There are a lot of tools today that are designed to automate most of the day to day tasks and increase efficiency and productivity of firms in the legal practice. Not all these tools are created equal though. Some are more effective and may help your firm better operate at its maximum potential. Just how do you tell apart the best legal software from the rest? Here’s some heads-up.
Start with a meticulous needs analysis
What are your firm’s immediate and long-term goals? How many law attorneys are in your firm today, and how many do you intend to have in the next year, or in the next 5 to 10 years?
The responses you provide to these questions will determine the kind of software that can serve your firm best. You don’t want a solution that your firm will outgrow in the near future – that can create further expenses which are avoidable if you make the right projections now.
Further, you’ll have to think about the functions you need the software to complete. Are you looking for a comprehensive case management software, customer relations management (CRM) software or a pure accounting software? What you need the software to do, alongside your growth projections will determine how comprehensive the software solution must be.
A good needs analysis will create a clear picture of the kind of legal software that will improve the efficiency of your law firm and bring about client satisfaction.
Think about all the features you need
Following a needs analysis, it should be easier to determine the exact features to look for in a software solution. Ideally, you’ll be looking for a case management software that has as many features that are integral to your operations as possible. It should address all your needs and most of your wants; this consideration is what will point you to the core features to look for in the software.
It is best to start by listing down these features before you start shopping around – such as calendar, documents, tasks, you name it.
Go for a solution that is easy to use
You will spend less on training staff on how to work with an easy-to-use software solution, saving money in the process. Additionally, the staff is likely to spend less time learning how to use such as case management software.
Your law firm won’t have weeks of spare time to spend training current personnel on how to use a new program – you could be having ongoing cases whose success depends on your firm’s efficiency and timeliness. The ideal legal software solution is intuitive for your employees and case managers right off the bat.
If your current case managers and attorneys find the solution intuitive and easy to use, chances are that your new hires will also find it the same. That way, you will have less time investment required for training the new hires, leading to significant time and cost saving.
In today’s increasingly competitive legal and business landscape, implementing a good case management software can make the difference between a profitable and a non-profitable law firm. Be sure to use these tips to evaluate your software solution and streamline your legal practice to achieve more efficiency.