If you own a small law firm, you likely spend a lot of time thinking about growing your client and revenue base, but not very much time actually doing it. And that’s likely because you’re stretched to your limits working on the cases you do have with very little time and capacity to do much else.
However, powerful AI – or artificial intelligence – tools are quickly starting to change this dynamic by helping lawyers work more effectively with fewer resources. Here’s how.
AI technology sets you up to be effective, not just efficient – and that’s what makes the difference
There are many digital products out there that aim to help legal professionals work more efficiently. From document processors, to file organisers, it’s relatively easy to find something that will help you streamline your workflow.
Whilst these simple automation tools save you time, they don’t necessarily help you identify the key insights you need to build a powerful case.
The right AI tool, on the other hand, can be a game-changer when it comes to finding information that will drive your case forward. These computational systems have the potential to perform tasks in a human-like way, which means that they can help you blitz through case files, while also picking up on nuances and developing conclusions in a more effective way.
It is these two elements – speed and effectiveness – that will both retain and attract clients.
A few months ago, my wife was given the opportunity to provide an opinion on the merits of a case to a major international client. As a one-woman law firm, this opportunity was an incredibly exciting way to help her new venture gain some momentum. Unfortunately, it quickly became overwhelming when she was presented with 11 000 emails that came with over 8 000 attachments to work through. Using an early version of the AI-driven tool, Doc-Insights, however, she was able to extract the relevant information in a matter of hours and deliver an opinion to the client a few days later. Her client was blown away by the quality of her deliverable and how quickly she got it done.
This is just one example of AI’s expansive potential: By using Doc-Insights, my wife was able to work at the same capacity as that of a team of lawyers. She had the technology available to act as another brain on the problem that could perform multiple tasks, while she remained in control of how she structured and presented her findings.
Using AI to work more effectively can also enhance client relationships
As a small law firm, there are often two major difficulties when it comes to growing your client base: Finding people who want to work with you, and gaining their trust.
Working with AI technology can help solve both these problems.
When you’re working with a tool that has the ability to perform tasks independently, you’re able to free up a significant amount of time to do things away from your desk. This is important, because, in such a competitive industry, meeting people face-to-face is much more effective than meeting them over email. The more people get to know you, the more likely they are to remember you.
Beyond this, when you’re able to deliver high-quality work in a quick time frame, you’re able to build a solid reputation amongst clients and their networks. By establishing yourself as someone who is reliable and accurate, your clients will start to reach out to you when they need advice – whether they’re in hot water or not. This will help you develop more long-term relationships, where you become more of a strategic partner to them than just a lawyer who worked one case.
Investing in the right AI tool can, therefore, help you maximise your potential in more ways than one. Not only can you streamline your workflow more effectively, but with less pressure, you can afford to focus on the details that will make an impact and blow your client away. You also have the freedom to spend more time getting to know the people you’re working with and develop strong, trusting relationships that will set you up for continued success.
These are just some of the benefits that AI can have for small law firms. If you’re interested in hearing more about how AI can benefit you as a lawyer, feel free to follow us on LinkedIn for more content or send me a message.