How To Manage A Law Firm Remotely
Due to the many closures due to COVID-19, many lawyers are working remotely right now.
In this article, we will discuss a few tips on how to run your law practice from the comfort of your own home, or wherever else is convenient.
These tips we talk about will help you work smarter, not harder, while working remotely during this stretch.
Fortunately, technology has leveled the playing field for all law firms to scale up and meet their client’s needs.
Working from home gives you the flexibility to work from different locations. With the latest technology, you have unlimited options.
Having a remote law firm allows you to keep working during this crisis, and it allows you to control overheads, working hours, and, most importantly, your life.
But you must know the basics.
You need to familiarize yourself with your area jurisdiction and the ethical rules.
You need to understand the local bar associations to help provide the necessary resources and assistance in running a law firm from home.
Additionally, you should create policies, draft a business plan with realistic milestones, and have an established process to run your law firm smoothly.
Without further ado, here are a few tips for running a law firm from home.
Table of Contents
- Streamline Collaboration
- Use Cloud Computing Software
- Set Clear Expectations
- Be Sure Your Staff Is Equipped For Remote Work
- Keep An Eye on Staff Productivity
- Build and Maintain an Online Presence
- Give CoCounselor A Try
A successful law firm has the necessary tools to improve your client’s experiences while making your workflow seamless.
Choosing the best tools for your law practice can be difficult.
That’s why educating yourself on the latest technology tools, and reviewing the tools available will help you select the best tools for your firm.
Using the right tools will help keep everyone in the loop.
You’ll need to invest in different law practice management software programs, like video conferencing tools.
These tools help establish an eye to eye contact that makes a significant difference in getting clients.
Investing in answering services tools and other law office virtual features will establish you as an on-demand law office.
If you’re going to work remotely, you should consider having a paperless practice for increased mobility and flexibility.
Using a web-based client portal built into legal practice management software gives your clients 24/7 access and updates about their case.
This allows for easy collaboration and communication between lawyers and clients in a more encrypted and secure environment.
Use Cloud Computing Software
Cloud computing software is a game-changer.
It helps you manage your law firm in a safe and streamlined manner from anywhere.
Cloud computing technology also enables you to have affordable access to powerful software that keeps your law firm operating virtually.
For example, you can use DocuSign to sign documents virtually.
Using DocuSign is as easy as possible, and it enables the secure signing of documents digitally. No more chasing down clients for signatures.
You can also share evidence easily and faster using services like DropBox and Google Docs for easier team collaboration.
There are also communication tools like Slack that make it easy to get everyone involved on the same page without having to schedule constant, time-consuming meetings.
All of these tools will help enhance collaboration and upend the old workflows.
Technology can also handle billing and track time to ensure that you get paid faster and keep track of your progress as the case movies along.
Most law practice management platforms have built-in billing and time-tracking software, or they will offer it as an integration.
The software helps you capture and manage all the billable time directly into the firm’s billing system.
With the software, you can enter invoices, edit them, and send them to your clients for verification and payment.
Most billing software accepts various payments. They should all accept credit cards, PayPal, and eChecks, making getting paid faster.
Set Clear Expectations With Staff and Clients
Preparing your staff and your clients for the transition from traditional law practice to remote work starts and ends with communication.
You should establish remote work expectations and procedures with staff.
They should know which virtual communication channels to use, how deliverables will be submitted, and how meetings will occur.
You should prepare your clients far ahead of time that any in-person meetings may need to be moved to video.
But don’t stop at how you will be moving to remote work.
Your staff, as well as your clients, should understand why this change is happening.
This will help make the transition that much smoother, and you gain buy-in and help your staff and clients see the transition positively.
Be Sure Your Staff Is Equipped For Remote Work
For remote work to be a reality for your law firm, your staff will need to have access to the appropriate equipment and technology.
First, be sure every attorney, paralegal, and office manager at your firm has access to a computer with reliable internet, and a telephone connection at home.
You should also set up a remote-access VPN or cloud-based practice solution that will secure access to all of your firm’s data and files.
Setting up chat and collaboration software such as Slack or Microsoft Teams for secure collaboration will make communication a breeze.
Keep An Eye on Staff Productivity
When you have to cancel in-person meetings, it’s harder to coordinate communication.
You need to be sure you aren’t wasting time while you’re at home.
- Set clear expectations for updates. Make sure you are communicating in email, phone calls, Slack, or Microsoft Teams more than usual.
- Make sure your team records their time daily. This will give you peace of mind that the business is moving forward, and it helps your team capture more time contemporaneously.
- If you have any non-billable staff, and you need to keep track of their productivity, require this staff to log calls and perform daily tasks. This enables team members to work on the most prioritized tasks and projects.
- You also need to stay on top of your work and track all of your incoming and outbound calls.
- If you’re feeling overwhelmed about finding time to answer your calls, use a virtual receptionist service to focus on casework and team management.
- Ensure that your staff retains the same standards for time and billing that they had while doing work in the office as they transition to helping clients remotely.
Build and Maintain an Online Presence
Moving to remote work requires an online presence with a strong website that outlines your services.
It might be a good idea to narrow your focus to one or two practice areas within the same related fields.
Creating a unique image and online presence to attract more clients, and narrowing your focus makes your marketing efforts more noticeable and targeted.
It’s possible and easier than ever to create an online presence through your website, social media, and networking.
When you’re creating your online presence, your website should establish an attractive and professional impression.
You don’t have a physical footprint somewhere anymore, so your website is your new storefront. It should be discoverable and welcoming online.
When you launch your website, opt for easy-to-use templates that are easy to navigate.
They should be populated with understandable and straightforward core content that is relevant and flawless.
To achieve a high ranking on Google searches for standing out from the competition, you need to generate content frequently.
You can create this content your self or you can outsource it.
No matter how your content is generated, you should always ensure you have something online that talks about your law practice.
You may also consider hiring a firm to do SEO work for your firm.
Apart from your website, social media is an essential platform for marketing for law firms.
Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook should be integrated with your website to create a stronger online presence.
To make things easier, use social media management tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to plan your content and posts.
Various online tools can help you measure your post engagements and determine what kind of content to put out.
No matter what social platform you decide to use, make sure you have a marketing strategy that will help you find and satisfy clients.
Give CoCounselor a Try
Running a law firm remote requires proper technology and an equipped staff that will provide you with a successful law practice.
Following the tips above will help you to fast track and build on your growth.
CoCounselor is excellent for law firms that have to transition to working from home.
CouCounselor is law practice management software that brings your entire business online.
CoCounselor is the only cloud-based practice management solution designed with the Personal Injury Firm in mind.
With CoCounselor, you will gain operational efficiencies, keep your entire staff on the same page, work from anywhere on any device, and build valuable dashboards and reports that will keep you updated on important deadlines and the overall health of your firm.
If you have been working remotely, and you don’t have a law practice management program, we invite you to give CoCounselor a try.
Contact us today at 404-419-7893 to get started with a demo.