Is high pay enough to attract and keep the best lawyers in your firm?

By Martyn Ross, Business Development Director & Trustee Director, Voice Technologies

Posted on February 14, 2022

The legal sector, like many other professional services at the moment, is experiencing shortages of qualified staff. Recently, the Law Gazette reported on some UK firms offering graduates salaries of £150,000 to attract staff.

With competition for legal professionals at an all time high, there’s no doubt that once you’ve got your dream team of employees, you want them to be as happy in their job and as productive for your firm as possible.

Work smarter, not harder

On average, a legal professional spends 8 hours 36 minutes every day just typing. So, at 516 minutes a day for an average of 261 days in a working year, a newly qualified grad on £150,000 is getting paid about £1 a minute to type. An extreme example perhaps but one that should make any legal firm question how productive their team is when solely focussed on typing up what needs to be documented. Wouldn’t it be great if partners and associates didn’t have to spend so much of their time typing up legal documents? If only there was voice recognition technology to help with that! Afterall, we are in year 2022!

In today’s ever-digital world, when it is becoming a norm to “work smarter, not harder”, we are seeing a trend in companies turning to tech and productivity tools to boost output and get more out of their employees without the burnout and, in some cases, with flexible work schedules or even a four-day working week. Law firms are not an exception: voice recognition technology to cope with volumes of documentation generated daily, and shared across the globe or just down the hall in a matter of seconds, is being adopted by resource-constrained organisations across the private and public sectors.

Why voice recognition technology is a game changer for law firms

Speed of turnaround and accuracy are essential for improving client service and optimising business efficiencies. So, it’s no wonder that voice recognition and digital dictation technology is quickly becoming the go-to solution for legal firms looking to work faster, more accurately and support the need to work from anywhere. It enables fee earners to do more and in more detail than ever before.

Our client, Scotland-based law firm Lows, needed to upgrade from a time-consuming correspondence system to a more efficient dictation solution. We supported them with an install of the Olympus Dictation Management System (ODMS) software – a complete document-creation solution which offers users various methods of turning speech into text; classic, automatic and advanced transcription. The firm’s solicitors can now dictate remotely using their dictation devices. And once docked, the dictation is sent automatically to the office-based secretarial team which enhances workflow efficiency.

Speech is typically 7x faster than typing. With voice recognition software converting hours of recorded speech to text, legal firms have the potential to truly streamline their processes and reduce the time their associates spend typing. The pain point of staffing is quickly eased when attorneys are more productive with their time than ever before.

Voice recognition capabilities designed for legal professionals

Nuance's Dragon Legal Anywhere is software that was specifically designed with legal firms in mind and that seeks to empower legal professionals to create high quality documentation and save firms time and money. Not only does the Dragon Legal Anywhere enable firms to work smarter, faster and more accurately, but it also features:

Specialised legal vocabulary
Trained using millions of words from legal documents to deliver optimal recognition accuracy for dictation of legal terms and automatic formatting of legal citations.

Workflow automation
Create custom voice commands to insert standard clauses into documents. Or create step by step commands to automate multi part workflows by voice.

Security, reliability, and compliance
Secure 256-bit encryption protects data throughout the workflow, and a HITRUST CSF-certified infrastructure in geographically dispersed data centres delivers 99.5% uptime.

Appreciating everything Dragon Legal Anywhere and other digital dictation software could offer them, our client Macarthur Legal came to us looking to replace obsolete analogue dictation with an up-to-date digital system that simplifies and speeds up the document creation process. We installed industry leading digital and mobile voice recognition software that has since transformed their document workflow efficiency. The firm’s fee earners can easily record dictations on their smartphones and send them into the system workflow, avoiding the delays that were previously caused by having to hand over tapes.

What’s employee burnout costing your firm?

If having to spend £150,000 to recruit associates is becoming the reality of the staffing shortage professional services are facing at the moment, the focus needs to be on those staff serving clients and enjoying their hours at work, not being buried in paperwork and at risk of burnout. The efficiency of speech recognition technology is key not only to reducing typing time but also to easing the pressure on firms to pay high salaries in order to recruit.

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