The importance of communication in the workplace is inevitable, and improving workplace communication has become one of the most important business priorities in 2021.
With the emergence of flexible and remote work, many law firms are trying to reshape their communication culture and collaboration amongst their legal team. Enhancing law firm collaboration helps lawyers avoid misunderstandings, which can sometimes lead to expenses and other negative repercussions. It also plays a vital role in client and team interactions.
Establishing strong communication skills, lawyers can set clear expectations that ensure everyone involved is on the same page. By doing so, your entire legal team can effortlessly collaborate and complete tasks efficiently.
Maria Mastroianni, Smokeball Onboarding Specialist, shares her top practical tips and technology to help your law firm stay connected; so you can complete your legal matters with ease.
Here are Maria’s essential tools for enhancing law firm collaboration:
Communicate is a secure messaging and file sharing platform built directly into Smokeball legal practice management software. This innovative platform is perfect for securely sending and receiving messages and files with your legal team, clients, and third parties.
The following functionality has been designed specifically to enhance internal law firm communication and collaboration:
- Direct Message Tab receive the benefit of user-friendly conversational style messaging through the same secure platform that you correspond with your clients.
- Internal Matter Conversations give you the ability to correspond in relation to a specific matter.
- Communicate Channels are a great way to create a group conversation with your staff in relation to key topics like firm policies & procedures, coffee club or social committee.
You can also easily locate shared files and conversations without searching through numerous emails and text messages. All messages use data encryption and have the option for two-factor authentication.
The phone is an essential communication tool for legal professionals. We use it to introduce ourselves, stay connected, and take important calls wherever we are. However, there are often times when you're unable to take a call, and your legal secretary or paralegal would assist and take a message on your behalf.
The unreliable post-it notes sometimes don’t stick, loose papers disappear, and even an email gets blindsided amongst other emails. Smokeball legal practice management software offers phone messages that are linked and saved to the matter in discussion. This helps lawyers in two ways:
- It's added to the user’s daily digest on the home screen as a to-do to action, plus an email is sent to the user.
- The phone message is attached to a particular said matter and is organised within that folder so that you can always go back to review any actions made.
Timeline View on a Matter
The timeline view offers a clear, visual layout of the entire matter activity, including all team members, involved working in the said matter.
Quickly toggle the Timeline tab and expand any selected activity for further information.
Automatic Time Tracking
Smokeball's unique automatic time and activity tracking feature, AutoTime, has re-defined time recording for small law firms. Without accurate time tracking, it is difficult to keep track of all billable hours. For a law firm that bills by the hour, that unbilled time is lost revenue.
The benefits don’t end there, automatic time tracking helps you understand just how productive your firm is, but it also provides accurate and detailed information to clients. Being transparent with clients is especially important when working remote. Letting clients know what a staff member did on a matter will help them understand their bill, and it has been proven to decrease billing disputes.
Even if you run a fixed fee practice, uncaptured time is detrimental to your business. AutoTime provides law firm owners with complete transparency into what their team is working on. Gain visibility into each matter, not only the documents on it but the last piece of communication, whether it was a phone call or an internal chat conversation. Plus, visibility into your staff’s workloads so you can easily assign work to another staff member if someone is out, ensuring that work is balanced evenly amongst your team.
About Maria Mastroianni
Having worked in the legal industry for over 30 years, Maria is highly aware of the difficulties and time constraints that law firms deal with daily.
Maria is committed to building strong long-term relationships with clients. As an onboarding consultant, her focus is to assist new law firm clients with using all of Smokeball's powerful software features. Plus, assist with the transition from their previous legal software or manual system - making the process as smooth as possible.
Maria is passionate about law firms using all features of Smokeball legal practice management software effectively so they can get the most out of their time.