Whether you see new, COVID-friendly work practices as a long-term shift or simply a reaction to the current pandemic, there is no denying that these new ways of working will be here for some time.

In our previous article on the immediate reaction to COVID-19, we noted that:

‘There is such a thing as too much change, too quickly. And without proper education, it will overwhelm your staff, and potentially increase errors and staff churn.’

As remote/flexible work arrangements continue to evolve to become accepted practice, we thought it would be prudent to look at the three pillars for long-term success. 

The Three Pillars

The long-term success of your firm’s remote-working efforts requires a greater focus on adapting staff training, communication and collaboration to be effective regardless of the physical location of teams.

Ultimately, you want to ensure your staff can:

Work autonomously

Where the ease of asking quick questions of your colleagues in the office kitchen is no longer available.

Work confidently

In an office, managers and experienced lawyers role model best practice while coaching new staff on the firm’s IP. In remote working environments, a firm’s service culture and technical expertise have to formalised via process and technology.

Work compliantly

Senior lawyers or partners usually provide oversight in person. So, in remote working environments, risks relating to the inexperience of staff or clunky, manual processes will be magnified.

Utilising your legal software

In recognition of this new dependency on a firm’s legal software, we have seen an increase in requests for training on technical features that enable greater autonomy, confidence with less risk to staff working at a distance.

So, here is a checklist of features to explore in FilePro or your practice management system:

  • To work autonomously
    • Set pre-defined workflows with tasks that launch documents/emails, ask questions, prompt you to fill in data and enter your time;
    • Automated document templates that intelligently populate data from your matters, contacts and area-of-law-specific details.
  • To work confidently
    • Task notifications sent to your team members based on priority of the work and delegated when people are away;
    • Streamline the on-boarding of new clients;
    • Real time, interactive dashboards to stay on track, tailored for individuals, teams and the entire firm;
    • Consistency across your firm’s documents and the way they are constructed – never compromise your brand!
  • To minimise risk
    • Don’t miss critical tasks, limitation dates and other key deadlines, agreed costs being exceeded, or just a reminder to check in with your clients;
    • Reduce errors in your emails, documents and forms by cutting down manual typing
    • Overcome the challenge and risks of multiple versions of documents in multiple locations, wasting time, effort and intellectual activity. ‘Document Review’ functionality eliminates the need and associated risks when emailing a draft document for internal review, automates version control and streamlines the editing of documents.

Now imagine all of this sits alongside your time entry, billing & accounting systems so that working remotely is now seamless.

Making it happen

If you want to get more out of your legal software to enhance your firm’s remote-working processes, lean on your software provider – be it FilePro or another.

We’ll help you to maximise your software investment to enhance work practices for your team, regardless of their location.

If you have any questions about making the features mentioned above work for your firm, get in touch with our National Resource team (1800 049 790). If your current legal software doesn’t provide the above – please get in touch on 1300 65 33 80.