– By Victor Medina and Bryan Sims
Medina is the lead attorney for the Medina Law Group, an estate planning and elder law asset protection firm in Pennington, NJ (which is either by Trenton or by Princeton, depending on who is asking).
Sims is the founder and principal of Sims Law Firm, Ltd. of Naperville, IL, where he concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial litigation and civil appeals.
This post is adapted from the written materials for “Leveraging Technology for Practice Efficiency” – one of the CLE sessions to be presented Thursday, March 27, during TECHSHOW 2014 where they will explore these options in detail.
Practicing law is stressful and requires hard work and dedication. Operating a business is stressful and requires hard work and dedication. Trying to practice law while operating a law practice exponentially increases both the hard work required as well as the stress.
For most of us, the work never ends. Even if we completely ran out of legal work (which of course we do not want to have happen), we would still have plenty of business work to do.
While operating our practices, we have to walk a delicate tightrope. First, we have the business aspect of our practice. This includes all of the behind-the-scenes activities that we must do to make sure our business is operating as it should. This includes things such as accounting, billing, paying vendors, ordering supplies, marketing, etc. Second, we have the practice of law. This includes our dealing with the clients, making sure that their needs are met, and making sure that the legal work that we need to do is actually getting done.
Although there is no way to completely rid ourselves of these stresses, or to ensure that we are always perfectly balanced on that tightrope, there are tools available for us that give us leverage our time and the actions we do take to ensure that they we gain the maximum benefit from them.
Archimedes claimed that, given a large enough lever, he could move the world. Recent developments in technology have given us a giant lever that we can use to increase the efficiency of our practice, both from the practicing law as well as from the operating a business perspective.
Some of the different technologies that are available that pay us back in dividends that far exceed their costs include: (1) Working as Paperlessly as possible; (2) Having access to information everywhere; (3) Entering data only once; (4) Collaboration tools; (5) Document assembly; and (6) Automation.
The key concept to keep in mind is that technology does not exist for its own sake. Technology is a tool that, when used properly, allows us to perform tasks that would have been either impossible or prohibitively expensive just a few years ago.
Technology cannot solve all of our problems. However, the current state of technology allows to us to do things that we would never have been able to do even a few years ago. If you implement just one of these ideas into your practice over the next year, you will reap great rewards. Once you start integrating more, the benefits will build upon each other and continue to expand.
In the end, by leveraging technology, you can work smarter, more efficiently, and more profitably.