Apptoto: Time Management for Law Firms
Entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “Days are expensive. When you spend a day you have one less day to spend. So make sure you spend each one wisely.” For those working in the legal field, especially attorneys, the value of time is measured in minutes. Billable hour quotas have many attorneys clocking 80-hour work weeks. On top of that, they’re typically required to be on call, regardless of whether they work for a “big law” firm or have a solo practice.
Why Is Time Tracking So Essential in the Legal Community?
Every minute an attorney spends doing something other than billable legal work is time and money lost. That makes an entire day nearly priceless. Thus, it’s not surprising that time management solutions like simplified scheduling and automated reminders have become popular among legal offices and law firms. These simple solutions reduce the number of manual tasks, saving law offices time, improving productivity, and increasing profitability.
According to Bloomberg Law, big law firms are struggling to find enough qualified attorneys to cover the increasing demand. The fast-growing litigation finance sector has contributed to an 8% spike in demand, according to an annual advisory report published by Citi Private Bank. This has made time management for law firms more of a priority recently than in the past. Time management apps also free up time for paralegals and legal assistants, allowing them to assist attorneys in meeting deadlines.
Depending on the state, a defendant may only have a short time to file motions for certain hearings. For example, attorneys in Texas only have 15 days to submit Administrative License Revocation (ALR) driver’s license hearing requests for DWI cases. However, not every jurisdiction in Texas follows the 15-day rule, with some attorneys in Austin claiming ALR requests must be submitted within 14 days. Such discrepancies make automated time management more critical.
Statistics Reveal the Advantages of Using a Time Management Service
According to a study published by Apptoto, between 15 and 30% percent of new client appointments turn out to be no-calls-no-shows. When one considers that U.S.-based organizations invest around 65% of their revenue in marketing and sales activities. It’s a known fact that selling and marketing expenses can exceed activities like R&D spending by nearly 40%. In the legal sector, large law firms spend between 2 and 5% on acquiring new clients; smaller firms spend between 5 and 10%, slightly higher to remain competitive. With that said, losing 15 to 30% of leads because of poor time management makes it even harder to compete.
The report continues by pointing out that, on average, U.S. adults check their phones 52 times a day. Researchers suggest that this has resulted in “digital overload,” decreasing attention spans to as low as eight seconds. Whether that data is accurate or not, organizations understand the importance of sending people frequent reminders up until the appointment.
Reduce Your Workload While Maintaining Your Caseload
Despite time being of such value in the legal field, many attorneys and law offices continue to rely on insufficient time management tools. They’re relying on Microsoft Excel, Google Workspace, or even using pen and paper. While these time management solutions may be perfect for many professionals, they still require a lot of manual input. In other words, they don’t provide full automated time management, a feature every attorney needs.
What a Modern-Day Time Management Service Look Like
Organizations, law firms, and even medical practices operating on an appointment basis owe their clients and themselves the convenience provided by a time management service. At a minimum, it should offer the following features:
- Completely replaces manual time management processes
- Capable of integrating with a broad range of systems.
- Capable of fully integrating with existing enterprise systems.
- Capable of automating timely reminders and other pertinent messages to users when their most likely available to respond.
- Capable of sending SMS texts in formats that are most efficient for each particular user.
- Capable of automating existing time-management and scheduling calendar services such as Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar, Apple iCloud Calendar, Microsoft’s One Calendar, Ubuntu’s Gnome Calendar, Salesforce Scheduler, Outlook’s Scheduling Assistant, SQL Databases, Office 365, as well as videoconferencing software like Zoom. Further, the service provider should be willing and capable of integrating custom-designed systems.
Companies like Apptoto are capable of integrating with many more time-management and scheduling calendar services than listed here. Time management for law firms should be able to handle multiple appointment types, offer multilingual messaging, maximize effectiveness, and provide personalized legal information.
Most importantly, as Rodney Alberto of Alberto Brothers Law stated: a time management service should help a law firm gain an advantage in the marketplace. This holds especially true when competing against multimillion-dollar firms.