Learn how to manage your law firm budget and save money by using legal automation software, cutting excess costs, and adopting a remote or hybrid work environment.
With the economy looking uncertain, people across all industries wonder how to simplify and save. No matter what, it's always a good idea to have savings goals, a long-term plan, and a well-managed law firm budget.
Even if you are comfortable with your law firm's profitability, there is almost always room for growth. This article will cover how automating repetitive tasks, managing and streamlining subscriptions, reducing office space, and ditching outdated systems can help your law firm save money.
When people hear the word "automation," they often fear robots overtaking human jobs. While some jobs can become obsolete due to automation, most of the time, it just removes repetitive tasks allowing employees to focus on more technical work. Experts say that 23% of a lawyer's work can be automated. Imagine two hours disappearing from your eight-hour work day.
By introducing automation tools, your law firm will save time and money. You'll free up time, so your employees can accomplish more daily, take on additional cases, and streamline workflow to increase your firm's communication and credibility. You are saving time, increasing productivity, and improving your reputation, all simultaneously. Last but not least, there's a huge reduction in human error that comes with task automation.
You will want to invest in a chatbot for client intake. While there are other live chat options, Intaker's AI-powered chat has proven to convert more leads. It is a favorite amongst clients and lawyers alike.
It has become popular because of the unique interactive video and practice area-specific prompts. It delivers an empathetic user experience while never pretending to be a live person or causing confusion for the person filling it out. Lawyers love Intaker's chat because it allows them to pre-qualify leads ahead of time, and clients love the transparency and user-friendly process.
Now, let’s talk about the practical application of automation. First, you can start by sending an automated text or email once a lead gets captured. If you are a current Intaker customer, all you have to do is make sure this feature is enabled.
Every time a lead fills out the chat, they will get sent a message encouraging them to make an appointment with you. This simple automated task will save you tons of time chasing leads and making phone calls. To learn more about how to enable those features, check out our help center articles, Confirmation Emails, and Confirmation Texts.
Another handy way automation can benefit your law firm is to self-schedule meetings. At the end of the Intaker chat, you can integrate Calendly, Acuity, or any other scheduling software to allow leads to make appointments. Like the automated follow-up messages, this is an excellent way to reduce the time spent on intake and chasing leads. Once clients have committed to chatting with you, they will likely slow their search for other law firms.
An IVR is an interactive voice response. It allows callers to find information using a pre-recorded voice response system. An example is when you call a busy restaurant, and they say, “press 1 for hours, press 2 to make a reservation, press 3 to place a to-go order, press 4 to talk with an employee, etc.” The main point is that it routes the call to the appropriate department.
If your law firm has multiple practice areas, you can set up an IVR that routes potential clients to the appropriate attorney or receptionist. IVR can be beneficial for medium to large-size firms that spend a decent amount of time answering phone calls. Hopefully, with self-scheduling, you’ll be able to reduce some incoming calls. Then, with IVR, you can optimize the communication process.
There are many different CRM options depending on your preferences, and Intaker integrates with all of them. They can assist you in billing, collecting e-signatures, time tracking, payments, intake, document management, and more.
By connecting your Intaker with a CRM, your firm will be unstoppable. No paperwork or messages will get lost in the shuffle because it’s all accessible virtually.
Using CRMs saves your law firm physical space, time, and money. All the papers get stored on the computer, you never have to search for documents, and you aren’t wasting extra resources filing away old paperwork and paying for a place to store it.
Once you’ve automated daily tasks to the best of your ability, it’s time to consider other ways to start saving money. You might begin by looking at ways to reduce your tech bills. For starters, you can sign longer terms for products you know you’ll use. You can also switch to newer ones if you’re using outdated technology, and lastly, cut any unnecessary or repetitive tech.
Sign on for longer terms with the tools you use most often. For example, if you know you will use a CRM for years to come, sign up for the most extended agreement since that will be the most cost-effective. If you can enhance the client experience with a tool and know that it's beneficial to your firm, then we always recommend signing up for longer terms. Otherwise, you're wasting money with monthly or quarterly plans.
Do you typically feel overwhelmed with support tasks? Are your employees doing things their way rather than according to a system? Are you still using filing cabinets to track paperwork? These are clear signs that it's time to switch to newer products.
New technology for lawyers makes it easy for you to access and organize files, improve client communication, optimize your firm's workflow, and remove mundane tasks. If you are paying for technology that doesn't do any of these things, it's likely inefficient, and time to upgrade or eliminate it.
Most likely, your law firm already uses Zoom or other virtual meeting software. Since 2020, everyone has learned how to adapt to an online work environment. It’s a great way to connect with potential clients face-to-face without setting up a physical meeting. Talking with someone over Zoom creates a more personable connection than a phone call while still being time efficient.
Remote work is becoming increasingly common in the legal industry. Could you allow some employees to work from home to downsize and save on office space?
A study released by Bloomberg this year says that employees are on average 13% more productive when working remotely. You save on rent and increase productivity at the same time.
Every firm will have its own money-saving formula. There’s not a one size fits all approach, but hopefully, some of these tips will help you. Please reach out if you have questions or if we can support you in any way.