How to Enhance Communication in Your Law Firm
Communication is vital for law firms, whether it be internal or with clients and peers. Improved communication within your law firm can result in more clients and a much better operation, so how can you improve?
Lawyers communicate with lots of people every day, from individual clients to contractors and insurance companies. The operational efficiency of a law firm lies on the cohesiveness of your communications environments. Every email or phone call is vital in getting a lot of things done, so imagine if certain channels fail and everyone else is kept in the dark?
You would not want that in your law firm, so it’s always important to improve communication throughout the organization. This allows you to improve engagement, reduce the possibility of errors, and create a more productive environment.
Here are a few ways to consider when it comes to improving communication in your law firm:
- Use chat software
Email is the most frequently used communication channel for law firms. Official requests, memos, and documents are sent via email, but using it for simple internal communication only results in longer feedback times. If you want an associate who just graduated from law school to do a simple errand, it’s best to send an instant message through a chat platform rather than wait for the other person to respond. You can use apps such as Slack or Google Hangouts for instantaneous communication. That way, you won’t have to wait for someone to clarify changes to an affidavit or contract.
- Use online apps
You can take feedback further by using apps that allow you to create documents and edit these in real-time. Google, for one, has a suite of online office apps you can use for preparing agreements, allowing select people to access these documents, and tracking changes or edits. No longer will you have to prepare backup copies for a single file since you can always restore the previous version of your file from an earlier date. You can find these features in Google Docs and Google Sheets, which also allow you to send instant messages to the people you shared your files with.
- Make full use of productivity apps
When it comes down to getting a certain task done, a progress tracker should come in handy. Apps such as Trello can help you track a worker’s comp case or an intellectual property dispute and come up with checklists to ensure that you are filing out the right paperwork before the deadline. Meistertask is also great when it comes to collaborating with co-counsels. You can assign tasks, track their progress, and eliminate redundancies that could cost precious time and money.
- Go paperless with online signatures
In the past, lawyers handled a variety of paper documents. It was pretty much routine, but handling and sending out tons of paperwork to clients was tedious and time-consuming (and not to mention a big waste of ink and paper). Now that law firms are becoming paperless, lawyers can use electronic signature platforms such as DocuSign, which allows them to send digital files for signing. So, if you are working at a Jackson personal injury law firm and you need to have an agreement signed by a client in Ridgeland, you can simply upload the document to DocuSign and share it with the other person. This beats having to send a document via courier.
It’s no secret or doubt that with better communication comes better productivity. So, by using these tips above in your everyday work life at your law firm the end result will be a more efficient and more communicative operation, making communication the highlight of your firm for both staff and clients.