Law firms require a standard level of administration in order to ensure proper workflow in the organization. Practice Management Software has emerged as a boon to the law firms. Such software even eases the researching field of law firms. Some of the ways in which a Practice Management System can help law firms are:
1. Case Management
Practice Management System helps a law firm through case management by tracking the status of cases and creating a database, eliminating conflict of interest and statutes of limitations. The ability to retain all relevant case data in a single place helps the firm in using the collective data for developing a workflow in the organization.
The feature of creating checklists help in eliminating any chances of error. This proves to be a great help for avoiding malpractices, which could take place just because of a small error in law. Management of teams can also be accomplished through practice management software, as most of the firms treat their cases as projects and allocate certain teams to them. In such scenarios, the practice management software can help in checking the progress on a case and help with the management.
2. Contact Management
A practice management system helps the firm to store and find contact information of its clients easily. It provides the firm with a centralized database for contact information. It provides a ready to use a database for searching and even facilitates the management of documents per contact.
Scheduling of appointments and meetings also becomes quite easy for the firm by centralizing its contacts.
3. Document Assembly
Practice management software creates a centralized repository for the documents. Such a centralized organization of documents and files reduces the chances of the file being lost. Thus, it can be said that the Practice Management Software within itself includes the benefits of Document Management System.
This helps in saving the time of the staff at the firm. Financial savings are another aspect due to decreased paper handling, document loading, storage, distribution, postage/shipping, faxes. The contracts and documents stay systematized, reducing the complexity of working.
4. Tracking Bills
Monitoring activities with clients is vital for every law firm. Practice Management Software generally provides for the feature of tracking bills which can help in overseeing client matters, time-sheets, costs, receivables, and reports, etc. It helps in recording billable time on hourly, transactional, or contingent basis.
There are certain systems available which have the ability to generate multiple bills in one click. In addition to this creation of timely bills and payments of services helps in improving the cash flow of the firm. Auditing at the end of the financial year becomes easy with the advent of such systems.
5. Calendaring and Syncing Schedules
Several Practice Management Systems come with an inbuilt feature of syncing the schedule of the firm through shareable calendars. This can help with syncing the appointment and time entries with the client's schedule.
6. Ensures Security
Practice Management System also ensures the security of the documents and files of a law firm. Practice management programs offer multiple levels (e.g., user, client/matter, and item) of security in order to control who can access, read, delete, and/or edit the document, both internally and externally. Encryption of data is the main form of ensuring the security of the data.
7. Cloud Facility
Most of the management systems provide cloud facility which enables an individual to access the document from any device at any time. Even the clients can then store and save electronically their case file. In fact, the clients can upload important documents to their file for the viewing of their lawyer.
Cloud-based systems are more secure than the company's own systems as data in the office computers can be easily wiped through a virus or a problem.
8. Legal Research
Searching for laws and cases through books is a hectic task and consumes a lot of time of the firm. Some Practice Management systems help in easing the research branch of a law firm. They provide a database of all the statutes, judicial decisions, court documents, and secondary materials. These databases help lawyers to understand the status of a certain law so that they can act in the best interest of their clients effectively.
9. Saves Time
A lot of paperwork is generally involved in the functioning of a law firm. Searching for a particular document becomes a tedious job when done traditionally. However, the firm can save a lot of time when all the essential data is stored electronically. Such storage enables the firm to search through the data. This saved time can be utilized by the firm to work on the pending matters.
A standardized Practice Management System is essential to the firm. Picking the best software depends on the needs of the firm. A law firm can analyze its needs or lacking points and subscribe to such software accordingly. It is not necessary for the system to be costly as its main function is assisting the lawyers with their work. A system with sufficient features to fulfil the demands of a firm is the only checkbox that is to be ticked.