Why wait? Taking the steps toward improving your firm’s cash flow will increase your firm’s success.
Legal practice management software is the backbone of your firm. So we’re helping you ensure it’s well adapted to your areas of focus. Building on our previous Practice Management Buyer’s Guide, we’re pleased to offer this primer on how the latest software can help you succeed in a variety of practice areas — and how easy an upgrade can be.The LegalTech Publishing Buyer's Guides and the products and services listings below are supported by vendor sponsorships.
For a comprehensive overview of Practice Management solutions,
Over 40,000 professionals in the legal business rely on Assembly Software’s products to power their firms. Their flagship, cloud-based platform, Neos, configures precisely to a firm’s needs with its case checklist, document management, and analytics features. Assembly’s brands include Needles, Trialworks, and Neos.
Filevine is the leading cloud-based collaborative work solution for law firms. Powering everything from case management and document management to client communication and business analytics, Filevine’s custom and bespoke tools simplify and elevate practice management and growth.
Law Ruler’s mission is to simplify the process of growing your practice. Our comprehensive Legal CRM, Client Intake, and Marketing Automation solutions streamline communications, generate more business, and save you valuable time so you can do more of what matters most… serving your clients.
Moxtra powers your OneStop Customer Portal – your digital branch, with continuous collaboration experiences, helping you retain and grow customers, manage your distributed organization, and lower your costs for doing business. Moxtra’s Customer Collaboration Platform can power your branded OneStop Customer Portal as a fluid extension of your existing website, web or mobile app, or as a standalone web and mobile app.
MyCase is a complete law practice management solution that helps firms run efficiently from anywhere, provide an exceptional client experience, and easily track firm performance so that they can reach their business goals.
Law practice management software made easy
Legal Practice Management Software Built for Today’s Busy Firms
SmartAdvocate is a fully integrated legal case management system made to handle the challenges of today’s fast paced, highly competitive, and technologically demanding world. Initially designed by and for personal injury and mass tort litigation firms, SmartAdvocate is now used by a wide range of practices.
At HALF THE COST of other solutions, TimeSolv provides the robust time, billing, and payment needs law firms demand, without the extra features you never use. Store payment information and run hundreds of payments in seconds on YOUR timeline, achieving ZERO AR!
In this episode, Jared welcomes Joyce Bradford and Bob Culliton to talk about case management software and how it can be used as an accountability tool for lawyers.
There has been lots and lots of movement within the legal technology space of late. And law practice management software providers are the ones doing most of the moving — whether they are acquiring or being acquired.
But every single one of those moves is seismic for a not insignificant number of attorneys who are users of the affected software programs.
So, in this episode of the Non-Eventcast, we brought in a fabulous foursome of guests, who helped us cut through all the noise.
What does law practice management software do?
Law practice management software forms the backbone for the full scope of a firm’s business operations — all the way from client intake to invoicing and future business development. It organizes varied data related to clients and matters into comprehensive files, saving enormous amounts of time and allowing lawyers to focus on high-level legal work instead of administrative tasks.
How can case management software support my practice area?
From family law to trusts and estates, different practice areas have different emphases. Do you need to track net-worth metrics for a division-of-assets dispute? Manage the sprawling case information related to a general litigation matter? Streamline the intake process critical to a personal injury practice? Today’s practice management software can be adapted to your practice area, dramatically increasing the benefits it provides.
What are the biggest challenges in upgrading your case management platform?
Migrating your data to a new system — be it on-premises or in the cloud — will inevitably create challenges for any law firm. However, today’s software providers are experts at this process. They will work with you to create a path that requires the smallest amount of effort. In the end, most firms will find that the effort has been well worth it, as new software provides transformational business benefits. As an added bonus, this process will help you clean out data and systems that are no longer needed at your firm.
What are the biggest misconceptions about practice management tech?
These are myriad. Some small firm managers wrongly believe they don’t need a robust practice management platform and that their legacy systems will keep them in business. Others see the costs as too high, or the task of onboarding too onerous. While concerns like these aren’t frivolous, the reality is that practice management software is now table stakes for law firms looking to remain competitive. And the longer you continue to work in your current system, the more difficult an upgrade may become.
There’s a term for when attorneys use Latin and other arcane languages to describe legal processes to consumers: “legalese.”
But there’s no similar term for when vendors use technical and other arcane languages to describe their legal software operations to lawyers.
True, this dynamic may seem unfair. But now we have The Legal Tech-to-English Dictionary to help us cope.
Read on for the latest installment, where we translate Practice Management topics to plain English.
‘Practice Area-Specific Case Management Software
1. Law practice management software that includes features customized for specific practice areas out of the box, whether as a standalone product, or as a bolt-on to an existing product.
One challenge is that this software is often not as popular or feature-rich as the generic tools that have a wider customer base. Niches lead to riches, they say — I guess, unless you’ve got a practice-area specific case management software product.
Lawyer 1: My practice area-specific case management software is pretty cool. But, it can’t connect to my email or my CRM. And, it doesn’t really do workflows. And, it doesn’t have a payments feature. And, it doesn’t have a client portal. But, I don’t have to pay for a time and billing product that I don’t need, because I don’t track my time. This is how I win.’
1. The art and science of pushing data fields (information types) into and out of connected software systems.
If you’re going to integrate softwares, which may be essential when you’re trying to leverage a generalized case management software product for a specific legal practice area, you’ll need to have a basic sense of what field mapping is.
Essentially, it means that fields in one software need to export directly to fields in another software, potentially continuously, so that the two systems can work together. The challenge is that fields often have slightly different names between softwares — that’s why this is a challenge. If everything was named the same way, this would be easy.
Lawyer 1: This field mapping is a real pain, Marguerite. Now, is it “first-name” or “first/name”? And, wait: Do we want separate fields for first and last names? Ah, to hell with it. I’m gonna go get a caramel macchiato.
1. Data fields that users can create, and which are not available by default within a software.
This is one of the reasons why field mapping is so hard, because in some softwares, users are able to create whatever fields they want. Now, try linking that software with another one in which the user can create whatever additional fields they want. The permutations boggle the mind and confound implementation consultants. This is a great (necessary?) feature, if you want to customize generic case management software for your practice, however.
Lawyer 1: Can we create a custom field for peoples’ pets on their contact pages? Maybe for, like, multiple types of pets? Different breeds? Does anyone know how long a leopard gecko lives for?
Lawyer 2: Too long. . . . Too long.
1. Aggregated data sets that users can create and compile, and which are not available by default within a software.
So, within specific practice areas, attorneys may need, not just custom fields, but reporting tools that can build upon those custom fields, to generate KPIs unique to the law firm. That means that if you’re trying to customize a law practice management software to your unique needs, you’re also going to need custom reporting tools, which will allow you to create your own unique reports. The ability to generate custom reports also allows law firms to create totally unique KPIs, specifically suited to their business.
Lawyer 1: This custom reporting feature is dope. I never knew that Sylvester neglected to sign office birthday cards 75% of the time. I always knew that that guy was a jerk.
‘Document Templates’ (or ‘precedents’ – for our friends in the Commonwealth nations)
1. Base document types which can be customized for specific clients via field inputs and logic.
Specific legal practice areas require specific documents, both those generated by court systems and internally by law firms.
Thus, an estate planning firm needs estate planning documents suited for its jurisdiction, while a small business/corporate law firm needs the right formation documents. And bankruptcy and immigration law firms need the appropriate court and administrative forms for their practices.
Those documents can be completed, potentially automatically, by pulling in field information from a case management software and by completing “interviews” that generate completed documents.
If you’re using a law practice management software for a specific practice, you’ll need to acquire or build template documents, and automate them, via that software or an integrated software — that is, if you want to be more efficient and make more money.
Lawyer 1: I asked Anita for the document templates like you asked, and she told me they’re in something called “Word Perfect.” Is that, like, “Candy Crush,” or something? Can you please help me?
Jared Correia is the host of the Non-Eventcast.
Why wait? Taking the steps toward improving your firm’s cash flow will increase your firm’s success.
If you want to get up to speed on the latest news about law practice management software, this is one podcast you’re going to want to listen to right now.
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