Recently Clio released its second annual Legal Trends Report, which showed that on average, lawyers are spending 48 percent of their non-billable hours on administrative tasks and only 33 percent of non- billable hours on business development. That’s an alarming trend for firms requiring more focus on billable hours and business development in order to remain competitive.
And then there’s this. The same report shows that lawyers spend only 2.3 hours a day – less than 30 percent of an eight-hour work day – on billable tasks.
Law firm document management solutions
How can firms reduce the valuable time being lost in administrative tasks and maximize lawyers’ billable hours?
One place to start is improving document management and workflow management systems. Regardless of the size of your firm, staff are responsible for processing, filing and exchanging thousands of documents every day in a wide range of formats — paper, email, PDF, spreadsheets, Microsoft Word and more.
Organizing and managing these documents efficiently takes time, effort and ultimately, money. But establishing a document workflow and management solution, especially one tailored to the legal industry, can streamline information sharing and collaboration, reduce the administrative drag of processing documents and allow more time spent on billable client work.
Document management and workflow management solutions
Without an effective document capture and workflow solution, traditional legal workflows tend to remain offline, inefficient and costly. It takes a lot of time and effort to manually upload and print documents, share them, seek approval or feedback on information from the appropriate parties, and then scan and deliver these documents to the final recipient or location.
This time is better spent on tasks that are related to a billable case and make the most of a lawyer’s value to the client.
Modern law firms rely on document management and workflow solutions to close the gaps in communication between teams and streamline previously manual processes—creating less expensive, dynamic, streamlined and automated workflows. (To learn even more, download our ebook, “Behind the Scenes of the Modern Law Firm” now.)
Here are key examples of how legal-centric document workflow solutions help law firms and legal departments save time and money:
- Improved document building and management: Large documents can’t be fed into a smart MFP simultaneously, so information must be broken up, scanned separately and reassembled. The right technology makes this process fast, efficient, reliable and secure.
- Desktop PDF software for review and revision: Authorized parties can quickly combine, comment, stamp, highlight and add edits to documents.
- Integration with supporting devices and platforms: Software middleware, add-ins and support for cloud-based collaboration systems can help in-house and virtual staff access documents using any device.
- OCR for eDiscovery: Client information can be contained in hundreds or thousands of PDF files, emails, application files and documents in various formats. PDFs with annotations, image PDFs with annotations, and image PDFs with form fields all must be converted so they’re searchable for eDiscovery.
- Integration with time and billing systems: Feed transaction data into the appropriate systems in real time to ensure accurate reporting and give clients appropriate charges.
Document capture and workflow solutions help your firm recapture administrative waste and improve profitability with more comprehensive control of workflows and streamlined processes.