Duct Tape. That’s what’s holding together law office technology at the typical small firm (metaphorically speaking, that is). Typically the duct tape holds together Outlook for contacts, calendar, and email, Quickbooks for billing, and I don’t even wanna know what Word doc or other rigged solution firms have to track the progress on a case.
Don’t take it from me. Talk to any of the North America’s Practice Management Advisors, or PMA’s. They’ll tell you to take a good hard look at legal practice management software. Here’s three reasons how an LPM system help:
1) Less Duplication = Less Errors
What you want to avoid: every computer keeping a separate repository of contacts and documents. Everyone in the firm should have access to the same data. When you update a contact once, it updates everywhere. Seems simple, but a lot of peeps don’t do it.
Also, when you set up or update client information, if you’re entering information in five different software programs, you’re not only wasting time, you’re introducing a high risk for data entry error.
2) On-time, Accurate Billing
Consistently accurate bills out on time is, in my opinion, one of the most important operational aspect of any law firm. The reasons for this are many, including improved cash flow, better client relations, and less work lost or written off. We explore the underestimated importance of timely billing in earlier blog posts.
Good legal practice management software, especially when integrated with time and billing software, eliminates the need for firms to scramble through calendar appointments and legal pads to try to reconstruct time. Less time is lost, the clients receive accurate and timely bills, and the firm machinery keeps operating efficiently.
3) More Efficient Time Management
Once all of your contact, calendar, and case information is organized in one easy-to-access place, you’ll spend less time filing, less time paying someone else to file, and less time trying to figure out where information is. In addition, you won’t need to spend time switching between programs, trying to move data from one program to another.
In addition, if you have lots of moving pieces organizing your law firm, you stand an increased chance of one of ’em going down.
Ultimately, legal practice management software is all about streamlining how you do business. If these three reasons aren’t convincing, I’ll be posting three more that might address your concerns.