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Should You Encourage Clients to Use Legal Tech Apps?

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By George Khoury, Esq. on March 19, 2018 6:57 AM

There sure are a whole lot of legal tech apps out there these days. From being able to manage your entire practice from the palm of your hand to simply turning client docs into usable PDFs without a giant high-quality scanning machine, the smartphone has revolutionized the mobile and small firm lawyer's life.

And while lawyers may not have a reputation for being the most tech savvy bunch of professionals, legal consumers have certainly shown a willingness to dive right in to legal tech. The legal chatbots, and other online apps and services geared towards improving the access to justice have seen quite a bit of success. For some practitioners, all these new legal apps have created a new problem, legal consumers are coming to them with specific questions and half done legal work.

The Smartphone Giveth

Although there are a lot of very helpful legal apps out there for consumers, it can make a lawyer's life more complicated to have to learn a new piece of software just to please a single client. However, some apps might actually be helpful. For instance, if you do family law and a divorce client comes to you with a half filled out petition that was generated by some online form builder, it can actually be a big help.

Also, some apps that aren't necessarily legal apps, like Doc Scan (one of my personal favorites), can be very helpful. With that free app, clients can just snap pictures of documents with their smartphone, then easily convert those pictures to PDF documents and email them over. Other apps, such as journaling apps, to-do lists, and other productivity type apps, can also be helpful depending on what needs to be done.

The Smartphone Taketh Away

While there is no shortage of apps and tech to help legal consumers, one thing to be wary of is clients wanting to use the tech and apps that are geared for your use. For instance, a client shouldn't get access to your practice management system (unless it has a specific limited client portal), and clients definitely don't need to login to any of your professional research apps.

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