Immigration Software Blog

The latest & coolest time-saving tech for immigration lawyers (plus some Docketwise updates).

10 Software Options To Streamline Your Immigration Law Practice

10/05/18
For immigration law firms, software can be a crucial tool to help improve efficiency and make work easier for attorneys. However, the term “software” is expansive, and knowing which particular platforms to use requires careful research. With new apps and websites emerging every day, it can be hard to keep track of them all. 

These technologies span the categories of communication, scheduling, payments, and more.

For that reason, we’ve put together a list of proven platforms that immigration lawyers have implemented with great success in their firms. These technologies span the categories of communication, scheduling, payments, and more. Some are free, while others require paid subscriptions, but all can help simplify the complicated workings of an immigration law firm. Hopefully this list can save you time as you consider which technologies to employ in your own practice.

Without further ado, here are ten useful tips for tools that can leverage technology to make your immigration law firm more effective:

  • Dropbox – Dropbox is a cloud-based storage application that allows attorneys to keep and access their files online. From client information to forms and miscellaneous documents, everything stored on Dropbox can be easily accessed from any device. Moreover, Dropbox’s collaborative functionality allows users to create shared folders, so multiple people in a firm can have access to a single set of files. The free package includes 2 gigabytes of storage, which can be upgraded with a paid subscription. 

  • Google Hangouts – Ongoing communication is vital to the success of any immigration law firm, and Google Hangouts has made it easier than ever before. Instead of having to organize meetings in person or by phone, the platform provides a sophisticated channel for conferencing with colleagues online. Along with basic audio and video calling capabilities, Google Hangouts includes a screen sharing feature, which allows users to broadcast a video of their desktop to others in order to work through problems in real time. The best part? It’s all free!

  • Google Drive – Like Dropbox, Google Drive is a cloud-based storage application. What sets it apart is that it allows users to produce documents in-platform, with all the functionality of software like Microsoft Office. Drive includes Docs, Sheets, and Slides, which are the Google equivalents to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint respectively. Documents created in Drive can be exported to an array of useful file formats, making for seamless collaboration with those not using the platform. Drive can be especially functional for immigration lawyers using other Google services, as it integrates well with Gmail and Google Calendar.

  • LawPay – Accepting payments from clients is a vital part of any law firm’s business model, and LawPay offers a simple and secure way to do so. Specially designed for the legal industry, the service processes credit card transactions through its secure online platform. LawPay serves thousands of firms and is vetted by 48 state bar associations in the United States, making it a reputable solution for attorneys looking to digitize their firm’s finances. Other cool features include custom payment pages, which allow firms to add their unique branding to LawPay’s interface, as well as integration with dozens of popular legal software products.

  • Slack – Intra-firm communication software comes in many different forms, and Slack offers a slightly more comprehensive option than the aforementioned Google Hangouts. The service removes the hassle and formality of email and makes communication a more team-based endeavor. Users can create channels, which are essentially chatrooms, and assign certain members of the firm to them. For example, a channel labeled #marketing might include all the members of a firm’s marketing department, as well as upper management. This way, team members will only receive the information they care about. Slack also includes direct messaging capability, so any two members of a firm can communicate privately through the platform.

  • Acuity Scheduling – Immigration law can be a demanding profession, with crowded schedules and long work days common. Fortunately, keeping track of all these appointments has been simplified by services like Acuity Scheduling. The online time management application allows clients to see the availability of their attorneys and schedule meetings directly through the platform, which removes the hassle of both parties having to repeatedly check a calendar. Instead, clients can fill out forms and provide pertinent information through the Acuity app, saving valuable time. Other features include non-intrusive notifications and integration with other scheduling platforms.

  • Squarespace – Building a professional website from scratch is difficult and requires a solid knowledge of web design. Luckily, services like Squarespace allow companies to create clean, customizable websites for a low monthly fee. Boasting a robust library of templates, Squarespace allows customers to choose a look geared perfectly for their business. Rather than shelling out to hire an expensive freelancer, Squarespace offers comparable results for a fraction of the price. Having a strong web presence is vital for immigration law firms these days. Because of this, a service like Squarespace can be a wise investment.

  • Thumbtack – Running an immigration law practice is complicated, and not all of a firm’s needs can be fulfilled in-house. Sometimes, attorneys need to outsource for tasks ranging from branding to tech support to fixing a broken pipe in the office. Thumbtack makes this easy, connecting its users with local professionals in pretty much every field imaginable. With Thumbtack, attorneys can get free cost estimates and compare competitive bids from contractors, allowing for the affordable completion of even the most arcane jobs.

  • RubyReceptionist – Maintaining a company phone number round-the-clock can be exhausting and time-consuming work. That said, responding to phone inquiries is often one of the best ways to get new business. RubyReceptionist offers an ideal solution to this dilemma, allowing to firms to delegate their phone lines to friendly, remote receptionists that answer calls according to customized instructions. These trained professionals can redirect callers, take messages, and more, representing businesses well and cutting costs at the same time. If this wasn’t enough, the RubyReceptionist mobile app allows customers to monitor call activity and edit instructions on the fly.

  • Docketwise – Immigration law requires the preparation of extensive forms for USCIS, as well as regular communication with clients and meticulous internal planning. Specially designed for the field with input from established practitioners, Docketwise brings together all of this into a single comprehensive case management platform. Features include collecting client information with personalized questionnaires, easily using this data to create forms, and managing cases through a suite of administrative functions. By integrating all of these important tasks into a single user-friendly platform, Docketwise saves time and improves efficiency for immigration attorneys.