This post was originally published in April 2020. Last updated: December 3, 2021
Remote work is on the rise in the legal industry thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even court proceedings have taken a remote turn thanks to technology such as Zoom. But even after almost two years into the pandemic, there are some firms that continue to struggle with managing their distributed teams and staying up to date with important firm information.
What these firms need is a trusted cloud-based legal practice management software that will enable them to work remotely, communicate effectively, access important firm information, and continue on with business as usual. Cloud-based systems are a must if your law firm plans to compete in today’s market: They are no longer a luxury, but a necessity.
Selecting the best cloud-based legal practice management software for your law firm is not a decision to be made lightly. This article will help you understand the benefits of going to the cloud and will spell out what you can expect on your buyer’s journey.
What is the Cloud?
But what does “cloud-based” mean? Here’s the simplest description: The cloud allows you to use computing resources that you don’t have locally in your office. This network (or remote server) offers the advantage of minimal to no equipment at your location.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of using a cloud-based legal practice management software, and how it can make a huge impact on your law firm now and into the future:
Benefits of Cloud-Based Legal Practice Management Softwware
Remotely Access All of Your Information
Unlike on-premise systems which can only be accessed by those in a centralized location, cloud-based legal practice management software can be accessed from nearly any device by all team members regardless of where they are located. Whether scattered across town or across the world, you can continue to run your firm from nearly any device.
Sophisticated cloud-based legal practice management systems such as Rocket Matter enable law firms to have immediate access to the following features (plus so much more):
- Time and expense tracking
- Calendars and tasks
- Contact management
- Case management
- Online invoicing and payments
- Client intake
- Document assembly and storage
Firms with more than one attorney can also take advantage of communication and collaboration features that are found in many of today’s cloud-based software, keeping everyone on the same page while apart.
Stop Paying for IT
On-premise systems require servers, which are large (and usually very loud) machines that need to be installed in a physical location. The servers must be maintained with regular updates in order to run effectively. They’ll also need to be protected against hackers, spyware, and ransomware, which requires constant vigilance. And heaven forbid your server goes down. Maintaining these on-premise servers usually requires the help of an IT person who charges thousands of dollars.
Cloud computing means you no longer need a server to store and manage your data, which means no expensive IT costs for you. You’ll also never have to worry about the possibility of the cloud going down since it’s internet-based: If you have problems connecting from one device, try a different wi-fi connection or a phone with cellular data. And you won’t have to worry about your data being held hostage by ransomware.
Enjoy Digital Document Storage
You will outgrow your server if your practice continues to grow. You will simply run out of storage space on it. In addition, your server will probably be obsolete after a few years as technology improves. All that adds up to your having to get rid of the old server and migrate information from it to a new server which, in turn, can cost you thousands of dollars.
With cloud computing, you don’t have to worry about running out of storage because you’ll just pay for the storage you need. Cloud-based legal practice management software such as Rocket Matter even offers unlimited document storage for no extra cost! By digitizing and storing your documents online, you and your firm can collaborate and have instant access to those important files whenever they need.
Drive Down Overhead
Cloud computing can be very affordable if you’re a small practice. Consider this: If you’re not using cloud-based software, then the cost will increase for servers, storage, and that IT person as your firm grows. Not to mention you’ll still have the annoying overhead costs of office supplies such as paper, envelopes, and stamps. Cloud-based legal practice management is easily scalable, and in most cases you can just pay for the core features you really need.
Plus, cloud-based legal practice management software can save you time and money in the long run through automation features such as Rocket Matter’s batch billing, online invoicing, and document assembly. Some Rocket Matter firms have reported profit boosts of up to 30% thanks to our powerful tools.
Selecting a Legal Practice Management Software: What to Expect in Your Buyer’s Journey
Part of having a successful software adoption process is having proper expectations about the steps along the way. Some steps, like data migration, are trickier than others. If you’re a small firm moving to new legal practice management software, your journey is going to be shorter and less complex. But for larger firms, you’re going to have more stakeholders, will need more input from different departments, have more software systems to think about, and will likely need to consider how to shield data from one team to another.
The stages of your buyer’s journey can be broken down as follows:
Requirements gathering: Determine what the firm’s needs are. Difficulty: Not too bad.
Information gathering: See what software is out there and available to match your firm’s needs. Difficulty: Not too bad.
Trial: See if the features of the software live up to the promise. Get feedback from your team to see which software they prefer. Difficulty: Tricky, depending on your team’s willingness to break out of their comfort zones and try new processes.
Data Migration: Purpose: Move data from your old system to your new legal practice management software. Difficulty: Tricky, depending on the age of your system and the software itself.
Implementation: Getting your system set up the way you want and mapping new processes. Difficulty: Depending on the flexibility of your new software – and the flexibility of your staff to adopt new ways of doing things.
Go Live Date: The day when you start using the new system and no longer use the old, aside from referral purposes. Difficulty: Day one is tricky if you’re not prepared. If you’ve done a good job in the previous steps, there should be no surprises.
Training: Protect your technology investment by getting staff to use the software in the correct way. Difficulty: Tricky, depending on the willingness of the staff to adopt new ways of doing things.
Based on our experience working with thousands of law firms, the two toughest parts of a legal practice management software adoption process are migrating your data and adoption.
Also, note that training should 100% not be an afterthought. You will get the most use out of your software if you invest time and money in proper training. Many firms skip this step and end up paying for it later because of improper usage, failed adoption, and other pitfalls that arise when the team is not comfortable with the software.
Rocket Matter has emerged as one of the top choices for legal practice management software among attorneys and legal professionals wanting to boost the productivity and profitability of their firms. It’s quickly become apparent that cloud-based legal practice management software saves time and money, helping law firms perform their jobs more efficiently and promptly.
At Rocket Matter, we recognize that no one solution is perfect for everyone. While many legal professionals will end up using our particular flavor of legal practice management software, our goal is not to convince everyone to join our tribe. It’s much better for you and for us if you find the right fit.
Interested in seeing how Rocket Matter can help your law firm? Book a free demo by speaking with one of Rocket Matter’s management experts. Our team will assist you in determining the pain points your practice is currently experiencing and recommend practical solutions to help.