Throughout the legal industry, caseloads are growing. Rising workloads and increased demand for legal services mean many lawyers are at serious risk of burnout. Attorneys surveyed in Bloomberg Law's Attorney Workload and Hours survey reported experiencing burnout in their job 52% of the time. An increased number of respondents said that their overall well-being has also declined.
Burnout is a common issue where professionals experience severe workplace stress, often due to a lack of structure or culture, which results in mental health issues and fatigue. Many workers who display warning signs of burnout cannot work for weeks or even months afterward. If they can continue working, it may not be at total capacity, leading to employee burnout becoming an organizational issue.
With big law burnout increasingly present in the legal space, it's clear that firms need to do something to support their employees. One option firms have to hire more support staff, but this option adds quite a bit of overhead that not all firms can or want to take on.
Let's explore how the correct application of cutting-edge legal technology can help reduce burnout signs in law firms.
Automate processes to reduce lawyer work hours
One significant benefit of legal tech, specifically case management software, is the ability to automate processes and workflows. Automating repetitive tasks such as document creation and client intake can save time better spent on more complex, billable work. In addition, automating administrative tasks can reduce the likelihood of errors and improve overall efficiency.
However, when it comes to reducing attorney burnout, automation is about more than just increasing efficiency and getting your team to do more in less time. Instead, it's more about automating administrative processes to reduce the hours your team must work to reach the same case outcome, essentially reducing those 60-hour work weeks to 55. One step toward a better work-life balance!
Leverage case management systems to reduce chaos
A case management system allows you to create custom checklists, assign tasks to specific team members, set deadlines, organize all case-related documents in one place, and, as previously mentioned, automate processes and workflows. Case management software reduces bottlenecks, manages resources, makes teams more efficient, and increases a firm's profitability. It also reduces arbitrary deadlines, last-minute requests, and unnecessary pressure on staff, reducing workplace stress.
Reduce travel and meetings with digital communications
Face-to-face interactions with clients, other lawyers, or third parties involved in cases can take up much of your staff's time, especially if they must travel to meetings. Even if you count travel time as billable working hours of a lawyer, off-site meetings still take your team away from their work and slow down their ability to complete other critical case-related tasks. Thankfully, digital communication tools like video conferencing enable lawyers to conduct online dispute resolution and virtual meetings.
In addition to video conferencing tools, automating client updates and providing 24/7 access to their documents and case notes can help reduce the number of meetings needed between staff and clients. Robust case management software, like Neos, allows you to trigger automated emails and SMS to clients and staff based on workflow triggers that pertain to different stages of the case. Neos also directly integrates with CasePulse Client Portal, allowing you to automate case updates, share files, and more. As a result, your team will have more time at their office chair while still being able to communicate effectively with all necessary parties, and in turn, reducing their 55-hour work week to a 50-hour work week.
Promote work-life balance with hybrid or remote options
Besides decreasing workloads and improving overall efficiency, cloud legal technology's most apparent benefit to firms is hybrid and remote work opportunities. Workplace flexibility is becoming a competitive advantage and is quickly broadening the pool of job candidates nationally. Firms are rapidly adopting cloud technology to promote healthy work-life balance and to retain their valued employees.
With cloud-based legal software, lawyers can securely access client info from almost anywhere — from the office, a courtroom, their homes, and anywhere they have an internet connection. It allows new employees to automate the onboarding and training process and offer it remotely, saving everyone time, energy, and expenses. A more flexible work environment brings in top applicants and keeps current employees happier. And decreasing employee turnover ultimately improves growth and revenue for any business.
Beat the signs of burnout with legal technology
When done right, legal tech investment can significantly benefit law firms, including reducing burnout for law firm employees. Adopting the right legal technology can streamline your operations while ensuring your staff has the headspace they need to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. Technology is the future of the legal market, so integrating it into your organization will help you ensure your practice's future success.
"The most significant problem Neos accomplished is the ability to use the software from anywhere entirely. My employees work from the office or their homes seamlessly. Features such as document management and Outlook integration have revolutionized our law office's efficiency."
As a leading case management software provider, Assembly understands the importance of legal tech for burned-out lawyers. To find out more about how legal tech can reduce the burnout rate at your firm, schedule an expert-led demo of Neos, our cloud-based case management system, or follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date on the latest Neos and legal tech news.