Successful law firms are challenged with managing their workflow in a strategic and efficient manner. It is a grave mistake to take on client after client only to serve them in an inefficient manner that ultimately steers them toward competing law firms. However, no two law firms have exactly the same workflow management strategy. Let’s take a look at how today’s top law firms perform workflow management.
The most efficient law firms rely on a centralized platform to communicate with co-workers as well as clients. This “hub” approach makes it that much easier for in-house employees as well as clients to communicate, collaborate and remain on the same page. Ideally, workflow software will be used as the centralized platform, ultimately empowering attorneys, paralegals, secretaries and other law firm employees to remain in sync and work with the utmost efficiency. Today’s workflow management software for law firms has advanced to the point that it transmits notifications to employees and also provides timely reminders, making law firm employees aware of the fact that deadlines or other responsibilities are quickly approaching.
Some law firms have gone as far as automating the process necessary to enter information into workflow management software rather than rely on support staff to add the information manually. Such software has advanced to the point that it is possible to scan numbers into fields that are automatically recognized, automatically categorize documents after scanning, link forms to one another for the utmost efficiency and enter data directly into case management software. The automation of such tasks liberates in-house employees to focus on more pressing matters, reduces overhead expenses and maximizes law firm efficiency.
Law firms’ recurring work should be viewed as workflows that can be mapped out in a structured manner, complete with steps that can be repeated over and over again. Such workflows range from the onboarding of new clients to opening new files, commencing litigation, communicating case status updates to clients, closing out files, managing the billing/collections processes, etc. In short, it is in every law firm’s interest to write out the steps required for each of these tasks, establish standard operating procedures and replicate those procedures the same way every single time. Ideally, software vendors will integrate with one another so the intake software links to practice management software as well as other programs.
The automation of workflows or the maximization of their efficiency has the potential to transform a law firm. Maximize workflow efficiency, take advantage of automation and there will be sound structure along with improved efficiency within your law firm. Law firms with automated and efficient workflows free up staff to perform billing, provide attorney support or contribute in another manner. An added bonus is the increased organization and efficiency cleans up the database, ensuring all records are up to date and accurate. Perhaps most important is the fact that efficient workflow management levels the playing field between small and medium-sized law firms and the big boys. Build out all processes through workflow software or establish standard operating procedures to expedite workflows at a bare minimum and you will find your law firm proves that much more efficient, ultimately making it easier to reduce your overhead expenses while bringing that many more clients into the fold.