Whether you're in a meeting, in court, or at home, your mobile is never far behind. In fact, you might be reading this post on your phone, or if you're at your desk, your phone is likely to be near you.
According to the 2014 Mobile Behavior Report from Salesforce, 85% of respondents said mobile devices are a central part of everyday life, while 89% cited connectivity; the ability to stay connected and updated, as the major benefit.
As we become more and more comfortable using mobile in our personal lives how does this translate into mobile adoption at work?
Changing attitudes about mobility in the legal sector
Generally speaking, the legal sector and document-heavy law firms have been notoriously slow at adopting technology, preferring to stick to traditional ways of working over digital transformation. But this is changing.
In the past, law firms have been cautious to adopt cloud and mobile solutions voicing concerns over protecting sensitive client information and confidentiality from unexpected threats like power outages, ransomware and other malicious attack. However, moving to the cloud can actually help law firms proactively protect their data, increase security, enhance operational efficiency and ensure the overall success of the firm thanks contingency planning (i.e. disaster recovery) and cost savings (i.e. saving in IT infrastructure).
Once law firms overcome their objections to using the cloud, lawyers not only benefit from paperless offices, but also from the freedom of mobility.
A recent ILTA survey found widespread use of mobile technology in the legal industry: 68 percent of legal firms provide their employees with smartphones, and 52 percent provide employees with tablets.
Armed with cloud connected laptops and mobile devices in hand, here are a few ways mobility is transforming the daily life of lawyers
5 ways mobility is improving the daily lives of lawyers
1. Access everything, everywhere
As law firms and lawyers embrace cloud based case and practice management software, they can reap the benefits of 24/7 access to all their data (past and present). That means that when in court or with a client, you have immediate access to data that might be decisive. No more emailing files to yourself or calling colleagues for information.
Furthermore, with case tracking and time or activity based management, you can stay on top of billing with more accurate invoicing, giving you oversight into your performance.
2. Work like you were in the office
If your files are kept in the office, or on a server you can only access from your desktop, it's impossible to get ahead of your work when travelling, between client meetings or waiting for court. And that's not to mention how you would answer an unexpected client request when you’re out of town.
Uninterrupted internet connectivity and access to files that you typically might only have in the office means that you can eliminate unavoidable downtime and be productive wherever you are. When you're able to work like you would in the office, you can add value to clients, increase billable hours and generate more revenue for the firm.
3. Keep everything in sync, share file securely
Laying your hands on the right contract or court submission at the right moment is a daily challenge, especially if you’re out of the office. And, when you do finally get hold of it, there’s always that nagging doubt that the latest version might just be sitting in someone else’s inbox.
How often do you find yourself emailing versions of documents, only to lose track of the latest file? When you save your documents to the cloud, you always have the latest version in hand, accessible on any device, from any location. That means the work you do on your mobile while waiting for a client is immediately synched in real time, always available in the office and vice versa.
Furthermore, when using secure sharing services, you can share the latest file versions securely with clients and with third parties, without compromising on data protection and confidentiality.
4. Deliver better client service
You know if a client is chasing you, it’s not a good sign. But how many calls do you take each day from clients asking when the hearing is, where the latest version of a document is or when you’ll be sending them the contract to sign?
When all your case and client information is ready at hand, you can deliver more proactive service to all your clients. With all your due dates and priorities organized in dashboard, you can improve your time management, stay on top of deadlines and set alerts to keep you on task before your client calls you. And, with a secure way of sharing files, not only can you sharing agreements, messages and invoices quicker, but you can track client feedback, reducing the need for calls and emails.
All this translates into a happier clients and a more professional image for your firm.
5. Keep track of the time you spend
Finally, technology is helping lawyers keep better track of their time. In fact, smart case management software solutions have built in time tracking tools that allow lawyers to access time sheets while they work, from any device. This means no more waiting till you're back in the office to record your time. With your mobile, you can update time sheet data to bill the correct amount of hours, or to analyse the time you spent on a case and adjust your fixed fees.