Law Firm MarketingSeptember 12, 2022

6 Productivity & Efficiency Tips for Family Law Firms

Productivity tips for family law firms

For family law practices, efficiency and productivity are critical. The more you can get done, the more clients you can serve effectively, and the more cases you can win. But with so much on your plate, it can be hard to know where to start. That's why we've put together this list of six tips to help you be more efficient and productive in your family law practice.

1. Automate Tedious Tasks with Technology

For any family law firm, there are many tasks that need to be completed on a daily basis. From client intakes to case management to administrative work, there is a lot to do and keep track of. Automation can help streamline many of these.

In fact, one survey showed that about 23% of an attorney's workflows can be automated. When processes and workflows are automated, tasks can be completed more efficiently and with fewer mistakes.

This can free up a lot of time for the attorneys and staff, allowing them to focus on more important things.

Additionally, automating tasks can help to improve your client's overall experience, as well as communication and collaboration within the firm. With all of these benefits, it's clear that automating tasks is essential for any family law firm.

Here are a few things that you could consider automating within your family law firm:

  • Invoice creation, approvals, and delivery  
  • Document drafting  
  • Payment reminders  
  • Overdue Account Alerts  

2. Streamline Your Document Production Process

According to the American Bar Association (ABA), drafting legal documents is a “mission-critical function” for all law practices. Your legal documents should capture your practice’s intellectual capital and set it apart from other competitors. With the hyper-competitive legal market today, attorneys have needed to seek out and adopt new legal technologies to streamline their processes, to make them quicker, and more efficient.

Attorneys can harness these new technologies in order to streamline the drafting process while retaining document integrity.

Collaborate in the Cloud 

Many family law practices still use desktop-based systems, to draft their client documents. However, creating and sharing documents that are located on an individual computer means attorneys and their staff waste precious time and energy sharing and later searching for the most recent version of files.

While this process may have been the standard twenty years ago, today there are much better choices for drafting and collaborating on legal documents. One of the best options is using a cloud-based system like Neos, rather than a physically-based system.

The cloud offers the following advantages:

  • It is more cost-effective. Rather than purchasing and maintaining physical servers in-house, firms can use cloud-based data storage space. Also, because these systems update themselves, attorneys do not need to worry about maintenance costs.
  • It provides the ability to collaborate from anywhere. Because documents are stored in the cloud, they can be accessed on-demand from anywhere, making collaboration easy and immediate.
  • It is more secure. Cloud-based systems are often better at mitigating data breaches and security risks.

The cloud is rapidly overtaking traditional in-house systems as a scalable and cost-effective solution for many legal needs, including drafting. One such drafting system that utilizes the benefits of the cloud is Neos, our cloud-based case management system.

3. Use a Task Management System

Task management for law firms is a critical part of increasing efficiency and productivity. Without a system, you can easily lose track of what your most important tasks actually are. From managing caseloads, demanding clients, and the constant tracking of billable time; it’s easy for vital tasks to get lost in the shuffle.

If you don’t have a standard task management system in place, it’s easy for partners and associates to create their own way of completing tasks, even if it unknowingly causes more chaos for the firm.

When you keep all task and project-related information in one place, you can refer back to it easily later and get things done quicker. It also helps you set better priorities. When you know what needs to be done and when it needs to be done helps you better prioritize your time and energy. 

4. Set Dedicated Times for Email, Messages & Calls

Work communication isn't just in-person meetings and emails any longer. Today, messages are sent across dozens of platforms, from Teams and Slack to text messages, WhatsApp, Voxer, and Facebook messages. That's not to mention returning phone calls and listening to voicemails.

The world is literally full of things that want your attention. It becomes easy to get stuck in the loop of answering all these messages, putting in longer hours to “catch up.” But if we shift to answering emails at all times, we shift to receiving emails at all times, a vicious problem.

While it might not feel like it, you do have the power to make choices and set boundaries around:

  • When you read, write, and send emails
  • The types of meetings you will accept, and what block of time in your week you will schedule them
  • When you are available for responding to emails and meetings (both in person and virtually)
  • When you will listen to voicemails and return calls

The curse of immediacy is the feeling and expectation that emails, instant messages, and meeting requests must be responded to immediately. This keeps you from focusing on what is most important, but by putting a few parameters in place, regarding when you check emails, when you respond to calls, and when you are available for meetings, you can take back control of your overall schedule.

5. Use Case Management Software for Calendaring & Invoicing

With the competitive landscape in family law and the fast-paced nature of today's world, it's more important than ever to take advantage of every available time-saving tool. That's why case management software that offers calendaring, time-tracking, and online invoicing features is such a valuable asset.

Automating these key workflows eliminates possible human errors and saves vast amounts of time for everyone in the firm. Plus when you streamline your firm's billing process, it will help your firm to improve your firm's cash flow.

6. Stay Up-to-Date on Legal Technology & Trends

Technology in the legal industry is going through some major reinventions. In fact, Lexis Nexis reports on the legal trends that are currently affecting the industry. Of the trends listed, six of those trends are directly related to the use of technology within law firms.

Subscribe to Newsletters & Blogs

As the legal profession continues to evolve, it is essential for lawyers to stay up-to-date on legal technology and trends. One way you can stay on top of things easily is to subscribe to newsletters and blogs that focus on evolving trends and legal tech.

Here are a few sites and newsletters to consider reading and subscribing to:

ABA Legal Technology Resource Center

Legal Technology

Law Technology Today Above the Law Legal Innovation League 

LawSites

Attend Industry Events



Another way to stay up to date on what is happening in the industry is to consider attending industry conferences such as: 

The Summit -This is a 2-day conference that focuses on growth and innovation for solo or small law firms.

ABA Techshow - This is a tradeshow and conference that brings together lawyers and other legal professionals alongside legal technology companies to showcase the latest tech, tools, and strategies for law firms. 

Legalweek - This is a conference primarily focused on innovation and is geared towards large firms.

Putting It All Together

By following these productivity tips, you'll be well on your way to running a more efficient and effective family law practice. Technology can automate tedious tasks, streamline processes, and help you stay organized and on track. And by staying up-to-date on the latest trends in the latest technology tools and trends in the legal industry to find new ways to improve your productivity.

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