3 tips for cutting costs in your legal office

Reducing your overhead can boost your profitability without increasing your caseload. Here are three proven tips for lowering the cost of operating your legal practice.

  • Outsource your IT

 

Especially for smaller law offices, making the move to cloud storage and maintenance can significantly reduce the need for in-house IT expertise and can cut costs without sacrificing quality or reliability of service.

  • Optimize your supply chain

 

Office supplies and other necessary items can often be acquired from a number of local vendors. Periodic checks to ensure that you are receiving top-quality products at the lowest prices can give you leverage to negotiate lower prices with your current vendor or to move to a different vendor entirely.

  • Cut back on travel

 

Modern videoconferencing technology can provide nearly all of the benefits of face-to-face meetings and can often provide a convenient video record of the entire proceedings. By choosing these lower-cost options for depositions, team meetings, and other activities, your law firm can enjoy considerable savings over the cost of lodging and travel arrangements.

By reducing costs not directly related to your core legal activities, your firm can enjoy increased profitability and improved cash flow. These added financial resources can help your company stay competitive and relevant in the modern legal marketplace.

What is electronic court filing?

In September 1988, the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system was instituted as a way to provide access to public records through authorized computer terminals. At first, these terminals were only available for use in certain public libraries and in some office buildings. In 2001, PACER was made publicly accessible on the Internet as a fee-based search service. It currently is estimated to contain well over 500 million documents. PACER represents the first major use of electronic court filing in the U.S.

Simply put, electronic court filing is the transmission of relevant court documents over the Internet or through other electronic means. In the U.S. judicial system, the preferred format for those documents is determined by standards that govern the way in which documents are structured and the metadata information provided with the court records. PACER records are uploaded in XML-based formats to ensure maximum interoperability and compatibility across a wide range of operating systems and platforms.

Electronic court filing systems provide superior access to attorneys, legal personnel, and members of the public. As more states move to this technologically advanced data transmission method for lawyer-to-lawyer communications, court submissions, and storage of completed cases, the improved access will allow greater transparency for the judicial process.