Law Life

Tech Tools Every Lawyer Should Be Using
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As many states began requiring the closure of non-essential businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic, lawyers across the country are facing the unsettling new reality of replacing their “brick and mortar” firms with virtual ones. 

The legal industry has been slow to embrace the trend of virtualization and remote legal work due to heavy regulation, concerns over client data protection, and compliance issues. However, the new reality forced upon the legal field mandates swift accommodation. 

While many law firms struggle to grasp the concept of setting up for remote work, evolving technology provides attorneys with helpful tools so they can continue serving clients’ legal needs. 

  
What
Where


Video Conferencing 

Meeting with clients in the newfound “social distancing” era might seem like an obstacle, but thanks to immensely evolved technology you can easily do that from your living room. Enter video conferencing tools. These tools can help you have securely encrypted tête-à-tête video meetings with clients, work colleagues, co-counsel, and others. 

Zoom – A remote conferencing service that provides a secure cloud platform for audio and video chats, conferencing, collaboration, and webinars across various mobile devices, desktops, and room systems. Zoom is free for up to 100 participants and offers end-to-end encryption as a default option. 

WebEx – Another great option for secure video conferencing, cloud calling, online meetings, screen sharing, and webinars. It includes a host of features and offers various pricing levels depending on your firms’ needs. 

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Skype for Business – Included at no additional cost if your firm uses Outlook for email via Office 365 for Business Professionals. It allows video meetings with up to 250 people and meetings can be recorded. Skype does offer end-to-end encryption, but you need to enable it at the start of each video call. 

Signal – Another popular tool for video conferencing. The encrypted chat app from Open Whisper Systems, first launched on Android, has come out of beta and is now available on iOS. Video is encrypted end-to-end, so nobody can eavesdrop on your business.



Cloud-Based Law Practice Management Software 

Even though the legal world is moving to the cloud more cautiously than the rest of the business world,  recently it has become a hot topic for law firms looking to adapt to the new remote reality and to streamline their business. As cloud-based technologies have proliferated in recent years, there are a number of tools available to run every aspect of your law firm from any location. Here are some top options for cloud-based law practice management software that will help your virtual office move forward. 

MyCase – An affordable all-in-one case management software offering tools perfect for small to medium-sized law firms, MyCase promises to improve organization, increase productivity, and streamline a firm’s operations.  Customizable and user friendly, MyCase provides legal employees with a dashboard that integrates a document organizer, contacts board, case organization board, billing file, calendar, reporting organizer, expense & invoicing tools, and a message board. Attorneys and staffers can access various elements of open or closed cases, add notes, set reminders, and send invoices and emails.

CASEpeer – A customized software for personal injury law firms that want to streamline their practice from intake to settlement, CASEpeer is a comprehensive case management solution which price adjusts based on the size of your firm. It allows attorneys to track both potential and new clients and follow vital information on patient treatment status,  property damage, expert witnesses, medical bills, discovery, and accident details. CASEpeer enables personal injury attorneys to track negotiations with third parties and lienholders.

Actionstep – A specialized cloud-based legal practice management tool designed to help small and midsize law firms manage their legal documents securely. It offers a client portal that enables secure messaging with clients. The software also allows saving documents within each individual matter as opposed to saving documents separately in another folder. Actionstep provides attorneys with comprehensive solutions and the flexibility to tailor their workflows. 

Clio – The leading cloud-based LPM software and a gold standard in tracking billable hours. It allows attorneys and legal firms to handle important deadlines and manage cases and documents. Clio’s highlight feature is the list of apps that integrate seamlessly into its software. These apps allow attorneys to track time on their phones and computers without interrupting their workflow. Largely praised by attorneys and legal workers as user-friendly and highly reliable, Clio is an irreplaceable tool for many law firms. 

CosmoLex – A cloud-based LPM software with an impressive feature set that includes a full law firm accounting package. The accounting features mean you don’t have to deal with moving information to and from general accounting software packages like QuickBooks or Xero.

Online Fax Services

Now that most lawyers are working remotely, online fax services may come in handy as online faxing makes it easy to send and receive documents in digital format. Depending on the service you choose, documents can be sent and received via email, an online portal, or via a smartphone app.

 eFax – One of the first online fax services to launch. It provides annual and monthly subscription pricing starting at $16.95 per month with a $10 setup fee. This includes the ability to send 150 and receive 150 pages per month.

MetroFax – Another affordable option with a free 30-day trial and a choice of annual or monthly plans. Monthly plans start at $7.95 per month for 500 pages.

MyFax – This is a popular option for lawyers. It offers a free 30-day trial and monthly plans start at $10 per month to send 100 pages and receive 200.

SmartFax – This service has only one option: a monthly plan with a 30-day trial. The monthly plan costs $6.95 per month for 250 inbound or outbound pages.



 

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