The robots are taking over. Well, maybe not. But automation certainly is changing our lives and will only continue to play a larger role in how we accomplish our tasks. After all, there isn’t enough time in the day as it is, so why waste time doing administrative tasks that can easily be handled by technology?

As you look towards 2020, consider automating these five tasks.

  1. Scheduling: No one likes to send multiple emails back and forth to try to secure a time and date for your client meetings. With online scheduling services, you can easily send clients a link to schedule time that works for you. When looking for an online scheduling service, make sure that it integrates with your current calendar and legal management practice software. You also need to look for a system that allows you to customize your availability and appointment types to keep your calendaring process efficient. For instance, if you only want to take initial consultations on certain days of the week, you need to be able to designate those times in your online scheduling tool.
  2. Appointment reminders: Did you know decreasing your no-show rate by as little as 1% could save your firm $1700 per attorney? Even if no-shows aren’t a challenge for your law firm, you need to ask yourself how much time and money you and your staff spend on ensuring that your clients arrive on-time and prepared for their meeting or court date. Many firms employ front office staff that spend hours each week simply calling, emailing or texting clients to remind them about important meetings or court appearances. By sending automated appointment reminders to your legal clients, you not only can free up your staff’s time to work on more important things, but you also will decrease no-shows and late shows.
  3. Client Intake: There are many software options that can help you easily automate your client intake process. It can take 5x’s as much money to acquire new clients as it takes to keep the ones you’ve got, so when a new qualified leads arrives on your desk (or in your inbox), it’s imperative that they have a seamless experience.
  4. Marketing: Most small firms don’t employ a marketing team, which means that marketing tasks usually fall to the back burner. For social media, tools like Hootsuite make it easy to schedule your posts on multiple platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Although email marketing tends to get a bad rap because of SPAM, using email marketing tools like Constant Contact or MailChimp to nurture your leads will absolutely pay off. Simply create useful nurture tracks that will continue to educate and qualify your cold leads. Then, when they are in need of legal help, your firm’s name will be the first that they think of.
  5. Software Integration: This may sound like it will take a software engineering degree to complete, but with tools like Zapier can make even the technologically illiterate look like a computer whiz. For example, you can create a new Zoom meeting for any new calendar appointments scheduled and automatically add that information into the calendar event. Another great example is if you want to create a new contact in your email address book anytime a new contact is added into your legal practice management software. (For instance, turning Clio Matters into new Google contacts.) Zapier is incredibly easy to use and has pre-built “Zaps” for many of the commonly used tools for attorneys.

Make a New Year’s Resolution that you can actually keep. Using technology to automate your legal practice is a ‘set it and forget it’ task. Your calendar is full enough as it is, use these simple tips to save yourself a little bit of time in 2020.