Law practice management software: it’s not something you spend your days thinking about because after all, your energy is focused on practicing law. But when your law firm’s software isn’t 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But how can you tell that your law practice management system is outdated? A few weeks ago over at Attorney at Work, you learned how to how to determine whether it was time to upgrade your law firm’s software. Still not convinced? Then here are 4 more surefire signs that it just might be time to upgrade.
Surefire signs it’s time to upgrade
1. 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. Just one important reason it’s time for an upgrade!
2. Your software doesn’t have automatic updates that include new features
Does your premise-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.
3. 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.
4. 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 24/7 no matter where you happen to be.
More tips from the experts on upgrading your firm’s software
So now that you’re ready to make the move to cloud-based software, what’s the next step? After all, it’s never easy transitioning from one system to another. This is especially so when you’re busy practicing law day in and day out.
If you’re not sure where to start, as I shared in the Attorney at Work post, the Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide by John Simek, Michael Maschke and Sharon D. Nelson might be just what you need. In this comprehensive book, published by the ABA and updated annually, the authors provide lots of great advice on choosing the right legal technology. I shared some of their advice in the Attorney at Work post, and here are some additional tips from their book to get you on your way to a technology upgrade.
First and foremost, the authors emphasize the importance of avoiding consumer-grade or free software. They stress that choosing quality legal technology will make all the difference in the long run:
“Invest in quality technology that will have a good shelf life and serve you well—that means buying business-grade (not consumer-grade) technology.”
Another recommendation made by the authors is to use secure online portals for client communication in lieu of unsecure email. However, as the authors explain, it’s more than just security concerns that drive lawyers to use client portals – online portals are a superior replacement for other more traditional, inefficient methods of communication, saving lawyers both time and money:
“They do offer a high level of secure communications, allowing you to communicate securely from anywhere with real-time notification to clients. Forget the aggravation of playing phone tag. Provide clients with documents to review, the status of their cases, and access to their invoices. The ability to do all that will make your practice seem much more modern and efficient—and reduce phone calls that are no longer necessary.”
And last but not least, guess which legal practice management software program with a built-in client portal is one of the top 3 that the authors encounter most often? It’s MyCase!
It’s time to upgrade
So, if your law firm is still using premise-based law practice management software, it’s time to get rid of that dusty old server and move your law firm to the cloud! Your antiquated software is causing you to waste both time and money on unexpected technology problems, and as we all know, for lawyers, time is money. Get your firm off to a strong start in 2019 by ensuring that your firm’s technology is up-to-date. What are you waiting for? The beginning of a new year is the perfect time for a technology upgrade. What better time than now?