The drastic shake up to the global economy stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic has produced about a 40% drop in the number of legal matters being opened each week in the U.S. compared to late February. A recent survey of legal professionals indicates the importance of being tech-savvy during the pandemic. Nearly 70% of lawyers polled said they think technology is more important now than before COVID-19, while 83% said they think cloud technology was fundamental to their firm’s survival.
In the wake of the outbreak, law firms have wasted no time implementing tech solutions geared toward providing clients with real-time information around both the spread of the virus, and a variety of state and federal containment mandates. To be sure, there are some sensible benefits to be gained by firms using technology to parse the torrent of COVID-19-related information. As law firms attempt to push forward easily digestible legal resources for clients who are struggling to understand their obligations in a climate drowning in shelter-in-place orders, some are releasing innovative solutions in response to the pandemic.
As the virus quickly took hold, many law firms closed their doors and as much as possible and sent their employees home to work remotely. For many legal practices, this sudden end of business as usual was an unforeseen and an unwelcome turn of events.
Although many law firms have faced challenges while transitioning to remote work, one of the most difficult for many firms has been setting up a process to get paid promptly. Under normal circumstances, when clients delay paying a legal bill, or ignore it completely, law firm finances are affected significantly. This problem has become amplified during the COVID-19 crisis since cash flow can be negatively impacted by the randomness of the current situation.
That is why, in the midst of so many questions, it is vitally important for small law firms’ and attorneys to make it as simple as possible to invoice clients and enable them to easily pay for legal invoices. The simplest, most cost-effective way to do this is with a hearty law practice management software that comes with exceptional built-in legal billing features. Law Ruler’s legal billing software makes it simple for your team, automatically pulls all relevant time entries and expenses and makes it easy to decide what happens next. Key features of the legal billing software include:
COVID-19’s influence on the practice of law can also be felt throughout the courtroom. There are fewer cases overall, hearings are being postponed, depositions have been canceled or rescheduled, and deadlines are being extended. The urgency that usually drives the practice of law has been largely rerouted. So too has the need for people to hire attorneys in the short-term. Many cases have been canceled or postponed, and some courthouses have actually been shut down. Essential activities like criminal bond hearings and family court cases involving child custody and visitation are still occurring, but nonessential court cases such as evictions, workers comp, personal injury, etc. have mostly been put on hold during the pandemic. These delays and slowdowns pose a threat to your legal cases and your bottom dollar. Cash flow has been stalled and finances are in upheaval everywhere. However, there are still many people who will be needing access to other funds, including investments, endowments, structured payment plans regardless of the worldwide shut down. In these circumstances, attorneys who work with their clients with these types of financial activities should be prepared to act quickly.
At the same time, firms will find that many older clients require more face-to-face interaction. For estate planning, COVID-19 adds a layer of urgency as clients face difficult decisions in the face of potential incapacitation or end-of-life circumstances. For attorneys handling employment issues, their clients who have been fired or let go will require immediate assistance to navigate not only severance pay, but unemployment, non-compete clauses, and other challenges.
As your firm navigates the legal uncertainties that COVID-19 has presented you with, and as your legal team adjusts to working remotely, it is essential to properly prepare staff and clients for the transition from an in-person law practice model to a remote one. This will start and end with communicating the expectations and procedures for staff such as which virtual communication channels to use, how deliverables should be executed, and how meetings will take place. Do not stop at how you will be moving to remote work; tell them why the change is necessary. This will help your staff and clients see the transition in a positive light. Because you are working remotely, you likely will not be meeting with clients in-person, but there are still many ways you can let them know that they are still just as important as before:
At this evolving and sometimes confusing time, it would benefit you to implement legal CRM software to help handle the changes that are sure to come. Start with a comprehensive legal software that will help you to engage with clients faster, close more deals and provide much better service. And, if that is not enough incentive to install a good legal CRM system, then how about the prospect of retaining more clients? Many firms are currently using older legal case management software systems that were designed before the advent of legal CRM software and do not have what you need to win during this time of crisis. Law Ruler’s legal case management software has just what your law firm needs to succeed under any circumstance.
Law Ruler offers a solution to ease your office and clientele into a good remote working relationship. A good legal CRM software will provide contact management and it should sync with your calendar and email while allowing for tagging of each intake or case to make them easy to find later. Finally, a good legal CRM is mobile device friendly. It is important to be able to get to your data from anywhere – home, court, on the road, or wherever you are on any given day. As a result, Law Ruler has included all these features into its legal CRM and legal case management software.
Law firms should reassess and strategize during COVID-19. Necessary adjustments and transitions due to COVID-19 will ultimately leave organizations and attorneys in a better position leaving firms leaner, agile, and adaptable. Check out Law Ruler’s Twitter account to read about how Law Ruler is “the platform for growing firms.”
The drastic shake up to the global economy stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic has produced about a 40% drop in the number of legal matters being opened each week in the U.S. compared to late February. A recent survey of legal professionals indicates the importance of being tech-savvy during the pandemic. Nearly 70% of lawyers […]