With more focus than ever before being placed on efficiency, modern law firms understand that time is money and efficient communication methods will benefit a firm’s bottom line. Every function in a law firm can benefit from the use of a collaboration platform. Here is one firm’s story.
A case study of efficiency.
“Our attorneys and legal professionals live in their email,” explained a partner at a medium-sized law firm. “But, their inboxes are bursting with items that probably don’t need to be sent through email.” This partner and her practice group recently engaged in a pilot program to use a collaboration platform built specifically for law firms. The practice group was looking for ways to be more productive as a team and eliminate the informal meetings constantly taking place between one or two people on the team, with decisions needing to be then cascaded to the rest of the team.
All team members – partners, associates, paralegals and law clerks – use dedicated workspaces for each case to bring all members of the practice group up to speed. The members of the group start and end their days in the collaboration platform. Each individual in the firm organizes his or her conversations into private and team workspaces. The practice group partner can easily send all members of the team a message about a specific case or provide edits on a draft brief to only an individual associate. Most importantly, the burden of email is decreasing, being replaced by activity streams that are easy to follow in real-time. The practice group also now has a record of decisions made and progress items on its cases, which before lived in disparate email boxes or notepads.
The practice group is also in the process of adding remote-based members to the team, associates and paralegals who are based in one of the firm’s out-of-state offices. Now, it will be more important than ever to avoid “hallway huddles” to make sure these new team members stay connected. In fact, the team is most excited about the ease of video conferencing in the collaboration platform, so that one-on-one or as a group, they can speak face-to-face even though their group is spread out across multiple offices.
Since email is still a critical part of how the firm communicates with clients, the team found that they don’t need to leave the collaboration platform to send or read emails. Email is right there as an integral part of the platform. Lastly, when someone steps out for lunch or leaves the office for the day, the mobile collaboration app indicates he or she has a new message. For this firm, the collaboration platform is starting to become the backbone for all communications, and the firm is planning to roll the system out to additional practice groups in the coming months.
Collaboration is the future.
As this firm has experienced, collaboration platforms are poised to become the sole digital location for work within a law firm. For contemporary law practices, improved teamwork and coordination, empowered by cutting-edge technology is the pathway to success.
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