How to improve office productivity

Legal professionals are turning to technology to manage work and increase billable hours when looking at how to improve office productivity

Today’s legal professionals face a number of demands. They’re expected to prioritise billable hours, bring in new business, and deliver great service to clients. As they work to get as much done as possible, one of the biggest obstacles is documentation. Whether it’s preparing a case file or brief or drafting a contract, documentation can take valuable time out of the day. Because of this, legal professionals are turning to technology to help them better manage their work day.

For legal professionals who work in law firms, both large and small, paperwork can be a major productivity drain. In fact, according to a recent survey, lawyers spend as much as 60% of their time on non-billable tasks — much of which is paperwork.

Legal practitioners have long relied on support staff or transcription services to keep up with documentation demands. Faced with shrinking support staff and growing cost-control measures, legal professionals are looking more to self-service solutions to drive efficiency. The right technology tools can help them work smarter and more productively, so that they can keep up with documentation without sacrificing billable work and client service.

Daunting as these issues may be, it means that legal documentation represents an area of opportunity where efficiency gains can deliver a big pay-off.

Speech recognition is becoming an increasingly popular tool in the legal productivity arsenal. This growing interest is due to the numerous documentation and productivity benefits that legal professionals experience. Speaking is up to three times faster than typing, and many lawyers prefer the conversational and more relatable tone that their writing can take on when they use speech, particularly those in smaller practices working with families and individuals.

The other part of the dictation and documentation equation is transcription. A self-service transcription tool for transcribing audio files, perhaps as part of a holistic speech recognition solution, saves legal professionals both time and money, further contributing to the focus on clients and billable hours.

The bottom line is that technology will continue to grow in importance as legal professionals optimise their work processes and find new ways to maximise their billable hours.

Neil Sleight, certified partner, Nuance

This article is copyright Nuance Communications

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