10 Signs Your Law Practice Management Software is Outdated

Legendary Osborne computer

(Photo credit: kalleboo)

Law practice management software: it’s not something you spend your days thinking about because after all, you’re busy practicing law. But when it’s not working the way it should, you end up spending more time dealing with practice management hassles instead of representing your clients. That’s why effective, modern law practice management software is so important–because when it’s working properly, practice management becomes an afterthought and you can spend more time doing what you went to law school to do–representing your clients.

But how can you tell that your law practice management system is outdated? Here are 10 sure-fire signs that it just might be time to upgrade:

1.  You’re cobbling together several systems instead of one

Is your law practice management system made up of 5 different incompatible software programs? If so, you’re probably beginning to find that as your law firm grows, this jury-rigged system simply isn’t cutting it anymore. Nothing works the way it should and it’s causing more headaches than it’s worth. In that case, it’s time for one system that handles all of your law practice management needs in one place.

2.  You still have endless stacks of paper around your office

There are so many stacks of paper all over your law office that you can’t see the forest for the trees. Copy and printing costs are through the roof, not to mention the cost of storing files once a case has closed. It’s time to go paperless. You’ve been thinking about it for a while and the time is now.

3. You still have a rolodex on your desk

You’ve been meaning to move your contacts into an online system, but have been putting it off. After all you’ve got the same old rolodex you’ve been using since you were admitted to practice law. Unfortunately, you can’t take your rolodex with you when you leave the office. Wouldn’t it be great if you could access all of your contacts right from your smartphone? You know it would.

4.  Your software looks like it was designed in the 90s (and probably was!)

News flash: it’s 2013. If you have flashbacks to college whenever you use your law practice management software, it’s a sure sign that it’s time to move your law firm to a 21st century law practice management system.

5.  You still have to maintain a server (probably located in your office’s closet) to run your software

Do you have your IT firm on speed dial? Are you sick and tired of paying an arm and a leg to fix your server every time it breaks down? Does the thought of investing thousands of dollars into a new server give you a headache? Maybe it’s time to get rid of that dusty old server and move your law firm to the cloud.

6.  Your software doesn’t have automatic updates that include new features

Does your server-based law practice management software issue updates once a year–based on feedback from 2 years ago? Do the little bugs and glitches in the software drive you crazy on a daily basis? If your law practice management software was cloud-based, your provider could fix those minor glitches practically overnight and roll out new features on a regular basis. But with server-based software, patience isn’t just a virtue–it’s a requirement.

7. The support for your law practice management software has been discontinued

Are you on your own when you encounter issues with your current system? Is the support number discontinued or are you forced to rely on online forums for the free software you’re using? If so, then Houston, we have a problem. It’s time to upgrade.

8.  Your software doesn’t come with a mobile app

You’ve got a smartphone, now use it for more than just phone calls. If your law practice management software doesn’t offer a mobile app, then it’s time to upgrade to a system that does so that you can manage your law practice no matter where you happen to be.

9.  You’re still using unsecure email to communicate with clients instead of secure online portals

Email is inherently unsecure. It’s the same as sending a postcard to your client written in pencil. We didn’t always have more secure methods of communicating, but now that we do. Isn’t it time to make the switch and communicate with your clients in one place, using a secure online portal?

10.  Your software doesn’t leverage new technologies such as online billing and instant credit card payments

Representing your clients well and obtaining the best results possible is one of the most fulfilling parts of practicing law. But getting paid is nice, too. That’s why it’s so important to have law practice management software that makes it easy for you to track time, prepare and send invoices, and easily accept credit card payments. The more convenient it is for your clients to pay you, the more likely they are to do it!

The time is now!

Any of this sound familiar? If so, then what are you waiting for? Research your options and upgrade your law practice management software today! Your future self, and your clients, will thank you!

–Nicole Black

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