Report management tools are just as important as practice management platforms.
Attorneys do much of their work outside the courtroom and as technology advances so too do their methods of working. Technology can greatly assist attorneys in doing research, trial preparatory work and post-trial tasks. Here are six technological tools every lawyer needs to know about.
1. Distributed Tracing Platforms
Distributed tracing platforms help you maintain your firm’s observability strategy. It handles tasks such as collecting, tracking and monitoring data. It also helps you better observe and analyze the data. This type of platform is used for internal purposes, observing requests, operations, processes and errors as they move through your system so you can determine the sources or causes of various performance issues and errors.
2. Document Management Software
Law firms and self-employed lawyers process and manage paperwork quite often. Processing and managing paperwork are some of the most important aspects of practicing law. Prior to the advancement of the internet, processing paperwork could be time-consuming. With modern technology, you can automate and streamline much of your paperwork management. You should look for document management software specific to legal documentation because those are the tools that will provide you with the features you need to handle your paperwork appropriately. Such tools include legal documentation templates, editing applications and file storage and organization.
3. Practice Management Platforms
There is management software available specifically for legal practices. This type of management software is an important investment for firms of all sizes and solo attorneys alike. There are both on-premise and cloud-based options, but as remote work becomes more common, cloud-based practice management platforms are becoming more common. These platforms assist lawyers and law firms in running and managing their work and processes no matter how complex they are by organizing and streamlining them.
4. Report Management Tools
Report management tools are just as important as practice management platforms. These tools differ from document management software in that they’re specifically developed to manage reports, not all types of legal paperwork. Reports are some of the most important pieces of legal documentation, but they’re also some of the most time-consuming tasks, the processing of which can significantly affect your billable hours. If you use a report management tool, you can make your report drafting, production and reviewing processes much more efficient. These tools are also likely to improve the quality and accuracy of your work by reducing the likelihood of human error.
5. Legal Research System
A legal research system is essential for all attorneys. These systems are connected to vast databases of legal knowledge and research that you can access to streamline and bolster your own research. They include access to various legal decisions, historical and modern legal documents, law library catalogs and other important information. Using them can greatly increase your research efficiency and the comprehensiveness of your information. Legal research systems come in various online forms, including free versions and subscription-based services. One of the largest and most popular is Fastcase, but there are many options for you to choose from. Some are more comprehensive and varied while others are focused on specific types of law or documents.
6. Client Management Software
It’s also a good idea to invest in client management software. While it’s not quite as common as other tools yet, it can be very helpful, particularly to those who have many clients. This software can manage your client relationships, store and organize the documentation you keep for your clients and assist you in taking notes on clients’ cases. You may also choose tools that allow your clients to contact you or schedule appointments online via a portal. This can help you streamline communication with your clients and keep it well-organized.
When it comes to tools for attorneys, there are many that can and should be used by all attorneys. Others may only be applicable to your work depending on the type of law you practice and the size of the practice where you’re employed.