How to Remain Innovative Through COVID-19
While governments and international health organizations encourage people to work from home, law firms and legal professionals can take advantage of technology to support their clients and staff.
From a novel virus affecting a specific city to a global pandemic, the coronavirus has disrupted the way we communicate, engage and work with each other in a very short period of time. With the new challenges that social distancing imposes, it is important to remain competitive while keeping the health of clients and staff a priority.
As the profession adapts to this new reality, we listed a number of technologies, most of them free of cost, that can support law firms and legal professionals as they transition to a work-from-home scenario.
- Video Conferencing Tools
Video conferencing tools are the best alternative for meetings. Meeting with a client or hosting a staff meeting? Zoom, Skype for Business, Google Hangouts and Webex allow multiple people, anywhere in the world, to connect, engage, and produce meaningful work together. These free or paid tools also come with features such as: recording the session – so you can review your discussion and produce notes if needed, a chat window – so you can add notes and/or questions without interrupting who is speaking, and many more.
- Workflow Management Tools
Workflow management tools are a great way of keeping track of the cases and projects you are working on. Free tools such as Asana and Trello allow teams to update their progress on different tasks related to a project and assign collaborators to tasks that still need to be done. If you’re looking for a tool specially designed to support legal workflow, Legalboards can help you with that. It is also connected to Clio – a cloud-based legal practice management system.
- Collaborative Work Tools
Collaborative work tools like Google Drive (which includes Google Docs, Google Sheets, and so on) allow you and members of your team to simultaneously work on documents that require more than one person’s input. If you’re a litigator or legal researcher looking to recycle your colleagues’ work, format documents and prepare them for court, CiteRight may be the right tool for you.
- Contract Management Tools
Contract management tools are a good resource for overseeing contracts – from tracking changes to searching for particular criteria and sending key date alerts, and much more. If you need to collaborate with your team on reviewing a contract, products like the one offered by Diligen can help. If you need your clients’ signature, a secure digital signature platform is a must. Vaultie, which is using blockchain and artificial intelligence to create verifiable digital signatures, is a great option.
- Virtual Private Network (VPN) Tools
VPN is a technology that grants access to your work environment from home. It opens remote access to applications, documents, and resources on your firm’s internal network via a secure and encrypted connection. Tools such as Cisco AnyConnect or OpenVPN can help you establish a connection to your workplace network.
Technology-driven and innovative approaches to legal work are great resources to continue your legal business while working from home. In times of uncertainty, it is also imperative to support one another, demonstrate flexibility, and stay open to change.
Need more digital support for your legal work? Take a look at the full list of LIZ’s startups and see if they already have the product you need.