Law firms are so often depicted in TV dramas and miniseries that they’re kind of intriguing. But most of us don’t want to visit one, because it probably means we’re in a fix if we do. How do law firms run in real life? What’s the day-to-day work like?
On the unremarkable desktop PCs that law-firm secretaries, legal secretaries and lawyers typically use are everyday pieces of software that most of us are familiar with. And there are items that we may not know so well. So, let’s have a quick peek at some of that.
For word processing, spreadsheets and presentations, most law firms don’t stray from the norm. They’ll use the most universal and functional programs out there, which typically means Microsoft. Who uses these programs and for what?
MS Word is used by lawyers and secretaries alike for a variety of tasks. A lawyer might draw up a legal contract on Word, perhaps adapting a pre-existing contract from another client. Secretaries will produce letters or perhaps even translations if they’re bilingual. A legal process known as “blacklining” occurs in MS Word, too, where the document is edited and reviewed.
In recent years, innovative cloud-based software from vendors like https://precisely.se/ has enabled law firms to reduce time-consuming work like creating or adapting contracts.
Excel is less commonly used than Word, but law firms often act as intermediaries between clients and banks, so they might keep a spreadsheet detailing transactions and bank loans. That’s one example of its potential use.
PowerPoint presentations are often created at law firms as a means of pitching to clients, for instance. It’ll frequently be a secretary’s job to piece the presentation together, perhaps dealing with technical hurdles such as formatting anomalies.
MS Azure is a cloud-based platform leveraging Microsoft’s global network of data centers. The platform allows firms to build, deploy and manage services and apps from anywhere. Practical applications include legal file-sharing and backup.
MS Visio is used to create diagrams and vector graphics and conveniently syncs with other MS apps. Visio enables law firms to easily convey useful information to stakeholders and clients.
Software as a Service
Law firms are increasingly using Software as a Service (SaaS) products and cloud services like those already mentioned in this article. They’re used for tasks like document generation, legal calendaring and accounting.