What is Law Practice Management Software?
Running personal injury law firms is incredibly complicated.
Because of today’s technological advancements, legal clients expect more from their lawyers than ever before.
Consumers have become spoiled with instantaneous access to information by their many service providers.
As a result, they expect the same thing from their lawyers.
Keeping up with today’s increasingly demanding clients, while also staying on top of a busy law practice isn’t a simple task.
Most use law practice management software for this.
Modern personal injury lawyers need a reliable system for case management.
The options for law management practice software run from streamlined law-firm productivity software to all-in-one law firm marketing and business management software.
In short, law practice management software will help streamline personal injury law firms so that your lawyers can meet their clients’ needs while running an efficient, profitable law firm.
Legal practice management software isn’t anything new. It’s been around for decades now.
However, today’s cloud-based software is a game-changer.
Cloud-based programs provide lawyers with 24/7 access to their law firm’s data from any location using an internet-enabled device.
Cloud-based software offers personal injury lawyers the convenience of mobile, flexible access to case-related information at an affordable, cost-effective price.
Like other types of legal software, cloud-based tools are your best, and likely soon, your only option if you’re looking for law practice management software.
This is because many companies are starting to phase out premise-based solutions.
Cloud-based legal practice management software was first rolled out in 2008 or so, and there have been a lot of programs developed since then for you to choose from.
In the article below, we will learn about the ins and outs of cloud-based law practice management software.
Table of Contents
- Your Ethical Responsibility
- Learn The Features
- Money Talks
- What Are Your Needs
- Document Management
- Time Tracking and Billing Features
- Communication and Collaboration
- The Ins and Outs of Law Practice Management Software
- Choose CoCounselor
Your Ethical Responsibility
The program we recommend is CoCounselor, the only cloud-based legal practice management solution designed with the Personal Injury Firm in mind.
However, since there are so many products on the market, you’ll need to learn as much as you can about Practice Management software and their integration partners before signing up for a trial.
Because the company and integration partners you choose will host your law firm’s confidential data, you have an ethical obligation to make sure you understand how each software company will handle your data.
Your ethical responsibility includes knowing who has access to the data, how and when it will be backed up, how you can export your firm’s data and in what format should you need to, among other things.
Learn The Features
Next, you need to research the features of each legal practice management software program you’re considering thoroughly.
Different law practice software platforms will have different strengths and weaknesses and varying approaches to software development.
Some programs will build most of their features into their software.
Other programs offer many features through integrations with other software tools.
While others will take a blended approach, with some built-in features as well as some integrations.
Another vital factor to keep in mind when deciding which law practice management software is best is the price.
All software programs have a base price.
However, many companies offer tiered pricing, with increasingly more features in the higher tiers.
Many of the integrations are often included in the higher tiers.
Depending on the company’s pricing scheme and how their integrations are set up and priced, there may be subscription fees you have to pay for the integration tool as well as the practice management software.
You may also be required to pay a higher subscription cost for the practice management software to have access to the software integrations.
What Are Your Needs?
There are many essential features common to most law practice management software programs.
You just have to find the tool that works best for your firm’s specific needs.
So it’s crucial to identify the top problems you need to solve with the software program, and then choose the platform that addresses those particular pain points.
One key feature in most programs is document management, that provides an organizational system for your documents.
It often includes document collaboration and sharing features that allow secure external sharing with clients, co-counsel, experts, and more, making task management simple.
Law practice management software also offers many helpful tools for assigning and managing tasks and to-do lists, as well as calendar management features.
Some also include task management features that will allow you to establish workflows when you start a case that automatically calendars essential dates related to specific types of cases.
Others will include rules-based calendaring features that will automatically apply the court rules and statutory deadlines of specific jurisdictions to the due dates of a particular matter at the start of a case.
Time Tracking and Billing Features
Another important element is the time-tracking feature.
With time-tracking, you can track and enter time no matter where you are using a mobile device.
This ensures that you capture and charge for all of your billable time.
Next, there are legal billing features that reduce the steps needed to send out invoices to clients.
The features do this by generating editable invoices automatically using the billable time entered via the time-tracking features.
Other information, such as LEDES billing codes, are also often automatically included in the invoice.
Once it’s in the final form, the invoice can then be instantaneously sent to the client for payment.
Another feature that is an essential part of the billing process is payment processing.
With payment processing, clients can immediately pay via credit card or ACH payments upon receipt of an invoice.
Communication and Collaboration
Finally, all practice management software needs to include secure communication and collaboration features.
These features are all the more important in light of Formal Opinion 477.
Formal Opinion 477 is an ethics opinion issued by the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility in 2017.
The committee concluded that unencrypted email may not always be sufficient for client communication and advised lawyers to assess the information’s sensitivity on a case-by-case basis.
Layers must then choose the most appropriate and sufficiently secure method of communicating and collaborating with clients.
One such alternative to email that is inherently more secure is using the communication portals built into law practice management software.
The Ins and Outs of Law Practice Management Software
There you have it.
This was just a basic rundown of the ins and outs of law practice management software and how it can simplify client and case management.
We also sprinkled in some tips to help you choose the right platform for your law firm.
If you’re not using law practice management software, 2020 is a great time to start.
There are plenty of options available to you, and it’s merely a matter of choosing the right platform for your law firm.
Many law firms are using legal practice management software.
But, if you are running a personal injury law firm without law practice management software, or you would like to explore another option, we invite you to schedule a demo with CoCounselor.
CoCounselor and Personal Injury Law Firms were made for each other.
CoCounselor is the only cloud-based practice management solution specifically designed for Personal Injury Firms.
With CoCounselor, you can gain operational efficiencies, keep your entire staff on the same page, work from anywhere on any device, and build valuable dashboards and reports to keep you up-to-date on important deadlines and the overall health of your firm.
If you’re still running a personal injury law firm without law practice management software, it’s time to give CoCounselor a try.
Call us at 404-419-7893 to get started on a demo.