The legal profession is seemingly timeless. From Ancient Greece to the modern era, lawyers have operated in roughly the same capacity. While the laws have changed a lot in the past two thousand years, lawyers have remained a critical component of any system that claims to follow the rule of law.
With this in mind, it’s easy to think law firms are not under pressure to adopt new technologies. For instance, the duties of a trial lawyer in 2022 are practically the same as they were in 1922 and 1822. What does technology have to do with practicing law?
The answer comes down to the oath every lawyer takes. While the wording may vary, every oath emphasizes the obligation of lawyers to always act in the best interest of their clients. Those who fail to utilize technology for this purpose are essentially breaking their oath.
The good news is that the typical law firm doesn’t need to sink a fortune into tech upgrades. Covering the basics is more than enough. With this in mind, let’s take a look at six essential technologies for modern law firms:
Virtual Answering Service
Leads mean everything to law firms. Potential clients will not hesitate to go elsewhere if they’re unable to reach your receptionist and book an appointment. The solution is to use a reputable external answering service for lawyers and law firms. These services specialize in providing additional customer support during peak business hours as well as when the office is closed. It’s a cost-effective way for law firms to maximize their lead conversions.
Video Conferencing Tools
Originally meant as a way for the courts to function during a global pandemic, video conferencing has now become a standard way to hold preliminary hearings and other pre-trial meetings and conferences. As a result, law firms need a dedicated video conferencing setup in their office. The preferred setup includes a ring light, dedicated web camera, and external microphone, along with whichever video conference software is preferred by the court. While you might be thinking this can all be done with a laptop, the video and audio quality are often substandard. To present yourself as a top legal professional, you need to make sure the image and sound are top-notch.
All-in-One Business-Grade Printer
Documents are a critical component of the legal profession and justice system. While the rest of the world has mostly moved on from paper, hard copies remain essential when negotiating settlements and going to trial. Signatures, notarization, and confidentiality are just some of the reasons why legal professionals still rely on paper documents. With this in mind, it’s important for law firms to have a reliable all-in-one printer that also copies and scans. Canon office copiers are a widely used option and can help law firms by providing fast and reliable printing, copying, and scanning capabilities. They can also help to reduce paper usage by allowing users to save and store documents digitally, rather than printing multiple copies of physical documents. Printers should be reliable in law firms as they are highly used.
Furthermore, it should be a business-grade printer, like the ones you saw when walking by the teacher’s lounge in school. Xerox remains the gold standard, followed by Lexmark, Epson, and Toshiba.
What happens when the attorney-client privilege is threatened by hackers and other cybercriminals? It depends on the situation, but chances are it means a major mess to clean up as well as fines and litigation. The easiest way to avoid this is to invest in top-notch cybersecurity. By making it practically impossible for unauthorized users to gain access to digital files, you remove the potential threat of having your client’s data made public.
Many lawyers find themselves in need of photographic or video evidence that helps prove their argument in court. More times than not, it’s a simple matter of sending someone out to snap photos or capture video of a location. Whether it’s evidence of property damage or the site of a major car accident, you don’t want blurry or grainy images and footage. You want high-resolution proof. This means having one or more professional-grade digital cameras in your office. They may only be used once or twice a year, but when it happens, you’ll be glad the results are vivid and lifelike as opposed to washed out and ambiguous.
Practice Management Software
Practically every business enterprise on the planet uses some form of management software to help keep things running smoothly. A law firm should be no exception. Referred to as practice management software, this tech asset gives law firms the tools and resources needed to keep finances organized, client data secure, and staff productive.
Law might be an ancient construct, but modern-day lawyers need state-of-the-art technology. The failure to use tech to your advantage will allow your competitors to step in and steal business. With this in mind, it’s worth every penny.