Of all areas of the law, immigration practice can be one of the most personally meaningful, as it involves helping clients work through profoundly significant life transitions.
That said, running an immigration law firm can be difficult work. Luckily, like in many other fields, technology has made everything a bit easier. Using it effectively can lead to increase business and reduced costs. For many lawyers, technology is a real no-brainer, but the most difficult part is knowing how to start. Luckily, doing so is more straightforward than one might think!
By necessity, immigration law requires the submission of extensive forms to federal agencies like USCIS. This used to mean hours of tedious data entry, done mostly by hand. Now though, immigration software has made this part of the practice easier than ever before! Technology has allowed for the preparation of these forms to be almost fully automated, leaving more time for the work that really matters.
Software provides a user-friendly interface for organizing cases, establishing timelines, and delegating work to team members
But immigration software does more than just simplify the completion of forms! It can also double as a robust case management platform. In other words, the software provides a user-friendly interface for organizing cases, establishing timelines, and delegating work to team members.
Put simply, technology can increase the efficiency of law firms that handle immigration cases. It boils down to this—less time spent on each case equals more cases which equals more impact. Rather than doing mindless clerical work, attorneys can spend more of their valuable time helping clients.
Here are some of the features which make technology such a boon to the field of immigration law:
One of the first steps in an immigration case used to be having clients sit down with a pen and paper to write down an exhaustive array of personal information, some of which might not even be applicable in their particular case. Requiring everything from citizenship status to marital details to past employment, this process could be quite lengthy.
These sorts of dynamic features greatly reduce the time and effort needed to gather pertinent client information.
Now though, immigration case management software like Docketwise makes it possible for attorneys to streamline the information collection process by sending personalized questionnaires to their clients. These questionnaires allow lawyers to choose which specific questions to ask on a case-by-case basis, meaning that clients only have to provide information that is really needed. Questionnaires also come professionally branded with a firm’s individual logo, and have multilingual functionality, meaning they can easily be toggled to whichever language a client is most comfortable with. These sorts of dynamic features greatly reduce the time and effort needed to gather pertinent client information.
Immigration software handles not only the completion of forms, but also the selection of forms in the first place, a process which can be complicated.
As previously noted, technology has helped automate the job of completing forms for immigration proceedings. Much of this is due to the advent of smart forms, which can populate long, complicated documents with client information in a single click.
The data is received through the aforementioned questionnaires, stored in a digital profile, and matched to forms as needed through a finely-tuned software. These smart forms feature complicated logic that can determine the exact array of forms to prepare based upon the details of the case.
Immigration software handles not only the completion of forms, but also the selection of forms in the first place, a process which can be complicated. Reputable services include every form an immigration practitioner might need, even the most obscure. In special cases, attorneys can also create and edit forms from scratch for ease and flexibility. Notice an input error, or want to change something later? Forms can be easily edited after the fact.
With the ability to produce hundreds of pages in just minutes, this technology can save vast amounts of time and effort.
Aside from expediting the process of creating forms, immigration software can also serve as a fully functional case management platform. This means that it often includes an array of useful administrative features, which allow immigration law firms to sort their work in an intuitive fashion.
Cases can be assigned to particular members of a team, so each individual knows what he or she is responsible for. Time-sensitive tasks can be given due dates, which will trigger automated reminders as deadlines approach.
Immigration software also allows attorneys to write notes for each particular case, in order to keep track of useful details. All this comes in a single, centralized location, making for an easy and efficient workflow. Because of this all-in-one functionality, practitioners do not have to switch between platforms while working, which makes things simpler.
Another benefit of immigration case management software is cloud-based storage, which makes it possible for lawyers to access their cases from anywhere. Rather than having data stored on in-house servers or in physical form, immigration software provides firms a secure home for their cases online. Accessible only through password-protected logins, which can be issued to multiple team members, immigration software provides attorneys a user-friendly repository of client information.
Out of the office?
This interface can be accessed with just an internet connection. With this emerging technology, different individuals in an immigration law firm can access case information no matter where they are. Attorneys should make sure to look for a service which employs a highly-trusted cloud encryption protocol, like Docketwise’s Amazon S3, to ensure that data is being handled with the utmost care.
USCIS rolls out changes to its many forms on a regular basis. Keeping up with each new edition can be a huge headache
From smaller cosmetic updates to more substantive overhauls, USCIS rolls out changes to its many forms on a regular basis. Keeping up with each new edition can be a huge headache.
Luckily, immigration software like Docketwise closely monitors these updates, and adjusts accordingly within just a few business days of a change. Subscribers never have to worry about filing outdated versions of forms, and can instead focus their attention on more substantive areas of their practice. These updates, as well as round-the-clock customer service, are included with the basic package.
Intrigued about all the ways in which technology can help streamline your immigration law practice? See for yourself with a 30 day free trial of Docketwise, and experience all that a comprehensive case management software has to offer your firm.