As with every other aspect of our lives, technology continues to redefine how lawyers practice and how firms operate. In view of that basic premise, the pace of changing technology provides the opportunity for firms to regularly reassess their processes, operations, and systems. Routine system-wide assessments permit greater operational efficiency and productivity, improved client service, increased new client generation, and ultimately improved financial success. Moreover, a systematic reevaluation of law firm operations (which should typically occur at least once a year) is one tool out of many that firms have at their disposal to help minimize the risk of potential malpractice claims or claims of ethical impropriety. With pervasive and ever-evolving ethics rules, opinions, and legal malpractice precedents, this protocol becomes especially important.
This challenge creates a number of questions. The questions lawyers ask themselves should not be “Must I accept electronic payments?” or “Should my solo practice need an incident response plan?” Rather, those questions are better phrased as “How do I improve my practice?” Or “How do I more efficiently track and follow up on my accounts receivable to free up more time to devote to clients?” “How can I organize my documents to be more accessible?” “Drastically reduce mistakes or human-led errors?” Compile large amounts of data while seeing only what I need when I need it without missing a beat?” “How do I more securely communicate with my clients?” “Or keep my firm and clients protected against non-stop cyber risks and attacks?” And of course, “How do I ensure that I get paid, and faster, for my work?”