Here are some of the tools we use at Nakia Gray Legal, P.C. and how they make running a virtual law practice seamless and fun!
For Case and Client Management
MyCase I really can’t say enough good things about MyCase. Not only do I find it to be one of the most powerful legal case management softwares out there, but it is very intuitive, easy to use, and my staff loves it just as much as I do! Their tag line is “designed for the modern law firm” and it is really true. With complete case management capabilities, contact organization, calendars, document storage, time tracking and billing, and tasking and messaging, MyCase truly is your one stop shop for case and client management. To learn more, click here.
Asana Another favorite of mine is undoubtedly Asana. This project management platform makes it fun to collaborate with staff and it’s free! You can integrate Asana with loads of other platforms, quickly see what your priorities are for the day, receive updates on staff progress, and if it didn’t do anything else – it cuts down DRAMATICALLY on email communications. This makes it one of the most efficient management tools you can use. To learn more, click here.
17Hats was created by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. This is evident in it’s simple navigation functionality and multi-purpose capabilities. At Nakia Gray Legal, we use 17Hats for our new client intake process. With this single interface, we are able to do pretty much anything – send out questionnaires, intake forms, contracts, invoices, and more! It also integrates with Google Calendar and Email. You can structure and automate workflow, and on top of it all, it has quite an attractive design. The one feature many 17Hats users are patiently waiting for is a scheduling option. This would make it the ideal platform for all your new client needs. To learn more, click here.
For General Organization
Evernote Are you a big note taker like I am? If you are, you’ve probably heard about Evernote – or maybe you’re already using it now! It’s essential for research projects, setting up social media and marketing campaigns, and essentially just about anytime you want to gather information and easily organize it in one place. Clip articles from the web, attach documents, photos, or handwritten notes. You can structure presentations and share with colleagues and staff! I use it everyday. To learn more, click here.
Google Apps We routinely use Google Apps for email, calendar, cloud storage, faxing, electronic signature and more. Google Drive is definitely among the most popular and widely used file storage system. There’s a reason for that! It’s the perfect place to store and organize all your files, and you automatically get 15 GB free storage. You can share and invite, designate editing permissions, and if you are already using other Google® products, you’ll want to get a Drive account as well. HelloFax and HelloSign also easily integrate so you can send/receive documents for signature and fax right from Google Drive. To learn more, click here.
For Customer Relationship Management
vCita This client engagement platform offers a lot. With both email and text automation, vCita provides self-service appointment scheduling and easily integrates into any web or mobile site, email campaigns, and social media platforms. Sync it with your existing calendar and receive reminders and updates about upcoming appointments, rescheduled, and cancelled appointments. Plus, you can personalize appointment reminders, confirmations, and follow ups. To learn more, click here.
Contactually makes it easy to maintain and cultivate your existing business relationships. We all know how tedious it is getting your contacts uploaded to a new management platform. You have to sort, tag, and it can be time consuming. With Contactually® you can sort contacts using the Bucket Game. It makes inputting fun and easy! Plus, you can customize templates, pre-schedule, and track opens. But I think the number one thing that separates Contactually® from the rest is their stellar customer service – and let’s fact it, these days it’s hard to come by! To learn more, click here.
Aweber is an “all in one” email marketing and autoresponding service. This pretty straight forward system allows business owners to communicate more effectively with clients, send broadcast newsletters and special offers via email, implement web form tools so you can create easy to publish sign up forms, and so much more! To learn more, click here.
Coschedule is a WordPress plug in and social media calendar. I love it because it is so easy and allows you to schedule blogs, announcements, and all your social media content on one, simple drag-and-drop calendar. It also has a Google Chrome extension which works great. I use it to post on Facebook (both business and personal pages; Twitter, and Linked In). There is a free trial so you can test it out to see if it works for you. Although it might not have all the bells and whistles that Edgar or Hootsuite have, it is absolutely solves the problem of easy social media scheduling. To learn more, click here.
For Payments and Invoices
One of the biggest concerns you might have when considering opening your own Virtual Law Practice is how the heck do I get paid? Many lawyers are used to sending invoices and collecting checks, but when you go virtual, there are better ways to process and track payments.
LawPay is IOLTA compliant and follows the ABA code of professional conduct. It allows you or your clients to run payments without traditional credit card equipment either by phone or Internet. All data is captured for easy accounting. You can establish recurring payment plans, process refunds, and view transaction history and details for all your financial records. To learn more, click here.
For Document Sending and Signing
HelloSign and HelloFax There are several options for document signing systems out there, but bear in mind, they are all NOT created equal. Lawyers always have numerous documents they need to have signed or transferred to other parties. HelloSign® products are cloud based and enable users to review, fill out, sign, send, and save documents. No more using fax machines. When a fax comes in you’ll get an email with a PDF attachment. To learn more, click here.
For Administrative Support and Professional Services
Instead of hiring staff in the typical fashion you would at a brick and mortar law practice, when you “go virtual” you’ll also need a virtual team. I’ve scoured the Internet for the best support staff I can find and here’s what I’m passing onto you from my experiences.
Upwork allows businesses to post job and search for qualified freelancers. Through ElanceUpwork’s® system, freelancers are designated a rating similar to Amazon with feedback, work history, and a full portfolio. References are already verified and there is a large variety of candidates to choose from in any area of support you can imagine – from general administrative, to paralegal, to website design, to marketing services. You can exchange files, pay for services, and see detailed time tracking logs and screen shots all through one interface. To learn more, click here.
If you have a quick job you need turned about, Fiverr® is a great resource for creative and design freelance services. I’ve had the best luck here for graphic and design projects. To learn more, click here.
To see how I use these tools and others to run my virtual law firm, check out some of the FREE workshops on virtual law practice by clicking here.