Although lawyers help us when we are in court, and help others take us to court (in addition to keep us all out of court if we have a good lawyer), many small law firms are indeed small businesses and need technology help as well. They, just like other small businesses, know their core business (law) but need help in using technology as a tool to grow.
Law firms are SERVICE focused businesses and technology can help them serve customers faster and better in addition to making more efficient back office tasks such as document management.
HP recently conducted its first annual HP Legal Top Technology Producers contest, which recognizes legal professionals who use technology to be more efficient and improve client service.
Contestants competed in two categories: Firm Excellence and Technology Innovation. First- and second-place winners in each category and received HP technology products valued at up to $10,000 (first place) and $5,000 (second place).
First-prize winners were Brian Clayton of Sebaly Shillito + Dyer in Dayton, Ohio, in the Firm Excellence category and Andrew Bluestone of Bluestone Law Firm in New York City in the Technology Innovation category.
Although the winners were understandably “focused on HP hardware” their experience can be applied to HP and non-hp hardware.
“We quickly realized the competitive advantage technology can give to a small firm with a small budget,” said Clayton. “We’re able to purchase hardware based on the needs of our clients, manage our hardware expenses through HP’s leasing program and reduce our overall hardware maintenance costs.”
Lesson learned – maybe you can’t pay upfront cash for technology, but consider leasing it or wise uses of credit
Bluestone, a solo legal practitioner, uses HP Scanjet scanners to capture his documents, save them to a file server and then easily access them through any one of the networked HP business PCs in his office. Additional HP iPAQ Pocket PCs and notebook PCs allow him to manage tasks away from the office.
Cabinet Ng (a sponsor of this site and the Small Business Summit makes a good scanning solution for smaller businesses
“With my virtually paperless office, I can more efficiently manage more than 4 million pages of legal documents,” said Bluestone. “This typically would not be an easy process, but HP technology makes it seamless for me, allowing me to save time and thus more efficiently serve my clients.”
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