When it comes to practising law, efficiency is vital. In 2018 alone, the Magistrates courts in England and Wales received 1.469 million cases. For law firms across the country processing these cases, you need to be on your toes. Luckily, innovations in technology have sought to make practising law that bit easier, helping to increase productivity, efficiency, and even profitability.
Legal case management software handles case and client records for a law firm. On top of this, they can aid the organisation of billing, bookkeeping, schedules, deadlines, and compliance requirements, amongst other things. While tools like this have existed for decades, today's versions are more affordable and powerful than ever before. Plus, it's a growing industry, with 45% of law firms increasing their technology budgets in 2018.
In this article, we're going to examine how legal practice management software can make your law firm more efficient, and help improve your business performance in the long run.
Workflow and deadline management
Streamlining repetitive business tasks and structuring accessible schedules can dramatically improve efficiency in any business. According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there are over 5.7 million workers in the UK who would benefit from intelligent digital workflow systems.
However, for law firms, workflows are more crucial than ever. From managing relationships with clients to remembering court dates, optimising workflow requires a particular system designed for the legal industry. By implementing legal case management software, you can make your workflow and deadline management quicker, smarter and more collaborative within your team.
Efficient finances and bookkeeping
While 89% of the UK's top 100 firms reported average growth of 5.9% in 2019, there are plenty of factors to consider when it comes to managing a law firm's finances. From staff costs to property rent, insurance, depreciation, marketing, and IT revenue, there's so much to account for before adding client bills into the mix.
With automatic reminders for overdue invoices and a detailed client ledger report, case management systems offer a broad range of tools to help improve efficiency.
Enhanced data security and backup
In the UK, law firms were responsible for 4,056 data breaches reported to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) between July and September 2018, making up 8% of the total that quarter. Unlike outdated paper files that can go missing, using a digital system can enhance your data security and back up. Maximise your client's chances in court by ensuring you have all the information you need to hand.
Improved client communication
Around 82% of clients end their relationship with a law firm due to poor communication. With statistics like these, it's clear to see why law firms need to update the communication systems. With legal case management features, you can begin by improving collaboration and communication within your team through shared documents and office calendars. Build respect and trust with your clients by communicating with them regularly using integrated tools within the software to cater to your clients' specific needs and goals.
Requirements for your software
With 60% of law firms in the UK reporting experiencing an attack in 2017, you can't be too careful when it comes to technology. Here are some key things to look out for when picking your case management software:
- Secure cloud platform- Keep security at the forefront of your mind and ensure that any communication and file-sharing abilities are safe. Check the software provider's GDPR compliance while assessing their suitability for your firm.
- Customisable- No two law firms are the same, so your case management systems shouldn't be either. See if your software has customisable options to fit your requirements and contact the supplier for a comprehensive overview of its features.
- Access to research and articles- Staying up to date with all the latest information is vital for law firms, so see if your software provider offers you quick access to case law and research articles. Having reference guides at your fingertips can help improve your organisation when putting together a case.
- All-in-one integration- Case management software aims to improve your efficiency, so look for a platform that has everything you need in one place. Save time switching between different software and copying information across platforms by doing your research before you buy.
To conclude, you should consider your options carefully before purchasing to ensure the best result and invest in an IT solution. However, with the right choice, legal case management software can be hugely beneficial to a law firm's productivity and efficiency.