Working as a lawyer is notoriously stressful. The stress of demanding clients, billable hour quota, the complexity of cases, endless deadlines, long hours… It ads up. In 1995 a study found that distress amongst lawyers is a real problem. On top of that, it was shown that many lawyers escape into the dangerous woods of alcohol in an attempt to combat their stress.
Here at bestoflegaltech, we don’t recommend getting plastered after every rough day at the office. Instead, we recommend turning to technology. In this article, we explore 6 ways Legal Tech can help lawyers in reducing their stress and live happier professional lives.
1. Better Organization, Easier Searches
According to multiple studies, about 20% of the time spent on work is spent looking for information. This means no actual value is provided in what equates to one day per workweek.
This figure is no surprise for most lawyers. Many cases need you to shift through endless binders and files looking for that one problematic clause or that one testimony which could lead to some doubt about the guilt of your client. It goes without saying that opening up more time for your core business as a lawyer could drastically reduce stress levels.
File digitization is now easier and more accessible than ever before, and it’s the perfect solution for this problem. Through file digitization a picture is made of a paper document, this picture is then transformed into an editable text file through OCR conversion software. Keep an eye on our blog for more updates, reviews, and recommendations concerning (cost) effective file digitization.
2. Facilitating teamwork
The distribution of workload between lawyers in a law firm can also be a cause of stress at work. Working more effectively together can make a huge difference.
For instance, by making sure the strengths of all lawyers are maximally used. A problem that you find hugely complicated might be solved in minutes by one of your colleagues, and vice versa. Maybe certain cases are ending up in the hands of the wrong associates?
How can technology help? Well, it seems that the absence of adequate technology is a big reason why collaboration amongst lawyers fails.
There are legal tech tools that facilitate multi-user access to files. This technology can lead to the destruction of any psychological barriers between lawyers that don’t ask for collaboration with colleagues. Not only can the workforce become a more effective entity in general, using this kind of software can reduce feelings of isolation and stress.
3. Automating tasks at work
Lawyers, like most professionals, end up doing a number of tasks over and over again.
Every case a lawyer handles is different, but this doesn’t mean automation can’t help lawyers reduce workload. Repetitive tasks can easily be delegated to the right software. And, reducing repetitive tasks can reduce stress in the workplace.
In our in-depth piece on contract automation, we already explored what automation can do in the sphere of drafting, editing, and signing contracts. But it doesn’t end there, pretty much every repetitive task can be automated to some degree. Examples are document automation, your schedule, sorting, and responding to e-mails, …
4. Online dispute resolution
When conflicts arise, it is often the task of a lawyer to find a solution his client agrees with. Negotiations, trials, arbitration, … they can be very tough and demanding. They often lead to a lot of stress at work.
These days, however, legal tech is facilitating online dispute resolution. Lawyers are able to find solutions to complex legal conflicts through digital platforms. This has a lot of benefits for the legal profession. Not only can costs be reduced and efficiency increased, but online dispute resolution also replaces stressful court appearances and negotiations. Stress at work can be reduced considerably if complex disputes can be resolved digitally, without even leaving the office.
5. Reducing client complaints
Clients are always the focal point of the lawyer. Often, they are in the middle of serious conflict and rely heavily on the lawyer to fix it. On top of that, they often pay a good sum of money for the legal services and thus expect top-notch work. This is a huge source of stress.
Clients expect quality and quickness when it comes to the work of their lawyer. The most common cause of complaints is delays. Delays, meaning that the lawyer has to postpone a deadline, can be reduced with legal tech.
There is a lot of software on the market which effectively handles, organizes, and categorizes your deadlines. Not only can technology make your work more efficiently and thus increasing your capacity for reaching deadlines, but it can also make sure you never forget a deadline by setting reminders. these reminders can be adjusted by the user.
Stress at work is often the result of a lack of time. Time is often the product that legal tech software and applications sell. By making you or your firm more effective in different aspects of your day to day work, technology ultimately saves you time. This time can be used to catch up on other work or … to chill the hell out for a minute.