5 Things to Look for in Law Office Management Software
Your law office is been using half-a-dozen software packages to manage your practice over the last decade. It is evident that your computer systems need an upgrade, so now you’re searching for a one-stop solution that combines everything you need in a single application. That’s great. But do you know what to look for?
There are lots of adequate law office management packages to choose from. There are only a few truly exceptional packages, according to the people behind the NuLaw case management app. Moreover, features are not necessarily the defining factor. Rather, it is the underlying philosophy that manifests itself in said features.
With that in mind, here are five things to look for in a new software package:
1. A Cloud Foundation
There is no disputing that cloud computing has overtaken the modern world. Cloud technology has done a lot of great things, including paving the way for software as a service (SaaS). A cloud-based legal software application utilizes all of the things that make SaaS superior to individually owned, locally hosted software.
In simple terms, legal software hosted in the cloud is more efficient and more secure. It gives everyone involved real-time access to data and applications in an environment protected by all of the latest security technologies.
2. Automated Tasks
Next, a good case management application maximizes automation whenever possible. Automation eliminates many of the mundane tasks of practicing law so that attorneys and support staff are not bogged down with things that only serve to distract them from working with clients. Automation can make everything from invoicing to case acquisition seamless and virtually effortless.
3. ABA-Compliant Billing
It is absolutely imperative that any modern legal case management software package include an ABA-compliant billing module. Otherwise, law firms are left with a separate billing and accounting package that ultimately defeats the purpose of having a one-stop solution. As long as you are searching for new software for your law firm, it might just as well be a package that integrates compliant billing.
4. Advanced Reporting Capabilities
In today’s data-driven world, the success or failure of a law firm may rely heavily on whether or not that firm has access to performance data. As such, a good law firm software package should offer access to a plethora of relevant data points in real time. All of these data points should be easily understandable through reporting features that make the complex easy. In short, advanced reporting capabilities are that which drive the informed decisions that lead to success.
5. Secure Communication Options
Finally, communication is key to the attorney-client relationship. It is also key to the working relationships within the office environment. Case management software should facilitate communications by offering a number of different secure options.
On the client side, communication should go beyond simple e-mail. Clients should have the ability to upload documents, follow attorney and staff conversations, and contribute to those conversations with ease.
On the other side, attorneys need multiple tools to connect with clients and support staff simultaneously. They need tools to connect with other attorneys outside the office. They need tools for interacting with the courts for filing paperwork, retrieving records, and so forth.
The underlying philosophy of a truly exceptional software package is one of streamlining the business aspect of practicing law so that lawyers can concentrate on their clients and cases. A software package that can truly pull this off is head and shoulders above the rest. That is what you should be looking for in the quest to upgrade your law firm’s computer system.