Using legal software can vastly improve a law firm’s efficiency and productivity, saving it time and money. Law firms use legal software to enhance many aspects of business, including:
Software for law firms can be a single, comprehensive, and integrated system, or a collection of solutions based on the firm’s needs, but they are designed to help law firms manage both business and client needs.
Small law firms can reap all the benefits that come with technology, such as increased efficiency and productivity, lower overhead costs, and better adaptability, to compete with larger firms while improving client relationships. As the ABA reported at the end of 2019, small firms are actually the most likely to use cloud software, and solo and small firm attorneys actually have higher potential returns from technology integrations. Read more about software for small law firms.
Lawyers work not just in the office, but also from the courtroom, on the go, and from home. To keep up with the needs of lawyers, law firms must equip their staff with the best hardware and software options available. While away from the office, laptops and smartphones are essential to accessing client documents and correspondence. Most importantly, the software on these devices enables lawyers to work safely and confidently from anywhere. Lawyers need technology that is reliable, mobile, and secure.
Legal system software helps attorneys run and manage all aspects of their practice. Legal software includes everything from automated document and case management, to time tracking and legal billing, to law firm reporting and practice accounting. Legal software can be task specific, such as Microsoft Word for word processing, or more comprehensive such as a single practice management software for all the above. The purpose of legal system software, however, is to automate tasks, reduce overhead costs, and save attorneys time and money.
Cloud-based software is the delivery of computer-based services, such as servers, storage, databases, and software, via the internet. It allows attorneys to work confidentially and securely from anywhere with 24/7 availability and provides benefits such as scalability, reduced costs, and flexibility. It is also important to know what cloud service the software is based on, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), to ensure that attorneys’ information is secure, and service is reliable.
Cloud-based software works using the internet. A cloud service provider, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), handles the storage, server, and databases required for a software provider. Using the software, backed by the cloud service, you can access your personal files and services from your devices using the internet. With cloud-based software, you no longer need to maintain your own servers or authentication and can reduce associated costs while maintaining security.
Case and matter management software helps attorneys handle case and client data with better efficiency, accuracy, and automation. It assists in automatically keeping track of documents, correspondence, time worked, invoices and payments, calendars, clients, and more according to the case of interest. Case and matter management can come as stand-alone software or as part of a comprehensive firm management solution.
Legal time and billing software assists attorneys in keeping track of their time spent on a case, calculating charges for a client, generating invoices, and collecting payments from clients. Legal time tracking software saves attorneys money by eliminating missed billable hours by automatically recording work done on the computer or phone and saving the time directly to the correct case. Legal billing software works with time tracking software to generate bills faster and without errors, allowing attorneys to get paid faster.
The biggest benefits of using law practice management software include:
Law practice management software should include:
When deciding what law practice management software to use, lawyers should first assess the needs, budget, and potential of their firm. Law practice management software is typically a comprehensive, all-in-one solution that aims to help attorneys manage all aspects of the law firm. The best software for practice management should include everything from client management to document storage. Additionally, the software should be cloud-based to provide lower maintenance costs, better security, and more flexibility and accessibility.
Document management software for small legal practices should fulfill the needs of the law firm. Quality software will allow attorneys to import and automate documents, organize files and correspondence by case, access files from anywhere, securely store and share documents, and collect electronic signatures all in an intuitive and up-to-date interface that is easy for the attorneys, staff, and clients. Read more about document management.