March 20, 2020

Doctors Use Tele-Medicine, Should Lawyers Use Tele-law

Technology has changed the legal industry. If you want to modernize the way that your employees, associates, and partners do business with one another and the firm’s clients, then you must embrace the most advanced methods and devices. Video conferencing is one such tool that you can use to increase your firm’s productivity.

The health care industry has embraced telemedicine with great success. Your lawyer law firm can use tele-law solutions for interviews, depositions, collaborative work and much more.

Here are some of the ways that video conferencing can enhance the performance and decrease the costs of your firm:

1. Improve the hiring process

You never know where you will find talent. The people you need on your team can live in various parts of the country. It is expensive to fly prospective candidates to your office for multiple interviews. You can save money and time by using video conferencing.

Doing so will allow you to move the candidates you are interested in through the evaluation and selection process much quicker. You will avoid having to pay for hotel rooms and keeping the candidates waiting for days on end until you reach a final decision.

2. Make depositions more cost-effective

The cases you take on have participants, witnesses, and other people who need to be deposed in cities and states across the country. You can save your firm thousands of dollars in travel costs by deposing people remotely. In addition to the financial savings, your firm may gain a strategic advantage in certain situations. There are people on the opposing side who may benefit from voice-only questioning. Through video conferencing, you can pick up on the same non-verbal cues that you would in an in-person deposition, which will allow you to refine your strategy and formulate new lines of inquiry.

3. Nationwide or global team meetings

If your law firm has offices in cities nationwide or is a global firm with offices in cities throughout the world, you are positioned to take on large and complicated cases. Such cases may involve partners and associates in various places.

Meeting regularly in one physical space is impossible and teleconferences are severely limited. Hearing the voices and seeing the faces of your team members is essential to forging good team cohesion and collaboration on a case. It will make it easier to agree on goals and expectations and will make working through technical problems much smoother.

Indeed, you can use technology to share visual information. This may be a preferable way of updating your colleagues. It will save time and avoid confusion in that the entire team will see the information in real-time.

4. Training

When you hire someone new, you want to ensure that they understand the mission and values of your law firm. You must also give them the tools to do their jobs. In a busy law firm, it can be hard to train new hires during the day. Indeed, the people who need to do the training may be at a client site and unable to get to the office. Using video conference technology is the perfect solution. It will allow your trainers and trainees great flexibility in scheduling the needed sessions.

5. Meeting with clients

This is the big one. You will not have much of a law firm if you cannot keep clients. Most clients will want face-to-face meetings with their lawyers and will not be satisfied with anything less than that. People hire lawyers during some of the most difficult times in their lives, and as a lawyer, you will need to ask them to trust you with some of their most intimate and personal secrets. The desire of a client to see your face is a perfectly reasonable demand.

However, an in-person meeting can present a problem for both you and your clients. Video conferencing can be the solution.

Your clients need not have an office or elaborate communications suite to do video conferencing. Anyone with a smartphone or a laptop with a webcam can meet with you face-to-face through video. As seen here, one Tampa attorney has already begun offering virtual personal injury consultations in the wake of Coronavirus.

Video conferencing gives you a significant advantage over a mere telephone conversation in that the client can see your response to their statements, concerns, and questions. This kind of interaction will allow you to project warmth, care, and empathy. A subtle smile, a sympathetic nod, and other nonverbal clues will give the client confidence in your ability to represent them with genuine interest.

Your job as a lawyer often takes you outside the strict bounds of the legal briefing, depositions, and the like. If your client is in serious trouble or distress, you may have to liaise with police, bankers, business executive, medical personnel, family members, and many other people on their behalf.

Having to constantly go to their home or back and forth to your office to brief them can be time-consuming and inefficient. Arranging periodic video conferences to update your clients on the case and on matters they asked you to resolve is a much better way of fulfilling this obligation.

You need not worry about compromising client confidentiality. You can use video conference technology without risking client data.

Why You Should Embrace Telelegal Technology

In running a law firm, you not only practice law you also operate a business. You have many decisions to make on how to enhance the performance and productivity of your firm. You should make your firm a tele-law firm for the following reasons:

1. It will make your firm more flexible

Being able to reach out to potential clients in remote places is one of the greatest advantages that becoming a tele-law firm will give you. You and your team will able to accept cases and work through them without having to physically interact with the client.

People in rural areas and in places outside the lower 48 may need the expertise of your law firm. Video conferencing will enable you to be there for them.

It will also give you the means to work with your clients through major disruptions and natural disasters, such as COVID-19.

2. It is inexpensive

Implementing video conferencing technology is easier than ever. There is a range of managed cloud-based solutions that require little more than baseline software installation. You need not spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on re-wiring your office, installing specialized hardware, and paying for the time and expertise of IT professionals. Popular apps for this include Facetime or Zoom.

3. It is secure

Video conferencing technology comes with robust security measures, including firewalls and password protections. Such security measures will give your clients peace of mind and encourage them to be open and candid with you during the session.


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