5 ways technology can lighten the legal workload
Every attorney wants to do more in less time. After all, billable hours and productivity are big keys to success for a firm and its clients. It’s especially important, however, for entrepreneurial-minded attorneys looking to launch their own firms.
Starting a business is a lot of work; it places tremendous demands on time and resources. To both grow a firm and deliver exceptional client service, attorneys appreciate the many ways that technology can lighten their workloads. Here are five ways technology can help create ideal workflows that reduce downtime, increase productivity and enhance client service:
1. Promote mobility
Most legal professionals today need the freedom to work any time, from anywhere — whether in the office, at home, in court, or offsite with clients. Such mobility is best supported by dictation and transcription workflows that leverage centralized enterprise software. This allows attorneys to securely share dictations with their assistants even while still on the road, using either a voice recorder or a professional dictation recorder app on their smartphones. They can also check the status of dictations and transcribed documents on their phones, which can be helpful when meeting with clients.
Furthermore, web access features let transcriptionists retrieve and transcribe dictations online from any computer with internet access. The result is a faster, seamless workflow — even if the entire team is outside the office.
2. Ease data access and data protection
A cloud-based voice workflow does more than just enable mobility. It also ensures that all of the files that make up the backbone of a legal firm are always available, safe from computer crashes, mobile hackers and internet interruptions. Moreover, automatic backup functions protect data against accidental loss. Audio files that are encrypted as they are being recorded — as well as when they are sent, received and stored — can keep clients’ confidential data highly secure in every situation.
3. Maximize productivity
Digital dictation and speech recognition technologies can help legal professionals maximize every minute. Most attorneys speak seven times faster than they type and are highly skilled verbal communicators – ideal for letting your voice do the work. Speech recognition technology lets them dictate notes, tasks, client emails and even billable hours without ever having to enter a keystroke.
4. Speed turnaround times
Many attorneys assume voice processing solutions require them to basically do their own transcription. However, “back-end” speech recognition speeds up transcription turnaround time without altering attorneys’ workflows. Here’s how it works: Attorneys dictate as usual. The audio files go through speech recognition software and are converted to text before transcriptionists receive them. Transcriptionists get already-completed first drafts of the documents, which allows them to simply listen to the audio files at speed and make any necessary corrections. (Extremely accurate recognition rates, even for legal terminology, keep corrections to a minimum.)
5. Reduce routine workflow burdens
Innovative technology also offers some unexpected benefits for daily workflows like time entry. Instead of manually typing in hours, for instance, attorneys can use speech recognition to dictate timesheets quickly and easily — freeing time to devote to client casework. Without a big resource investment, dictation apps with speech recognition integration let attorneys dictate notes or tasks, with files automatically transcribed almost immediately into document format. Finished documents, which are attached to the audio file, can be opened through a mobile phone.
Technology to serve, technology to grow
Any time that attorneys spend typing documents detracts from the time and energy they have to serve their clients and grow their firms. Traditional dictation workflows, although familiar, simply cannot support the mobile, on-demand needs of today’s entrepreneurial legal professionals. By embracing technology advances, attorneys can better serve more clients in less time — and blaze new pathways to success.
We also invite you to download our one-page overview to learn how dictation and speech recognition technologies innovate and adapt to your way of working.