Going Digital: How to Transform Into an
Online Law Firm
According to The National Profile of Solicitors, there were 76,303 practising lawyers in Australia, in October 2018.
The report found that more than half of all solicitors (54%) were practising in city-based locations. A third (32%) were practising in a suburban location and 10% were practising in a country/rural location. But why must solicitors be location-based all the time?
Keep reading to discover how you can update your business and transform it into an online law firm that attracts more customers and revenue.
Make Your Law Firm Step Into the Digital Age
There are many ways you can take advantage of the technology and use it to the advantage of your Australian law firm. Have a look at these innovative digital ideas and implement the ones that'll work for your business:
1. Focus on Your Law Firm Marketing Efforts
A lot of large firms fail to pay enough attention to their marketing. One study found smaller firms outperformed larger firms online. Smaller law firms had a large selection of keywords and their traffic was impressive too.
However, larger firms didn't seem to take advantage of online opportunities to improve their online presence. But what are the top tips on how to market your law firm?
Tip 1: Goals and Plans
Create goals and marketing plans, your goals should reflect what you want your marketing efforts to achieve.
For example, you might decide to update your website so it looks modern and is easy to navigate. Your goal for this update could be to enable more traffic onto your website and for crawlers to be able to easily access your website.
Another goal could be to implement effective SEO across your website. This will allow more people to organically find your website on search engines. Improving your SEO and regularly updating content on your blog can help to ensure you rank higher in the search engines. This will enable more clients to find your firm.
Top 2: Track and Monitor
Tracking and monitoring show you what is and isn't working, in terms of your goals. You can then use the data to make necessary adjustments to your goals.
For example, if you optimised your website for mobile users, you'll want to check it every month or two to ensure it's responsive for all devices. Websites that load too slowly can see an increased bounce rate. So you'll need to keep checking that your website is optimised.
Tracking your metrics such as website analytics can show you:
- what pages clients are most interested in
- how much time they spend on each page
- and how you can optimise pages to get more traffic on them.
Digital marketing is the key to your success because it's how potential customers and prospects can learn about your business. But it can take a lot of time to get it right. If you don't think your firm has time to implement an effective digital marketing strategy, then you might want to consider getting professional marketing assistance.
2. Digitalise Your Processes
Ditch the old processes and digitalise your law firm to reap the benefits of greater communication, enhanced productivity, and safer documents.
One way to digitalise your processes is to start using Leap, the legal practice management software. This piece of software allows your lawyers to work from anywhere at any time, ensuring remote or more flexible working options. Leap also includes a client gateway/portal to communicate with lawyers and see their existing payment and billing information.
Traditional methods of securing data and personal information used to involve locks on cabinets and drawers. This then advanced to encrypted files and password-protected systems. But the latest technology, Secure Cloud File Storage, is far superior to these methods of data security.
You can now set up a secure Cloud system. This ensures that your files and documents are safe online and it helps to increase greater communication across your organisation. Instead of spending hours looking through documents in drawers, your lawyers can easily locate documents online and send them to clients or employees.
You might also want to implement an internal communication strategy, to ensure your team can work together even if they're working remotely and to prevent double handling. Software that encourages greater communication can save your business a lot of time and prevent your employees from being confused and making mistakes.
Go paperless, paperless organisations can expect to save money on printers, paper, and storing of that equipment. Implementing a paperless automation system will also help improve collaborations and enhance productivity among your lawyers. This is because the files can be easily accessed from anywhere and instantly. Also, add digital law library information for quick and easy discovery.
3. Consider Going Virtual
Virtual law firms allow employees to work remotely or virtually. Virtual law firms use technology to communicate with their clients and also their employees.
Using video calls on applications such as Skype, Google Meet, and Zoom, lawyers can meet their clients and go through all the legal documents together. These virtual law firms also use secure web-based technologies to exchange important documents and ensure their communication is encrypted.
There are different types of virtual law firms. For example, some are completely online while others still choose to have an office.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtual Law Firms?
An advantage of having a virtual law firm is that employees have the flexibility to work when and where they want. This means that they don't need to commute, have more time to work, and are able to fulfil their other activities without worrying. Having a healthy work-life balance can optimise employee productivity.
Another advantage is that your costs will be lower. If you choose to have a completely virtual law firm then you won't need to pay for an office. Or if you choose to have an office but allow most employees to work from home then your costs will be lower. Lowering your businesses costs means you can use this money elsewhere in your business and improve other infrastructures or services.
A disadvantage of a virtual law firm is that many clients want law firms to have a traditional office and would prefer to hold meetings on the business's premises. Another disadvantage is that your employees might feel isolated or less productive if they are working at home.
A solution for these disadvantages is to have an office space where you can hold meetings and have lawyers work from if they choose. However, if clients find it easier to communicate online then they can do so. Similarly, if employees prefer to work from home then they can.
Transform Your Business Into an Online Law Firm
Whether you choose to take your first step into the digital age by going paperless, creating a presence on social media, updating your website, or choose to go all-in by becoming a virtual online law firm, you can be sure your efforts will pay off.
Implementing more digital processes across your business can ensure you're ready for whatever problem that comes your way. There's never been a better time to transition your law firm into a digital success. If COVID-19 has taught us anything it's that technology can be used to improve how businesses are run and how they operate.
Don't forget that transforming your business in the digital age is all about implementing the latest technology and providing a solution for your customers.
It's never too late to go digital, so get in touch with us if you're ready to take your business to the next level.