Having case management software for your law firm is one of the best decisions you can take to enhance your profits and overall resource management. It is one of the most critical and vital decisions which has to be made by you and choosing the wrong case management system could really risk your business.
But wait, when you make the decision right by choosing the right legal billing and case management software for your law firm, you subscribe yourself to effective legal billing, payments, managing cases and documents, and many more just making your law firm run smoothly.
The thing is, how to make the right choice and know that the choice is right for you when you have so many options in the market? Just to make it a bit easier for you, we have jotted down some most important generic points which you, as lawyers, should consider while making the desired decision.
Ease of Use
When it comes to software the most typical part which a busy and exhausted lawyer is scared of and wants to take into consideration is the ease of use. Like how easy it would be to learn the software. Questions like-
- How long would it take to learn the software?
- Is it easy or difficult to learn?
- How much time would I have to spend in understanding the whole process?
- Is there any cost involved in the training and support purposes?
Yes, these are some really logical questions that come to the mind of every lawyer before he steps in subscribing to law software. Learning a system that will have all your data is tough, especially when you are from the legal profession and are lacking time and technology knowledge. We all know that there is a huge wall between lawyers and technology as they are not much adaptive to it as they think it is way too complicated for them. Embracing change and innovation is one of the toughest jobs we see. But due to the epic cause of the pandemic, they have been left with no choice but to shift to legal technology.
How to know whether it is user-friendly or not?
- Most of the legal case management companies do claim that their system is easily adaptive and very easy to learn which is not always the case. The best part by which you can actually know whether it is easy to learn or not is to request a demo. If a software company offers a free live demo of their software it is the best thing which you can opt for.
- Try using it for the free trial period or the free plan to know the software better. Many software companies come with a 14 or 21 days trial period offering it for free so that you can make the right decision and there are legal case management companies like CaseFox having a forever basic free plan where the software is free for a lifetime up to adding 4 cases. In this, you have no time boundaries which is a good plus point as it gives the users the ease to use it for a long period and decide if it fits your law firm.
Client Level Data Collection
Having legal case management software should ultimately give you a platform to add all the details of your client, their cases, documents, payments, invoices, everything of that particular client. All the history of the case summary, payment, billing according to the staff should be right in front of your eyes when you open a case. This ensures a smooth client experience as a lawyer. A separate case dashboard that captures all the relevant data is the top-notch need in case management software as it ultimately describes its name and if it fails to do so then the ultimate reason to have it stand unachieved.
- Can I have access to case-related details on my mobile?
- Are my cases secure?
- Does the feature list comprises everything which a case management software needs?
Aggregating the overall details of your cases is one of the vital details you would consider. When compared to on-premise, cloud-based case management software serves to systematically manage your data all in one unified system.
How to know whether your case data is all at a place?
Explore every part of the software and learn if they are able to offer all the possible case management tools which you need in your law firm. Learn and understand more about the system. Make a list in advance of your problems that made you shift to the cloud and is the system able to solve all of them. Listing down the issues and tick marking them plays one of the easiest roles in understanding whether the software is the perfect fit for your law firm or not.
Read the security guidelines which the software follows. It helps you to get through all the queries and enables you to have a system that follows all the data protection guidelines. Reading them and then signing to software is crucial as the law profession demands.
Role-Based Data Access
When it comes to data sharing, you do not want to do it with everyone. Not everyone who has access to the software needs to see your data, invoices, payments, and other confidential details. That is why having the facility to offer role-based access to the law firms stands as one whole important feature. Not only this but adding and removing users easily also is very crucial to know as there are employees who join and leave, which makes you remove their access from the software.
Not only this it also helps you to save cost. You have to peep through the knowledge that if you are removing a user, then from the next month the cost you are paying to the software provider should be automatically deducted for that user who was removed. This isn’t one of the most required functionality as it helps you to save cost as well as maintaining transparency.
Also, role-based data sharing should be available and if the feature to limit visibility to certain users is provided in the system it is a win-win situation. Just like in CaseFox, you can easily customize the office secretary role and limit their visibility by adding limitations to their tab, this means that none of the other data will be shown to them until and unless they have been permitted from your end.
Integrations with your systems
Integrating with external software is a decisive aspect to see in a modern legal case management system. When you are already committed to some previous tools which your law firm was using, and the case management system you have has integration with them, then the entire data you had can easily be synced to the system which will give the user easy to manage the working system. You do not have to travel between different tabs for different systems as all of them will be enabled with your case management system.
Ease to extract data
While with some case management software you can actually migrate your data from your existing system easily in just some clicks while the others just take so much time with mystifying steps to do so and are also sometimes chargeable and it is not for free. When going for a case management system, lean it in advance whether the software provides free data migration from your existing system or not because then it will get very difficult for you to put the data in place.
Confirm the answers to the questions like-
- Will I have to pay extra costs for the migration?
- Will I be provided with support to help me extract the data out?
- Will a tutorial or something would be given to do it?
In short just be sure with your data extraction process cost, like in CaseFox we provide free data migration from the existing system which makes the user experience more seamless.
Customer support is the key to any business. Having good customer support for your legal software queries is a must. Let’s face it, lawyers are not that tech-friendly, we all know. Getting them used to tech and making them learn software makes them go through a lot of customer support help and resolving of queries. Knowing the software with very good support who has proper knowledge regarding the system and is always available during your business hours is a big deal. If the software company offers 24/7 support by having easy access to the support portal, then it is very easy for you to sail through the issues easily.
Confirm with the answers of-
- Support availability timeline?
- Knowledge Base Support Articles Access?
- How can I ask for support help? ( chatbox, portal, etc)
- Does this involve extra payments?
Get through all the answers to these questions and then choose the right software for your law firm.
The value of the software and the price you are paying for it is the most crucial part for your law firm as you have to see that the cost of the software is on track with your financial resources. Investing in software involves monthly dedicated costs which will come under your operational overheads.
There is legal software that comes with fixed monthly pricing while there are others that comes with offering discounts when choosing the annual plan for your business. Know in advance if there is the involvement of additional costs such as data migration cost, support cost, demo and training costs, etc. so that you are prepared in advance of what your total budget is and whether it is in sync with your financial resources.
By coming up with the end of the blog the conclusion which we have framed is that there are a lot of crucial points which we have to consider as a law firm before taking a division to buy a case management system for your law firm. See and check whether your chosen software comes with solving all of these queries and finally have a system for you that offers you end-to-end benefits and eases your law practice.