Legal case management software programs have been around for over thirty years. In the time since these programs first popped onto the scene, many law firms have implemented a variety of case management systems in order to make their firms as efficient as possible. Still, for some law firms, using a case management program is something they have either looked into and decided against or have never even considered. Why, in this day and age of technology, is this occurring? Have they heard horror stories of trying to implement systems or are there other concerns? Are they taking a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” stance?
Case management software can do many things for a law firm. You can easily create, track, store and review case information of any type, contacts and involved parties, documents, notes, appointments and tasks, time and billing, and reports just to name a few. True case management programs provide a centralized location for all of a firm’s files. It’s electronic equivalent of the paper file and provides all members of the firm quick access to all of the case-level details.
For firms that flat fee or contingency based, it makes sense to utilize a case management system in order to be efficient. The more automation and organization, the more cases you can handle in less time and with, potentially, less staff, thus making the practice more profitable. For those firms that bill hourly, they may ask themselves, “Where is there an incentive to do a task more quickly?” The answer begins and ends with the client. In this day and age, clients are aware that firms have access to programs to help them become more efficient, and therefore they expect and demand said efficiencies. In this competitive market for law firms, it is important that you be able to deliver better client service in order to attract new, and retain existing, clients.
This being said, implementing a new case management system is not always easy. It’s not something that will perfectly align everyone and every process overnight. Over time, however, done properly, your case management program will become an indispensable tool. In the short term, you will a have a centralized system for all matter related material from contacts, case notes, capturing billable time, and documents. In the long term, you will be able to get new employees up to speed faster, provide firm management with productivity reports, and attract the most desirable new clients and staff based on your firm’s reputation for phenomenal client service. Think about investing in a case management program like investing in a 401k. Just as with a 401k, a case management program is a long-term investment in your practice’s future successes. And just because it may not seem to yield 100% of your desired results immediately, it does not mean that it is not worth doing… as long as you do it right.
Once you have decided that you are now on board to implement a case management software program, your next question should be, “How do I begin the implementation process so that it can be as successful as possible?” Make sure to appoint an advocate at the senior level in your firm. Without a “point person” that is willing to take ownership of the project who has a level of authority and respect in the firm, any case management system is apt to crash and burn…if it ever even gets off the ground in the first place. A staff member with authority and influence, along with knowledge, energy and enthusiasm will ensure that the project gets the attention that it deserves including choosing the best software to fit the firm’s needs. Choose a software system that in all encompassing. Why get your case management software from one place, your financial software from somewhere else, and your document management from yet another place? There is no need to put together a “software buffet” when you can find a complete “all in one” system. When properly implemented, a case management system delivers significant productivity and client service benefits, which translates into a more successful and lucrative practice.
Contact Perfect Practice® today and let us demonstrate to your firm how we can assist you in all of your firm’s case management needs. We can guide you on the best path for successful implementation and move your practice forward in attracting and retaining the most desirable clients.