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Law Technology Today


Seven Tips to Seamlessly Adopt New Technology at Your Law Firm



  • Learn why tech is the second step, not the first step, in implementing solutions.
  • Get actionable tips from lawyers who’ve implemented tech in their law firm.
  • Learn about the baseline of technology you need to effectively run a modern legal practice.
Seven Tips to Seamlessly Adopt New Technology at Your Law Firm Zigic

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Patrick Palace and Jordan Couch, Partners at Palace Law in Tacoma, Washington, are both strong advocates for the use of technology in law firms. They believe that tech solutions when implemented correctly, can help firms complete administrative tasks more efficiently so that they can spend more time practicing law. Patrick and Jordan took some time to share specific advice based on what they’ve learned from Palace Law’s success.

Get the Basics Covered

While Jordan cautioned against succumbing to shiny object syndrome when it comes to adopting new technologies, he does believe that there is a baseline of technology that one needs to effectively run a modern legal practice. More specifically, he thinks these three components need to be covered:

  • Communication. “You need a way to communicate with clients and colleagues in a way that works best for them,” Jordan said.

  • Documents. “You need to have something for documents, whether it’s Google or Office 365, or something else.”

  • Practice Management. “Finally, you need practice management software. If your practice management software won’t link directly to your other tools, then you’re starting off on the wrong foot and nothing’s going to work.”

Ask Everyone at Your Office for Input

Start by getting everyone in the office comfortable with these basic tools, and you may be surprised at how even the most tech-averse people in your office eventually climb on board and start sharing about things the rest of the team didn’t know was possible. With lots of people contributing ideas, you’ll find ways to improve your law firm that you may never have thought of otherwise.

Take Time to Craft a Clear Vision

Once you’ve got the basics covered, it’s time to start looking at more specific problems. For Jordan, it’s incredibly important to have a clear idea of the processes you want to improve before you start using technology. Embracing technology for the sake of embracing technology, without evaluating what your law firm needs, will only lead to more problems. 

“Tech is not the first step, tech is the second step. The first step is establishing a clear vision of the process that you want,” Jordan explained.

Start with What You Don’t Like

How do you know what process you should try to automate first? Patrick believes it’s best to start with what you don’t like.

For example, Palace Law’s old client intake process used to involve a number of different paper forms that would inevitably get set aside, misplaced, or lost, leading to wasted time tracking down key client information. Over time, the team has updated that process, making it easy for new contacts and matters to automatically be created in Clio, and for all relevant information to stay linked.

Always be Improving

Palace Law didn’t create their client intake process all at once. Rather, they started with something simple, and improved on it from there (and continue to improve it as time goes on).

For example, Palace Law’s process does far more than simply create new clients and contacts in Clio automatically: Using document automation, all relevant information collected as part of the client intake process is also used to automatically create their initial contracts. “It’s ready-made for them in seconds,” Patrick said.

Palace Law follows a similarly iterative process with everything new that it implements. They may not get it right the first time, and new technology may come available, so it’s important to continue looking for ways that processes can be improved.

Don’t be Afraid to Enlist Support

According to the 2023 Legal Trends Report, legal professionals are still spending the majority of their day on non-billable tasks, i.e., doing things other than practicing law.

“Why are the lawyers in these firms spending so much time doing non-law?” Patrick said. “There are people who are so much better skilled, talented, capable, and efficient at doing these tasks. Our advice would be to set up systems, hire people with technology skills who can help improve your firm’s efficiency through automation, and let lawyers practice law.”

Stay Consistent

In addition to hiring a team to implement new tech solutions, Palace Law also follows a specific process to evaluate ideas and put together new processes efficiently.

Often, it starts with a simple question. “After we decide on something we’d like to automate, we ask, ‘Can we turn this into an if-then statement?’” Patrick said. “What do we want to be the initiating point, and what do we want to be the endpoint, and can we add onto that?” The firm is constantly improving the tech it uses, without taking away from its lawyers’ time to practice law.

Be Willing to Embrace Technology in Your Legal Practice

Technology has changed the way Patrick and Jordan practice law. They’re more efficient, and more productive, and they’re able to serve their clients better while being less stressed. For lawyers hesitant to embrace tech, Jordan had this to say:

“I can do it with a piece of paper and a pen, and I’ve gone to court like that before. But I’m a lot more effective when I go to court with online documents. If a judge asks me a question, I can have the answer immediately. I’m more prepared. I’m better off, and I’m getting there faster.”