Paralegals are never short on things to accomplish. Your role in legal cases only grows more critical. However, you may find that your to-do list outweighs the hours in the day. Unfortunately, there’s no way to add hours into the day. If this sounds familiar, then you’ll be eager to know about online tools for paralegals that can make the job easier.
While you’re likely using tools such as Clio for practice management, e-signature platforms, and other fundamental legal technology, there are also other tools to improve productivity you probably aren’t using.
With all this in mind, let’s look at eight online tools paralegals can use to make their job easier, more streamlined, and more efficient.
In the age of high-profile data breaches, paralegals need to do everything they can to keep sensitive data secure. Instead of relying on phone calls, emails, and text messages to communicate with clients and colleagues, you should consider a secure messaging platform. One of the most popular is WhatsApp.
WhatsApp’s design includes end-to-end encryption, ensuring that only you and the person you’re communicating with can see messages. Due to its highly secure nature, WhatsApp is a great solution for paralegals constantly on the go.
Conducting legal research can be an arduous process. With Fastcase guiding your research efforts, the process becomes much easier.
Fastcase is a purpose-built legal research solution that allows paralegals to search:
Federal and state constitutions
The online tool enables accelerated research efforts. Fastcase also offers unlimited printing and shareable links that make collaboration a cinch.
Depositions are a critical part of the legal process. In traditional depositions, paper is the norm. However, you can remove this barrier to innovation in the digital age. Paper in depositions creates more costs, increases time spent, is wasteful, and isn’t secure. To eliminate these inefficiencies, you can use deposition exhibit software such as eDepoze.
eDepoze enables the electronic preparation of exhibits for deposition and secure introduction on a tablet or laptop. With eDepoze in place, the boxes of paper associated with depositions disappear.
Paralegals will find it boosts productivity because deposition preparation goes from hours to minutes. The paper processes you dread and that require so much heavy lifting—literally and figuratively—are over. Think of all the time you’ll have to work on higher-level work.
Paralegals who are still manually managing process servers know how difficult it is. It becomes even more challenging when dealing with servers outside your state. Finding a process server to complete your request can be an endless search and contact exercise that is anything but efficient.
When you assign the task to a server, you’re still in a holding pattern, losing visibility into the process until you receive the affidavit weeks later. Or, the serve may not occur at all, but you don’t know until days later if there’s no communication.
To simplify process serving, you can rely on technology. With Proof, you’ll have access to a platform that provides you with vetted, experienced servers across the country. Some of the key features that paralegals love are real-time notifications throughout the process, tracking capabilities, in-platform communication, and easy reporting.
With Proof, all the headaches of traditional process serving are gone, and the process becomes a breeze.
Project management is one of the most critical functions of paralegals. It all ties into working in a deadline-driven industry. There are multiple aspects of cases that require defined timelines and tasks.
Currently, you might find this difficult to manage, using disjointed systems that include spreadsheets, sticky notes, emails, and other channels.
It can be difficult to keep track of every project and every case with so many moving parts. You can wipe out these inefficiencies and get the support you need with easy-to-use project management software such as Trello.
Simply put, Trello enables paralegals to become project management experts. It works by creating a board and breaking it down into tasks, which Trello calls cards. For example, you can have a board for each case or practice area. In the cards, you’ll create lists to complete that task. Assign dates for these, and receive notifications when they are due or complete.
You can drag and drop cards into different columns depending on their status too. Organize all your work associated with a case into one place. Hitting your deadlines will get easier as you have complete visibility. Additionally, it’s great for collaboration. You can invite colleagues to a board and tag them accordingly.
Paralegals spend a considerable amount of time writing. That can range from court documents to official letters to emails. In each category, you want the content to be accurate, grammatically correct, and error-free. While Microsoft Word has an editor feature, it doesn’t always find mistakes.
You can improve your writing and reduce editing time by leveraging Grammarly. Grammarly is a writing assistant platform that helps with spelling, grammar, punctuation, clarity, and delivery. It uses AI to identify issues in sentences and offer you tips to improve.
You can use it within the platform by copying and pasting. Additionally, you can add it as an extension for use in Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and other applications.
In meetings, hearings, and depositions, note-taking is key to recording conversations, developing action plans, and defining new areas to research. No matter how you take notes—digitally or by hand—they often end up in various places. If you want to manage and organize these better, Evernote can be an essential tool.
Evernote is a note-taking solution that syncs all devices, so you don’t have to worry about duplicating efforts. You can capture anything from text to photos to files. You’ll be able to search through notes to find that valuable data point you need. Sharing notes is simple as well. Get even more out of Evernote by integrating it with Google Drive, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and more.
Paralegals have high-stress jobs. Deadlines, mounting caseloads, and more can be stressors. However, you need to take care of yourself. It’s the best way to avoid burnout. Turn to an online tool for paralegals you may not be familiar with: Headspace.
Headspace is a solution that helps users get in the right state of mind. It encourages healthier lives by prompting you to pay attention to the present moment. With Headspace, you can lower your stress levels while increasing work productivity and overall health.
Being a paralegal is demanding work. You’re often the epicenter of your organization. As you look for online tools for paralegals, be sure to browse the technology described above. By leveraging these tools for automation and streamlining workflows, you can achieve higher productivity and feel less burdened by inefficient processes.