Technology Helps Lawyers Spend Less Time on Documents, More Time on the Case

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Technology savvy lawyers are demanding tools such as digital dictation workflow software to shorten the time it takes to create and manage the document process. That leaves more time to pursue case work and customer advocacy.

Repetitive, low-creativity tasks take time

Behind the multitudes of documents created in a law firm is a lengthy workflow process that starts with dictation, travels through many revisions and in-boxes to end up as part of the court record and eventually archived in perpetual storage. Technology savvy lawyers are demanding tools such as digital dictation workflow software to shorten the time it takes to create and manage the document process. That leaves more time to pursue case work and customer advocacy.

The image of lawyers using a hand-held tape recorder is becoming increasingly rare as more and more attorneys are moving to digital dictation software.

“Repetitive, low-creativity tasks take time,” says Dennis Kennedy, a lawyer and leading legal technology expert. “Part of the reason we see dissatisfaction and burnout in the legal profession may be that lawyers are still doing work that should now be done by computers. Lawyers need tools that free them up to do more of the creative things that play such a big part in being a good lawyer.”

Kennedy predicts that lawyers will begin to demand the tools they need for increased productivity and that law firms will need for increased productivity and that law firms will need to provide technology to keep up, or risk losing their best lawyers to other firms that provide those tools.

Brad Harris head of dictation management for Charleston-based Bowles Rice explains how poor workflow makes negative impact on attorneys and on a firm’s finances, “When you lose dictation you have to redo work that can’t be billed again. The result was attorneys spent hours of non-billable time redoing work they had already completed. It was difficult to maintain morale in that environment.”

Bowles Rice now uses WinScribe’s digital dictation solution. “We’d lose billable hours 10-to-15 times per month,” Harris remembers of the old system, “but WinScribe has given us that time back, and that goes directly to the bottom line. I don’t know if you can put a price on user satisfaction, but WinScribe has made a noticeable, positive impact on our dictation workflow.”

But not all digital dictation systems are created alike. Debra Himsel, director of technology at Locke Reynolds, one of Indiana’s largest firms, was not satisfied with the digital dictation system being proposed and wanted to look at other options. “I wanted a solution that would move us forward into the 21st century without becoming an IT management or support issue.”

Software that is easy to use and integrates into software that lawyers are already familiar with, such as document management systems, is a key success factor for ensuring the solution gets used and is not a drain on IT resources. Having the freedom to choose the recording device – versus being locked into a proprietary system – also has clear advantages.

“These guys fight change and to provide transcription services for any attorney in one of our six offices, not only reduces turnaround time, but also allows us to better manage our overhead,” says Robert Fuhrman information systems coordinator at Tressler, Soderstrom, Maloney & Priess.

About WinScribe:

WinScribe is a world leading provider of digital dictation software supporting business requirements for digital dictation, transcription, voice recognition, and workflow management. First developed in 1995, WinScribe has offices in the USA, UK, New Zealand and Switzerland, with more than 100 sales partners in over 25 countries supporting more than 300,000 users worldwide.

The WinScribe solution is built on Microsoft architecture, to ensure easy integration and maintenance. WinScribe also supports a wide range of manufacturer-independent dictation devices and is scaleable from small, single office locations up to large multinational corporations. WinScribe is fully customizable to meet the needs of a number of significant vertical markets including Legal, Law Enforcement, Healthcare, Transcription, Insurance and Government sectors.

http://www.winscribe.com

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Tamarie Johnson
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