Apps for Law Practice Management: Part Four

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.20.08 PMby Heather Hale

As lawyers, it’s important that we never lose sight of the big picture. Both for our clients and our firms. Law practice management is like putting together a puzzle. Each piece is important, and without even one of the pieces, the picture is not complete. I’ll wrap up this four part series with more apps to help you fit it all together.

Quality assurance goes beyond getting the judge to rule in your favor. Regardless of the outcome in court, attorneys should also strive to provide excellent customer service. After all, referrals and repeat clients keep the lights on (and the iPad charged, for that matter). Increasingly, businesses are relying on feedback from social media and internet reviews to monitor client satisfaction. Avvo is a combination of online customer reviews, interactive discussion forums, and profile databases for lawyers, searchable by practice area or geography. Current or former clients contribute to an overall Avvo ranking, rating the attorney on a variety of factors. Clients can also leave useful comments to help you tune in to services areas where you excel, and maybe some that need improvement.

Another useful feedback tool is Survey Monkey. It wouldn’t be ineffective to use Survey Money to gather feedback from clients, but I see it best used internally with your employees, staff, or other partners. Survey Monkey creates simple surveys that can be emailed to whomever you’d like to poll on any topic you can imagine. It can be tailored to find out your associates’ availability for a meeting, how the last litigation could have been improved, or where the company Christmas party should be held. Happy employees mean better productivity, and there’s really no better way to serve your clients than that. Survey Monkey can help gauge the corporate climate in a manner that is both streamlined and user friendly.

Professional development is a necessity in a profession that is constantly evolving. Most states have CLE requirements, and while CLEs are no doubt helpful, there are few that cover topics outside substantive law. Ted Talks are great for broadening your professional and personal horizons, and the TED app makes it easier than ever to access a wealth of information in doses small enough to squeeze into a lunch hour. While there is no shortage of presentations on marketing, sales, building a better book of business and the like, the possibilities don’t stop there. Catch up on current events that may affect your practice area, brush up on new advancements in technology, or learn a new stress relief technique. We’re all short on time, but the Ted app helps you stay informed without tying up your schedule.

Keeping a close eye on the job markets can benefit solo or firm lawyers for several reasons. You can monitor salary and benefits in similar practice settings, identify new talent, or transition to a new position or practice. The Job Search app by Indeed.com is not just for job searching or hiring. With its ability to pull from a range of other internet posting sites, it gives a more comprehensive view of what and who is available. In these economic times, it never hurts to ensure you are earning what you’re worth and offering what’s comparable or competitive. Sometimes it’s fun just to see what’s out there, too.

All eight areas of practice management are integral to your success as a lawyer and as a business owner. With the added ease of solutions from iPad apps, you can stay ahead of the curve and better manage your time and tasks, all while looking really cool doing it. Happy apping!

What apps do you use to help keep up with life as a busy solo practitioner? I’d love to hear from you!

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