Immigration law firms almost always need to use multiple tools to truly optimize and automate their workflows, and having these tools communicate with one another is one of the best ways to achieve automation. Fortunately, technology has moved in the direction of building the necessary bridges between platforms that allows you to integrate and have one system “talk” to another.
If this sounds overwhelming, don’t fret. Integrating and connecting various tools doesn’t have to be hard, and the most important first step is to figure out what integrations are important for you and your practice before actually implementing them. So, in this article we’ll go over some of the various tools and platforms that immigration law firms should consider integrating into their “tech stack” (more on what that means below) and how to approach integrating them as you automate more of your law firm’s processes.
Let’s dive in.
In simple terms, integrations are what allows two different softwares to talk to each other. The more technical name — API, or Application Programming Interface — is a set of protocols created to establish how one platform talks to another and how they will interact and show information to you within each platform’s user interface.
For example, an integration between your immigration case management system and Microsoft Outlook means that you can create an event in your case management tool and it will automatically add it to your Outlook calendar. Without an integration, you have to create that event twice: once in your tool to track it, and another time in your calendar to actually remind you. So integrations are hugely important to save you time and avoid confusion or error that may stem from manual, data entry in multiple systems. Ultimately, integrations are there to help you get the most out of your tech stack and streamline as much of it as possible.
The next foundational question is, “what is a ‘tech stack?’”
A tech stack, or technology stack, is a term that basically encompasses all the different tools and technologies a company uses to get work done on a daily basis. For law firms, this likely means some combination of a case and immigration forms management platform, a billing system, a project management tool, etc.
So if someone asks you what tools you have in your tech stack, you might mention your email client, your billing system, your case management system, and whatever other tech you use to do your work.
We’ve gone over general tools and tech that are useful for immigration lawyers in a prior article, so now let’s dive into what software platforms you should consider for your practice that you can integrate with your immigration case management system as the main “source of truth” for your firm.
The most important question to ask is: what tools do you need to get your work done? While there isn’t one perfect list for every firm, here are a few categories of tools you should consider when thinking about your law firm’s tech stack:
While we can’t list every single type of tool you might need, one way to figure out what other tech to look for is to ask yourself, “what else does my law firm do that I’d like to have automated or streamlined?” You never know what tech is out there if you don’t look around, so once you have that list, see if there’s anything out there that can tackle it.
Generally, there are two ways platforms integrate with one another: one is via a native API, and another is through a third party tool like Zapier.
Ultimately, integration is supposed to be simple, and is aimed at enabling companies to take advantage of how technology can impact their bottom line.
Docketwise is the only immigration case management platform that has an open API and a number of integrations to help you build a tech stack for your firm that will best streamline your process, improve efficiency, and enhance communication and client satisfaction.
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