Once upon a time, lawyers would consider it a waste of their billable time to sit in front of a typewriter or even a computer. Nowadays, many attorneys not only type, but can do so at high speeds. Still, how many can type faster than they can talk?
Voice technology has evolved over the years – from analog dictation to digital dictation, and now artificial intelligence-powered speech recognition. In the high-tech age of Siri and Alexa, legal professionals are becoming increasingly comfortable with voice technology, which is driving engagement more and more. By further engaging with this technology, many legal professionals are looking for ways to use it productively at work.
Below are five ways dictation and speech recognition technology can help lawyers.
- Producing Documentation More Efficiently: On average, people speak about five times faster than they type. If the average lawyer dictates information instead of composing it themselves, production is approximately three to five times faster than preparing the documentation oneself. Consider the implications that this can have on their time at work. Nuance Dragon Legal and the cloud-based Dragon Legal Anywhere solutions provide speech recognition capabilities that are tailored to legal terms. By using Dragon Legal speech recognition, lawyers can have a faster and more efficient way to create documents, briefs, and fill out form-based reports, whether they are in the office or on the go. Legal professionals can also create custom voice commands to insert standard clauses into documents or create macros to automate multi-step workflows by voice, saving time and effort. As an alternative or in cooperation with speech recognition software, is digital dictation workflow management software. Instead of typing documents or correcting and formatting speech recognized text, lawyers can dictate documents into their smartphones or digital recorders and send them to support staff or through speech recognition software to be typed. Industry-leading digital dictation workflow management software solutions include Winscribe Dictation, Philips SpeechLive, Philips SpeechExec Enterprise, and Olympus Dictation Management System (ODMS).
- Improving Document Workflow & Mobile Productivity: There are several benefits that a digital dictation workflow management system provides to enhance documentation management. Imagine having the ability to know instantly how many dictations are pending for completion, who is working on what, quickly identifying priority work, and having the ability to configure a system that can identify and remedy bottlenecks in the document production process. The workflow functions of some digital dictation systems can be helpful in other areas as well, such as reassigning work from assistants who are on vacation or busy with other projects to others who have more capacity. In addition, with mobile dictation, lawyers can dictate case notes, tasks or directions to assistants, time for billing, etc. and send those recordings instantly to support staff for transcription or follow-up, saving time – especially when working away from the office. These are just a few benefits a digital dictation workflow management solution provides.
- Easily Managing Time and Billing: Managing time and billing has always been a struggle for firms. Even firms that have moved away from traditional billing by the hour in favor of alternative fees such as flat-rate or fixed fees are pressed to further to reduce the time and costs associated with each case, in an effort to reduce overall operation costs. Voice technology can help firms that are struggling to manage their lawyers time and billing. Time and billing is more accurate, when it is captured at the time the matter occurs – rather than hours or days later. With digital dictation workflow management software, as soon as a project or matter is finished, lawyers can use their recorders or smartphones and dictate the time and billing information instantly. The dictated time and billing information can be instantly sent to support staff for entry, which is particularly helpful when lawyers are in court or on-the-go. In addition, speech recognition software can be used to quickly enter data into time and billing systems for immediate entry.
- Tracking and Managing Expenses: Legal professionals working on-the-go can quickly and easily submit expenses using smartphone dictation applications that have photo capabilities, like Philips SpeechExec, Philips SpeechLive, and Winscribe Professional. Users simply take a photo of the receipt, record a dictation detailing additional information about the expense, attach the receipt to the dictation, and send the dictation and file to themselves (to input when they are back in the office) or to an assistant for entry.
- Saving Costs: There is a competitive pressure to minimize the time it takes to turn around information and the costs associated with that task. Cost savings can be realized as a result of an increase in company-wide work sharing and productivity. With digital dictation systems, files are available immediately to your assistants or transcriptionists, which improves report turnaround time and maximizes productivity. By literally eliminating or reducing keystrokes, with the help of dictation or speech recognition technology, administrative costs are significantly lowered. Cost savings can also be attributed to increased transcription productivity and improved document turnaround time, being able to share hardware across multiple offices, decreased courier costs and, indirectly, enhanced customer and employee satisfaction levels.