As Founder and C.E.O of Red Cave Consulting, attorney Jared Correia helps lawyers improve their law practices for a living. In fact, he’s been doing it for a while now. Before starting Red Cave, he worked as a law practice management consultant at the Massachusetts State Supreme Court. And even after all these years working with attorneys, Jared is still sometimes shocked by the relatively low percentage of law firms using law practice management tools.
In fact, the results of the first poll during yesterday’s webinar, “What Can Law Practice Management Do For You?” showed that 52% of attendees still use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of their clients. While Excel is definitely great at sorting and filtering rows and columns of data, it falls short compared to the more cutting edge technologies that are available to lawyers when it comes to mobility, features, and security (to name a few).
That’s why Jared believes there’s a lot of room for attorneys to improve the way they manage their law firms and that the best way to do that is to use a case management system. This is because when you run your practice using cloud-based software, you become “device agnostic,” meaning you can access your case management software and run your law firm regardless of whether you’re on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop.
Another benefit to legal case management software is its user control and access features. Not only can you consolidate firm documents, tasks, and calendar tools in one place, you’re also able to centralize access to that data. With one password and one access point, user permissions allow you to control who views and accesses case-related information.
In this hour-long webinar with Q & A, Jared provides dozens of examples that show how law practice management software can streamline your practice. He also walks you through comparisons of the two different paths available to you: one where your firm uses law practice management software and one where it doesn’t.
After watching this webinar, ask yourself: which path is the right one for your law firm?
Consolidation of Features
According to Jared, one of the biggest advantages of an effective case management system is that it allows you to consolidate the features of 4-5 different software programs into one. Additionally, you avoid the hassles of managing multiple systems. In other words, legal practice management software provides a holistic, easily accessible database of primary information for your law firm.
Jared begins the presentation with a focus on the benefits of consolidating features using case management software, including:
- Multiple Processes and One Dashboard
- Email, and Calendar
- Cloud, and Mobile Access
- User Control and Access Control
- Data Archive and Repository.
Next he explains that when you sign up for malpractice insurance, one of the standard questions on the application is whether you maintain a dual calendar system in your firm. Although many law firms do this, according to Jared, it’s a terrible idea. The more calendars your law firm uses, the more likely you are to experience errors. Multiple calendars increase the incidence of mistakes, resulting in a greater risk of malpractice.
The easiest way to address this problem is to use case management software with built-in legal calendaring tools. It’s far easier to manage, delegate, monitor, and receive updates (and avoid those weekend meetings) by using a legal practice management system. Jared explains that other benefits include:
- Sync with Existing Calendar(s)
- Single Calendar Approach
- Tasks and Events Related to Client Files
- Delegate and Monitor Assignments
- Mobile Access
- Automated Notifications.
During Jared’s presentation, he references the book “The Checklist Manifesto,” and points out that even for professionals, using a checklist dramatically reduces errors. For attorneys, this means features like Workflow help reduce the chance of a malpractice claim, while saving you a tremendous amount of time. Among other things, Workflows increases efficiency, reduces errors, and provides great client management. Jared explains that this feature will:
- Save Time
- Reduce Errors
- Help You to Delegate Effectively
- Create Urgency and Time Sensitivity
- Encourage You to Build Processes
“If you want to make more money in 2017 as an attorney, give your clients meaningful payment options.”
With case management software, you have a centralized system for all of your time and billing. You aren’t using 3 different products to track time, invoice your clients, and collect payments. Instead, you have a single system that handles all of these tasks, which means you can automate your billing and invoicing.
With MyCase practice management software, you get built-in payment solutions and an award-winning customer support team to help answer any questions you have about your payment solution or case management software (and just one support phone number to call). In the presentation you’ll learn how law practice management software can streamline your firm’s financial management with:
- Centralized Time and Billing
- Invoice Automation
- Integration with Accounting Software
- Payment Processing
- Ease of Access for Accounting Professionals.
During Jared’s time as a law practice management consultant for the Massachusetts State Supreme Court, most of the attorneys he worked with had been disciplined by the State bar due to calendaring errors. Others failed to return their clients’ calls, delegated ineffectively, or mismanaged trust accounts. These simple mistakes led to client complaints and disciplinary actions.
This is why case management software that provides a centralized location for calendaring, trust account management, and client notifications makes a tremendous difference. Built-in organizational features like these help protect you from both an ethics and malpractice standpoint. Additionally, features like the client portal offer more secure client communication, provide clients and staff with access to case documents, information, and calendars, thus offering more protection than any other option available.
In the webinar, Jared explains that malpractice and disciplinary claims are greatly reduced when lawyers use case management software because of these built-in features (and many more!):
- Client Notifications
- Calendar Management
- Trust Account Management
- Data Security
- Staff Management
- Transparency (for Clients and Staff)
The full recording and the presentation slides are below, but the best way for you to experience the true benefits of law practice management software is to try it out for yourself!
What are you waiting for? Try MyCase for free for 30-days (no credit card required) and get access to all of its great features.