How to Drive Legal Tech Adoption as a Paralegal

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Let’s face it: many small law firms are stuck in the past and are not fully up-to-date on the latest legal technology. As a paralegal, you feel the pain of outdated technology and practice management systems more than anyone else at your small law firm. But your work doesn’t have to be repetitive and unproductive. As one of the most valued and important employees at your law office, you can inspire your firm to improve its legal tech practices and implement tech tools that make your work more efficient.

Here are three places to start when talking to your firm’s leadership about  technology upgrades:

Stop, drop and recycle your old case management systems

Does your law firm still manage cases with antiquated paper filing systems? Instead of printing out copious amounts of emails and documents, it’s time to go digital. With Smokeball’s case management software, all of your cases are managed within one centralized platform and all of your documents are stored in the cloud. Our document management system makes it easy to create consistent, well-organized documents, and even saves your preferences and important details as you work. And with document automation, you no longer have to write the same information over and over again across multiple different documents. Instead, you can save basic templates of your most frequently created files and auto-populate them with client-specific information. This saves your law firm time and preserves the environment’s resources.

Keep emails where they’re supposed to be

Are you still filing physical copies of your emails at the end of each day? If so, stop clogging up your printers and advocate for your small law firm to keep emails where they’re supposed to be — online. Smokeball’s email management system eliminates the need to print and file away emails entirely. With Smokeball’s Microsoft Outlook integration, all of your email chains will transform into neatly stored files that are organized within the client matter they relate to. And with Smokeball’s shared email filing system, emails become easily accessible by anyone who may have a hand in the client matter — no forwarding necessary. That’s something we’re sure your small law firm’s leadership could get behind.

Ditch your phone’s ball and chain

Do you find yourself taking message after message for your law firm’s attorneys? Lawyers spend a lot of time out of the office and away from their desks, but that doesn’t mean the pressing phone calls stop. As a paralegal, it’s not uncommon to spend a large part of your day tracking down your co-workers to ensure they receive and respond to their messages. This isn’t an effective use of time for you or your firm’s clients, many of whom may get impatient and frustrated as they wait for their calls to be returned.

By |November 12th, 2015|

About the Author:

For years, Josh has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. A trained litigator, Josh came to Smokeball from a large east-coast law firm where his practice focused on franchise, insurance, marine, and general litigation. His work with Smokeball, and his continued passion for what he does each day, is driven by a desire to help lawyers and their staff do better in every way. Knowing well the stress and strain put on today’s legal professional, he regularly focuses on improving work and life in the law. He has traveled the country working with and learning from lawyers and their staff. Josh speaks regularly to bar associations about successful law firm practices and other legal topics. Recent notable engagements have been with the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. In addition to his work at Smokeball, Josh serves on the Writing Resource Center staff at The John Marshall Law School. Besides legal technology, his research interests include judicial decision-making, jury decision-making and psychology, and legal writing. He has written and overseen research exploring causal effects of sex/gender on federal appellate court decision-making, and assisted with research for a forthcoming textbook on judicial decision-making. Additionally, Josh sits on the Board of Directors of Chicago-based Community Activism Law Alliance and on the Board of Directors of Chicago Fringe Opera Company. Josh holds his J.D., cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Wash. U. Law Review, held the prestigious Thompson Coburn Research Fellowship, served as Research Assistant to then-Vice-Dean (now Chancellor) Andrew D. Martin, and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance with Honors Scholar distinction from the University of Connecticut, making him a Huskies basketball fan through and through. Follow Josh’s activity on LinkedIn, and keep up with new articles on the Smokeball Blog.