8 Crucial Tech Skills for Paralegals

Law firms are widely embracing new technologies to increase efficiency and gain a leading edge over competing firms. Whether you’re a fresh graduate or are an experienced paralegal, staying on top of the latest legal technology is essential. Learning and becoming familiar with new platforms in your practice area will help strengthen your marketability and help you excel in your career.

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

In the past, law offices would often pack up their case documents and ship them out to be either stored or put onto microfiche. Artificial intelligence and automated systems now simplify this process. Firms utilize in-house programs to record documents, convert physical files to digital, search or discover information, and review a variety of law databases and libraries directly from their cloud-connected computer.

2. Timekeeping Software

 Paralegals can save time and paper by using software that can automatically and easily translate their billable hours into client billing statements. Timekeeping is an integral part of a practice’s bottom line.

3. Basic Computer

 Although not an advanced tech skill, it’s still critical to master your computer keyboard for accuracy and speed become adept at accessing and using the firm’s legal software.

4. Document Management

Litigators rely on paralegals to manage their case document handling, organizing physical files, and uploading files to a digital platform that’s accessible via the cloud.

5. Scheduling

Scheduling is one of the most crucial technical skills to master. Missed deadlines can lead to legal malpractice. Stay abreast of court rules and filing deadlines. Master appropriate software.

6. e-Filing

Many courts now accept electronically filed documents. In time, paper filing will become obsolete. Consequently, paralegals should know how to e-File documents with the courts.

7. Electronically Stored Information (ESI)

Like e-Filing, electronic discovery is on the rise.  The development of ESI is now part of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as well as many state court regulations. Like all new technology, rules are continuously changing, and law firm personnel should be diligent in keeping up with all updates.

8. Trial Presentation Software

Trial litigations often require a presentation consisting of multiple documents, depositions, expert reports, and other exhibits. Knowledge of the firm’s presentation software is an invaluable skill, enabling electronically stored information to be easily accessible in court.

The legal industry is continually embracing new technology to improve efficiency and speed. Keeping up with the latest systems and programs will add value to your current position and your resume.

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