Organization: it’s one of the keys to every modern law firm’s future success. The more organized your firm is, the more efficiently it will operate. And taking advantage of new law firm software technologies is one of the keys to achieving efficiency.
As Jim Calloway explained in his article “Future Proofing Your Law Firm,” found in the most recent edition of the ABA’s Law Practice Magazine, in the absence of technology-driven, efficient practices firm-wide, you’ll soon find that your firm will be unable to compete with more forward-thinking firms:
Information technology is becoming more interwoven into our lives and business operations every day. A few years ago it might have been appropriate to have a simple feature phone and not a smartphone. But today, not being able to set an appointment on your smartphone does not inspire confidence about your legal ability. Technology purchases and training are and will remain a critical part of law firm operations for long into the future. Out-of-date technology slows down business. It is increasingly dangerous to use an antiquated billing system or to not have a good document management system.
Simply put, you cannot take 10 or 15 minutes to do something that other lawyers can do in a minute, whether you bill that time or not.
The good news is that 21st century law firm software makes it easy to stay on top of your busy law practice and keep everything organized–from your contacts and billing to your documents and more.
There are many different type of software available. Although many lawyers prefer the one-stop shop offered by a full-featured law practice management software system, you can certainly piece-meal a system together using stand-alone apps and software to keep track of all the important aspects of your practice. The choice is yours, but if greater flexibility, mobility and affordability are what you seek, then make sure you don’t overlook cloud-based law firm software options.
So let’s explore just a few of the ways that these software programs can help you to stay organized and thus increase your law firm’s productivity, efficiency, and profitability.
One of the easiest ways to stay organized is to have client and contact information readily accessible. There are many ways to manage your client and contact information. but the easiest way is to use software designed for this very purpose.
If you’re looking for a stand-alone software program designed solely for contact management, Salesforce is a very popular cloud-based option. Law practice management systems are also a great choice, since any well-rounded platform should include a contact management system that allows you to relate all system contacts to all relevant client files in your system. Some systems also have mobile apps, which make it easy to access and input contact information no matter where you are using just your mobile devices.
Billing on the go
Billing on the go is one of the easiest ways to save time and increase profitability. It used to be that the only time you could enter billable time was once you returned to the office. And for many law firms that continue to use premise-based billing software, that is still the case. For these firms, billable time is often lost when lawyers attempt to piece together time billed while away from the office. Phone conversations are often forgotten, as are conversations with clients or opposing counsel in the hallways of the courthouse.
Fortunately, cloud-based billing, whether from a stand-along billing app or your law practice management system’s mobile app, solves this problem. With the touch of a button, billable time is easily input no matter where you are, saving you time and money.
Document and File Management
Gone are the are the days of misfiled documents or entire files. Law practice management software eradicates this problem by making all data easily accessible and searchable from any computer or mobile device with an Internet connection. File organization is a snap when your office is paperless and documents are stored in the cloud.
Another benefit–you no longer have to worry about documents being left behind at the office when you’re in court. As MyCase customer Erin Levine recently explained, she’s more organized and efficient because she can easily access documents right from court using the MyCase mobile app:
“My malpractice insurance premium is lower since I’m far more organized because of MyCase and it includes a built-in conflict checker,” she said. “And when I’m in court and someone claims I never filed an order, I can pull out my iPad and access a copy of the filed order right in court.
So why wait? Get started today! Take advantage of the different law firm software options available and move toward a more organized and efficient law office. Once you incorporate these tools into your day-to-day law practice, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them!