Best Simple Legal Tech Tips for Lawyers
Legal tech is a quickly growing field. With so many choices, how do you know which solutions work best for your needs? If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed over the vastness of options, you’re not alone. Here are some of the best legal tech tips from Catherine Sanders Reach, Director of Law Practice Management & Technology with the Chicago Bar Association. You can find all of Catherine’s tips here in a webinar or in a downloadable PDF. We’ve selected the tips below because of their ease of implementation. You may find that choosing easy to work with legal tech first will help you make the transition easier for your entire office.
Start by Using a Familiar MS-Office Program: Word!
One of the best legal tech tips out there is to start with something you know: MS-Word. While it’s not something designed just for law office use, you can still use it to make your life easier. You can change autocorrect in Word to add certain words or phrases as you type. Catherine’s presentation and handout uses an excellent example: changing autocorrect to type “Family Medical Leave Act” when you type the acronym. You can find a walk-through for using autocorrect in this way in Catherine’s handout.
Use a Plug-In to Improve Your Legal Documents
Intelligent Editing is a plug-in for Word. With their Legal Checking package, you can define the style rules that should be followed (including terms, capitalization, citations, word choice errors, and checks for consistency in your writing). It’s an easy way for you to get your feet wet with a tool specifically made for the legal industry while using a program you understand.
Bookmark All Tabs in Chrome
If you do a lot of research, you know the pain of having multiple tabs open just to have them disappear if Chrome crashes or your computer stops working. Did you know that you can create a bookmark of all the tabs you have open? You don’t have to do this one by one, either, just right click on any open tab and choose the option that reads “Bookmark all tabs.” If you prefer using the keyboard, that’s Ctrl-Shift-D. Just remember that organization is key when you tend to bookmark a lot of sites!
Simple Email Encryption
A lot of legal tech choices that allow you to communicate with clients, potential clients, and others comes with encrypted email. If you’re not quite ready to switch or you want to keep using your Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook email, there’s a simple way for you to protect your email. The program is called Virtru. In addition to encryption, it also allows you revoke sent messages, restrict whether a message may be forwarded, and set emails and files to auto-delete. Virtru also identifies sensitive information and encrypts the message or gives you a warning that the information is in the email.
Online Appointment Setting
Another great legal tech tip that’s simple for you to try is enabling your clients and potential clients to set appointments with your law firm online. Using SetMore, you can have unlimited appointments, unlimited clients, and up to 20 staff members for which you can set and manage appointments. It can be embedded into your website, blog, social media page, or your mobile app. Clients can also reschedule or cancel their appointments.
Use a Mobile VPN
If you’re on the go and use a lot of free wi-fi hotspots, you could be putting your client data, banking data, and personal data at risk. Free hotspots are often unsecured. You can create and use a virtual private network (VPN) to use while you’re on the go. Many of the programs that allow you to do this are extremely cost-efficient. There are even free VPN apps, but they often have ads and run much slower than one you may pay just a few dollars a month to use.
There are a lot more tips in Catherine’s webinar and downloadable PDF! We’ve only chosen some that are quick and easy for you to implement. Make sure that you check out all of her legal tech tips!