When a firm is relatively small, it’s pretty easy for a handful of people to stay on top of the issues that accompany things like technology and personnel management. But, as a firm grows, everything gets more complicated.
Utilizing technology to increase stability, security, and time becomes of paramount importance as a firm grows beyond four people. When there are up to 15 people in the office, these are the changes a firm can expect to make their work life more efficient, organized, and effective.
Utilize Cloud-Based Legal Software
As the work volume increases, so does the personnel volume. It’s customary for firms of this size to hire Associates to take care of lower level tasks in order to increase profits. So—because a law office of this size now comprises Partners, Associates, Paralegals, and administrative professionals—personnel and project management become priorities, and that requires a number of shifts to formalize both back office and client facing processes.
This means changes to the ways in which work gets done. Firms of this size generally begin using a larger number of legal applications and software programs to manage their practices. Additionally, certain processes—such as payroll, managing trust accounts, and Accounts Payable and Receivable—are usually either outsourced or handled by a dedicated administrative professional.
To increase productivity and organization, the applications and software used by the firm should be integrated and centralized. And, with all of these different programs being used, data management becomes more intricate.
Outsource Data Storage and Sever Maintenance
When a small firm has grown to this size, it reaches the point where back-up, restore, and disaster recovery processes become more complex and require a certain amount of expertise. This type of firm should either implement an on-site server or begin to work with a cloud hosted solution built especially for law firms.
The downsides to installing an on-site server are cost and maintenance requirements. To get a new system up and running from scratch could cost up to $15,000. And, working with an on-site server means that either someone in the firm needs to have extensive technology knowledge to set up, coordinate, and maintain the system, or the firm needs to hire someone to accomplish that function. Hiring a permanent IT person can be expensive, and a full-time individual wouldn’t be fully utilized at a firm of this size. Working with an independent contractor can be a good solution, but if something goes wrong, that person might not be immediately available. And, they can be expensive—up to $150/hour.
That’s why savvy firms of this size often decide to work with a cloud-based solution like Legal Workspace, which builds an environment specifically for each client’s needs, hosts all of the most popular legal applications and software, provides the typical programs needed to keep an office humming, has tech support readily available, and performs daily back-ups.
Integrate Centralized Equipment
Imagine what an office looks like when all of its workers are at peak activity, each occupied with discrete tasks, including printing, copying, and scanning. To cut the chaos, many firms of this size often begin to use centralized devices, called Multi-function Printers (MFPs), to execute those actions.
MFPs vary in size and performance. Smaller models simply copy, print, and scan; whereas, larger devices have the ability to run software that does things such as allowing users to scan and email a document, and they can often complete several tasks simultaneously.
So, for example, an administrative assistant might be printing and collating a report while an Associate is scanning and emailing a document to a client while simultaneously storing a copy of it on the cloud. Using an MFP can streamline workflow and save resources.
Entrust a Law Firm Cloud Solution
As a law firm grows, data and details proliferate. It’s time to hand off the non-law tasks to someone dedicated only to those activities. That includes technology. Selecting a cloud solution built specifically for a law firm eliminates an array of sticky details and decisions. From a law firm’s perspective, it’s a cloud solution that takes care of itself, so small firm Partners can rest easy and do what they’re best at: lawyering.