Accelerating law firm growth with ProLaw
Time is always of the essence for any lawyer, whether that’s focusing on time capture, speeding up the invoicing process while increasing billing accuracy and minimizing write-downs, or working smarter and more efficiently — both on matters themselves and in terms of client collaboration. Now that lawyers are frequently working offsite, all those things need to happen seamlessly, from anywhere.
Legal enterprise software tools that enable secure, remote access and streamlined processes can play a significant role in helping law firms drive productivity, improve their cash flow, and enhance their client relationships — accelerating their growth in the process.
Having effective, modern law firm practice management software is essential, but these days, firms need to deploy solutions that are ahead of the curve, with new features and functionality added all the time to ensure they remain best in class. ProLaw® Workspace is an example of this in action: as a web-based extension of the ProLaw legal practice management solution, it feeds into firms’ existing ProLaw systems — whether hosted in the cloud or on premises — allowing users to perform a multitude of tasks wherever they are, from laptops or mobile devices.
This simultaneously helps firms maximize the value of their ProLaw data while adding to the user experience — and without needing a whole new product built, since it works with the most recent versions of ProLaw. It can also link into Thomson Reuters HighQ, the legal operations and business management software that simplifies legal processes and facilitates closer collaboration with clients to streamline workflows even more.
Eliminating the “PDF shuffle”
In the post-COVID-19 world, where remote and hybrid working are now the norm, ProLaw Workspace is a game changer for lawyers, the billing team, and others who would otherwise be locked out of critical data and unable to do their jobs properly when not in the office.
Time entry and billing are a case in point: time spent on matters is easy to submit, track, and edit in Workspace, with powerful search tools to help find the right matter easily, along with built-in consistency around potential problem areas such as when abbreviations are used — an avoidable complication which too often causes write-downs. This does not require tiring configuration; it’s a “light lift” from that point of view. But any rules or settings that are set up in ProLaw will automatically flow right through into Workspace.
Moreover, firms can be empowered to stop doing “the PDF shuffle” where reams of paper proformas and pre-bills are bundled up and manually delivered to attorneys to review and validate, creating delays and a lack of visibility in the process. Solving this issue in a paperless environment was the rationale behind the development of ProLaw Paperless Proforma, which allows billing teams to generate proformas using custom tabs where appropriate to populate information in the right way for the firm’s specific needs or in the most efficient manner. They can send out notifications to attorneys with links to all the proformas requiring their attention and lawyers can easily edit and review them in bulk or line by line.
Users can easily see what information is relevant to the invoice today, what has gone out in the past for this client/matter, and the overall accounts receivable. Having this fluidity of information — without having to ask for the data from the accounts team — makes it easier for lawyers to prompt client payments in a timely manner and maintain a steady cash flow. It also breaks down silos and enhances visibility across key financial indicators.
Top-line visibility supports bottom-line strength
Administrators can likewise see how long a bill has been outstanding and who the current “owner” is without having to manually sift through spreadsheets to check and then chase prebills and payments. Easier collaboration between lawyers and billing teams — for example, via the ability to leave notes on the system regarding issues like discounts and non-chargeable items — also makes for more efficient, accurate billing processes. Analytics, such as graphs and grids, are easy to see on the ProLaw dashboard and data points can be sliced and diced to easily see the status broken down by individuals or roles.
Having all these time and billing management tools and data readily accessible anywhere, anytime, can have a major impact on improving the bottom line. But that’s by no means all that ProLaw can do. Read on to explore how it delivers innovative legal case management solutions and vanguard document assembly capabilities, for both remote users and those on-premises, to push law firms even further up the productivity curve.
The power of the dashboard: Calendaring and beyond
When it comes to case management, being able to see important calendar events such as tasks, deadlines, and appointments flagged up on the ProLaw dashboard from any device is critical to helping busy lawyers keep on top of their schedules. Also important is that this information is automatically pushed out to Microsoft Outlook® and that it is informed by legal calendaring rules, giving greater confidence that law firm calendaring is accurate and comprehensive. Events tabs can be filtered and searched, notes can be logged, tasks marked completed, and edits made — all of which will be updated in relevant users calendars.
The dashboard is also the gateway to a range of other data and functionality. For example, it displays top-line financial information from which users can drill down into details such as bills paid, current accounts receivable, and trust account balances. It is also possible to filter or search documents or save them in the document management system via the dashboard by simply dragging and dropping them across. Additionally, notes can be leveraged so that others in the firm can see activity on a matter as needed.
Powerful document creation and sharing capabilities
Automated document assembly is another powerful component of ProLaw that is easily accessible online via Workspace — data can be pulled out of the ProLaw database and populated into a variety of document templates, including letters of engagement. These drafts can easily be edited and reviewed, mitigating the risk of errors and making sure lawyers’ time is being utilized in the most effective way. There are also extensive built-in document search tools that enable lawyers to find exactly what they are looking for among huge volumes of files. They can conduct searches in a number of ways, from keyword or document type to the date or the names of professionals involved.
Taking these resources to another level for firms using Thomson Reuters HighQ — the legal operations and business management solution that facilitates closer collaboration with clients — documents can be saved securely from ProLaw, including via Workspace, into client portals. Again, there is a lot of automated functionality available here that can simplify client communications and streamline workflows. For example, notifications will automatically be sent to relevant client contacts telling them there is a new document available in their portal and what actions need to be taken.
All of the above examples illustrate benefits that include developing smoother legal workflows, creating efficiency gains, and improving both the user experience when utilizing law firm software and the client experience when working with tech-forward law firms that take the friction out of processes.
Implementing modern, intuitive solutions can also prove an attractive selling point to the next generation of legal talent who have grown up as digital natives and are keen to work for innovative firms that use smart software as an enabler and a competitive differentiator. ProLaw has been designed with all these needs in mind, empowering law firms to sharpen their edge — both now and in the future as they drive growth.
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