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The most important technology investment your law firm can make

Many law firms aspire to compete for larger clients’ business, and a large percentage of them are finding that technology gives them the competitive advantage they need. If using the right technology allows your firm to take the next step in terms of efficiency and client satisfaction, law practice management software is the most important technology purchase you will make for your law firm.

Law practice management software is a holistic solution for law firms that enables attorneys and staff to save and organize client and matter information in a single repository while automating and streamlining non-billable tasks. Clicking on a matter will offer lawyers a chronological view of everything that has happened in that case, from intake to the present. These systems capture and archive documents, legal research, emails, tasks, events, time and billing – tying together all relevant information to clients and matters.

Law practice management systems will sync with your email and calendar, as well as your accounting software. They will even integrate with other practice of law tools that you use every day, including legal research and drafting tools. Everyone on your team will have access to the same case data, available and updated in real-time. Cloud offerings provide unprecedented flexibility, allowing lawyers to work anywhere there is a secure Internet connection.

Other advantages to using cloud-based law practice management software, include:

Increased collaboration

Since law practice management software represents a complete, running diary of everything that passes through your law firm (taking the place of those notes you used to take on the front page of your file, or those Saturday morning meetings you used to host), it facilitates collaboration across the firm. If everyone is operating within the same system – a system that features easy-to-use functionality for updating colleagues and assigning, completing, and monitoring tasks – it will become second nature for everyone at the firm to tag and inform the right users in myriad ways. Don’t jump through hoops trying to share calendars or email document revisions anymore; law practice management software means everyone shares the same calendar and matter documents.

Improved flexibility

Developing a remote workforce brings not only the ability to work from anywhere but also potential cost savings. Being away from the office no longer means losing time during the business day. If you can connect to the internet, you can access all of your client and matter information – anytime, anywhere.

Automating time-consuming tasks

Law firms have typically operated with manual processes that consume significant time, but law practice management automates many of those tasks. Finding previous work product or a much-needed document no longer involves a “go fish” search through mountains of paperwork. Every document within the practice management system is indexed for easy retrieval through a quick online search.

Law practice management software also automates time and billing processes. With a time and billing module in the practice management solution, attorneys and staff can easily record time with the click of a button and quickly generate detailed invoices from their time records.

Practice management solutions with built-in legal calendaring also automate calculating and calendaring legal deadlines. Law practice management software will allow you to reduce significant amounts of manual activity, so you can work more collaboratively and deliver greater value to your clients in less time.

Hedging against malpractice

Lawyers usually get into trouble because something slips through the cracks. They miss an important deadline, fail to act on it and prejudice the client, or they overlook calendaring a specific deadline altogether. Because law practice management software provides a chronological case history, at a glance, it is far easier to stay on top of your cases. You can check in quickly, and assure yourself of your currency with a matter. And task reminders, or ticklers, will ping you when you do need to act. Practice management software with built-in legal calendaring functions will also take the stress and risk out of incorrectly calculating or overlooking legal deadlines.

Increased client satisfaction

The availability of a chronological case history also makes it easier to keep your clients informed of case status when they contact you.

A cursory review can lead directly to a comprehensive conversation related to the current status and next steps. Setting a recurring reminder within the practice management system to follow up with active clients regularly – even when nothing significant is happening with their cases – lets your clients know you care about them and their matter. And, clients who feel cared for do not make ethics complaints.

The availability of a secure client portal within law practice management software means that it is easier than ever to share and edit documents with clients securely. The right law practice management software will help you work more efficiently, allow you to practice at the top of your game, deliver better client satisfaction, and ultimately, drive more business and referrals to your firm.

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