11 March 2019ammad sheikh
Every day, law firms repeat many processes over and over. For example, intakes staff receive calls from prospects, who must be vetted before they can be brought on as clients. Once a matter is created, the legal team goes through routine steps to prepare basic pleadings to commence the matter. And, along the way, they draft discovery requests and prepare subpoenas designed to collect documents for discovery in these matters.
But all too often, lawyers and their teams are spinning the hamster wheel on these lower-end, repetitive tasks instead of on higher-end aspects of case management, including analyzing the law, determining case strategy, and preparing for trial.
This is where automation comes in. Legal process automation takes away painfully boring yet often mistake-prone manual human tasks with consistent, repeatable processes.
Creating an automated, streamlined workflow for matter intake and creation can save law firms significant amounts of money as well as improve consistency, reducing the likelihood of errors that can lead to disgruntled clients.
Here are two examples of how automation is revolutionizing law firm operations.
Automating and streamlining client intake
Without a consistent intake process, law firms might turn away potentially lucrative cases or take on inappropriate cases that might drain their resources with little in return. Information might be recorded on slips of paper or post-its that never reach the legal team assigned to bring the client on board. And intake information may not make its way to a lawyer until after the prospect has already reached out to—and possibly retained—other attorneys.
But an automated, dynamic intake questionnaires can make sure that the intake staff gathers the right information—the first time—to help lawyers make better decisions and sign up higher-quality leads quickly and painlessly. The best tools allow law firms to create a customized path of questions relevant to their practice area, so lawyers have all the information they need at their fingertips, equipping them for success. They also can help ensure that a firm’s first contact with clients is as professional as possible.
Creating matter plans
While no two matters are ever the same, many have overlapping tasks. For instance, every new matter requires a complaint and discovery. But most law firms don’t have a process in place that provides a consistent blueprint for each of the steps, so there’s no guarantee that tasks won’t fall through the cracks or that key deadlines won’t be overlooked.
But with an automated case management tool, as soon as a new matter is opened, it’s prepopulated with a series of tasks and events, called a matter plan. These tasks and due dates can be assigned to team members and can be monitored to ensure that the case stays on track and that the team remains in sync. Automated matter plans can help organize the workflow of a firm’s tasks, processes, and teams, avoiding missteps that may derail a case.
If your law firm is struggling to stay on top of its manual processes for client intake and matter management, it’s time for a change. Let’s chat about how Litify’s legal process automation solutions can help your law firm save time and money.