When it comes to technology, the old saying “a little goes a long way” is particularly true. It is amazing how small additions to your work flow process can free up your time, better serve your clients, and improve your work/life balance. In recognizing how helpful these little tips and tricks are, we are seeking to share them with solo and small firm attorneys through this recurring column.
As lawyers strive to circulate less and less paper in their offices, services like DocuSign become increasingly handier. At $10 per month (paid annually), users can send up to five documents for electronic signature per month. Need more than that? For $20 per month (paid annually), you may have up to 10 users send an unlimited number of documents for electronic signature. DocuSign will store your completed, signed documents for retrieval from anywhere you find yourself working. You can automate your repetitive documents, such as client retainer letters, to deliver documents to your clients and get their signatures faster. You can save money and time by avoiding the coasts of overnighting documents back and forth or printing and faxing. Client satisfaction improves as your clients no longer have to arrange their schedules to come into the office and sign documents. If you are curious about the legality of electronic signatures, DocuSign answers your questions on their site:
There are two Acts that establish the legality of electronic signatures in the United States—the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN, 2000) and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA, 1999). Both ESIGN and UETA establish that electronic records and signatures carry the same weight and legal effect as traditional paper documents and handwritten signatures stating: A document or signature cannot be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form.
With the legality and enforceability in place, using services like DocuSign to speed up your delivery and cut down your paper clutter just makes sense.
While we are on the subject of cutting down clutter, why not clear junky old office phone systems and move your business phone system into the cloud? Mango Voice is a Southern Utah-based hosted VOIP service that provides a suite of features at a reasonable cost of $20–$30 per user, depending on the number of users. There is a price break as the number of users rises. Some of the features included in their service plans are:
- Unlimited Minutes—no need to worry about overage charge.
- Auto Attendant—you can have a virtual receptionist answer and direct calls.
- Schedule-Based Routing—you can route calls automatically based on the time or day of the week.
- Conference Rooms—host and manage conference calls.
- Fax to eMail—you can send or receive faxes using your email account.
These two are a small sampling of the repertoire of tips we hope to share every month. Our goal is to provide you with some tips on useful technology and ideas of how they may be useful to you in making technology decisions for your practice.