6 SaaS Tools to Improve Your Legal Practice
Originally published in Legaltech News on June 15, 2021
You adopted Zoom. These SaaS tools are just as easy to use.
Productivity software has exploded in sales, marketing, engineering, banking and other sectors of the market – it’s proven to make individuals more effective and teams more organized. Innovative firms have taken notice, and have started to take advantage of the efficiencies that these tools provide.
As we enter a period of hybrid in-office / remote work, here are some productivity tools that you can incorporate into your practice without any heavy lifting or learning curve.
1) Internal Communications
The jury is no longer out: Group chat improves collaboration. It’s more efficient, fluid, and leads to improved work product and individual happiness. It’s a more pleasant way to work, and why so many young professionals rely on Slack or MS Teams every day to get their jobs done.
Email threads are a clunky format to support real-time discussion. Email creates siloes, it’s difficult to maintain context of ongoing conversations, and there’s a better way.
There’s an argument that “going somewhere else to do the work” adds unnecessary complexity. Hogwash. How many tabs do you have open at this very moment? Internal communication is critical to your job. Modern SaaS tools can help your team reach its potential even if the sr. partner isn’t using it.
Universal views of up-to-date information is the name of the game. Enable each team member to view group progress, who’s responsible for what, all updated in real time. Project management tools are proven to create more cohesive and efficient teams – whether working down the hall or across the world.
There are so many important advantages over using MS Word checklists, and circulating a redline to show updates. Why are we still doing this.
Solutions like Asana, Notion and Basecamp provide flexible workspaces to track responsibilities, deadlines and documents. It’s worth a week of your time to onboard, it will save you countless hours down the road.
3) New Email SaaS Tools
Remember when assistants would sort through snail mail and answer calls? Gatekeeping and organizing to allow attorneys to focus on what matters? Modern software can provide the same function where you actually need it – your Inbox. Gmail Tags and Outlook Rules have advanced functionality to eliminate the time you’re spending dragging and dropping emails into folders. Spend the 20 minutes upfront and set up rules, save yourself an hour+ each day. That’s not an exaggeration.
Newer solutions like Superhuman, Frontapp and yes, Dashboard Legal take it a step further. These powerful email clients increase efficiency and organization and help users become exponentially more effective. And they’ve taken certain verticals by storm.
New email clients are helping innovative attorneys get organized, they can help you too.
You’re looking for differentiation. Communicate with your clients using short videos. Drift, Loom and others make it easy to connect with clients and colleagues in an efficient, impactful and more personal way.
How often do you pull something from the web or your research tool (Westlaw/Lexis), and share that research with a client? Or re-work that information into original email content? With Evernote’s browser extension, you can capture that article, save it to your browser workspace, and come back to it whenever you need. “What did I advise that client again?” “Which article did I forward?” Now you have it without digging through your emails.
6) Client Facing Applications
Your clients love and expect a “consumer-like” experience in everything they do. And they expect it from their attorneys, too.
Three easy ways to create a more fluid client experience: (a) enable online payments, with solutions like Lawpay or even Stripe, (b) reduce friction in scheduling with Calendly, and (c) use E-Signature software like Docusign. These technologies are easy to implement for lawyers, and make a big difference for the experience of your client. Think how much back-and-forth it takes to schedule a single meeting! Or sign and scan a wet signature. Now do it with a single click.
Clients perceive value based on the entirety of their interaction with you, beyond the actual legal service provided. These are straightforward ways to differentiate yourself from the pack.
If you’re looking to take advantage of new productivity SaaS tools but worried about migrating from your familiar Inbox, you don’t have to with Dashboard Legal. We’re a first of its kind Legal Productivity Software (LPS) that allows lawyers to work from the comfort of their email inbox, while gaining access to the benefits of popular productivity platforms. A better email experience + chat + checklist and we integrate with iManage and Netdocs – that’s what we’re about.