan a document, Hazel scrapes all of the key data and organizes it all in an easily-accessible way. This ensures that you don’t waste time looking for that important contract that’s unfortunately been titled 102134912101_3401230421_1041.jpg.
Get Your Files On The Cloud
One of the most convenient new technologies breaking ground in the legal space is the introduction of cloud computing. Beyond providing an alternative to the inconvenient and wasteful fax-and-print file transfer method, cloud computing ensures that you never lose any documents due to a crashed hard drive or stolen computer. This form of backup is absolutely essential to any attorney who is working from home, where accidents are more prone to happening. Without the server infrastructure that many larger law firms have, you’re on your own if there’s any loss of data, so be sure to protect yourself by getting on cloud software.
Is cloud computing ethical? The resounding opinion within the legal community is ‘yes,’ with reasonable care. One of the most popular tools available to lawyers is the Google Drive, but often overlooked is their terms and services, which state that anything uploaded to “The Drive” is the property of Google. A ‘safer’ list of cloud apps is available here, but be sure that you understand the terms and services completely before you risk putting confidential documents on the cloud. If you’re still concerned about security, check out Boxcryptor, which encrypts your files specifically for cloud use.
Other Resources To Help The Transition