Legal Technology | 4 min
October 13, 2022
Family law firms are unique because they handle some of the most sensitive and personal cases when their clients are going through a difficult time. However, ensuring that work gets done efficiently while balancing all of the needs of their firm can be a daunting task if all business functions are being completed manually. As client expectations continue to rise and competition increases, family law firms need to find ways to improve efficiency, productivity, and the quality of legal services they deliver. That's where legal technology designed for family law firms' challenges comes in. Family law technology helps these law practices modernize operations and improve overall business functions.
In this blog, we will cover what is considered family law technology and how family law firms successfully use technology in their practices.
Family law technology is any computerized system or software application specifically designed for family law matters to digitize processes for family law practices. These software solutions allow family law firms to automate and streamline their practice while improving productivity, profitability, and client satisfaction. Firms looking to embrace legal technology should look for a solution that offers a robust feature set that does not require them to invest in multiple solutions to achieve their desired outcome. Common features include:
Client intake forms
Matter creation and management
Automated legal forms
Templatized correspondence (letters and emails)
Law firm reporting
Remote accessibility and collaboration
Just like any other area of law, legal technology supports family law firms across all business functions to reduce the amount of manual work their staff needs to complete so that they can focus on better serving their clients. Additionally, they leverage technology to get a holistic view of their practice to measure the workloads of their staff members and maintain accounting compliance. Given the sensitive nature of family law cases, it also helps to add extra layers of security when cloud-based legal software is used to store, share, and manage client details, documents, and correspondence. The four core areas legal technology supports family law firms:
Document management and assembly
Communication and collaboration
Time tracking, billing, and invoicing
Let’s take a closer look at each of these functions.
When attorneys work on the same matter types, setting up new matters manually quickly becomes inefficient and takes away from time that can be spent on high-value work. Legal technology that provides pre-built matter types that include related common documents and templates can save lawyers and their support staff countless hours of tedious work. Pre-built matter types also enable the firm to scale with new clients as their workflows become streamlined, automated, and easily repeatable. In addition to automation, the right family law technology solution will enable legal professionals to access matter information, communicate with clients and internal staff, and track time related to the matter on the go. Mobile apps that mirror the desktop interface ensure that family law attorneys never miss a billable minute or fall behind on work whether, they’re in the office, at court, or on the go.
Family law attorneys spend countless hours putting together documents and forms manually, taking away from the time they could be taking on new clients and increasing the chances of clerical errors. Legal software that offers document automation with access to up-to-date forms based on the matter type and jurisdiction helps legal professionals to reduce the time spent on manual work and errors while improving client satisfaction with work completed faster and more accurately. Additionally, this helps reduce security risks as the software provides a secure, central location for all files to be stored and sent from to minimize the chance of a data breach when working on a case or sharing files with clients and third parties.
Family law matters are lengthy, complex, and sensitive, so attorneys and their clients must have clear and consistent communication through every step of the process. Traditional email and postal services do not provide the security measures required to share documents, send updates, and request information such as encryption or user permissions to control who can access data. However, great legal technology will provide one place to securely share legal documents for collaboration with the built-in comment, reply, and e-signature features. Lawyers and their clients have access to the portal to communicate and collaborate from anywhere, on any device, for timely and secure replies throughout the entire length of the matter.
For family law firms to have healthy and steady cash flow, they must implement accurate and regular billing practices. However, this cannot be achieved without instant time tracking capabilities. When lawyers and support staff do not time record in real-time, they miss out on 30% of billable time on average, which significantly impacts a firm's bottom line. Legal technology with a built-in timer that automatically logs to a timesheet removes manual estimations and allows the firm to assess firm productivity accurately. This also enables firms and their accounting staff to send out invoices more frequently instead of waiting for time records to come in when attorneys have the chance to review everything they've worked on.
Once the invoice has been created, bookkeepers can leverage technology features to send the bill out to clients with the option to send automatic payment reminders and pay online with a credit card. These options, coupled with invoices for smaller amounts, increase the chances of a family law firm receiving payment and reduces the amount of follow-up required with a client, which helps to maintain a good relationship.
The legal industry continues to embrace innovative technology solutions to modernize and improve operations, and family law firms are no exception. Family law technology supports firms in enhancing automation, productivity, and profitability across the business allowing attorneys to focus on providing high-quality legal services to their clients—especially when they utilize fully-integrated cloud solutions. LEAP is the #1 cloud-based solution for family law firms to digitize their practices to create a fully modern office.
Interested in how LEAP can support your family law firm? Schedule a demo today and see why LEAP is trusted by thousands of legal professionals worldwide.
Interested in how LEAP can support your family law firm?
Schedule a demo today and see why LEAP is trusted by thousands of legal professionals worldwide.