Successful law firms know which practice areas are profitable and which are not. They focus resources to help practice areas that are growing or adding practice areas they believe will produce the most revenue. An effective case management system makes this easier to accomplish.
Through this system, you can track and measure how much your firm spends on marketing and firm development for each practice area. You will know what return on investment you’re receiving in each area and the entire firm by source.
LMA can help your law firm grow by analyzing your strengths and weaknesses to solve issues and develop definable, realistic, and attainable goals. An important tool that can help your firm is a case management system. LMA knows what an impact they can have and can help you pick the right system for your firm.
In this blog, you’ll learn about:
- How case management software can help your firm be more profitable
- How it can give you more control over your cases
- The costs and benefits of case management software
- What to look for in a system
- The features of many popular packages
- How to find the best case management software for your firm.
Ignorance is not bliss if you want a more profitable law firm.
Law Firm Case Management Software Can Help Your Firm Be More Profitable
Attorneys representing a client can become frustrated when investigating an issue. Company management may not keep track of what’s going on. They make seat-of-the-pants decisions based on hunches, not data or accurate information. These attorneys may commit the same sins when running their law firms.
Successful law firms know which practice areas are profitable and which ones are not. They have this knowledge because they keep track of all their operations and expenses. You can’t expect success if you have no idea what works and what does not. But this is what most law firms do all the time. Why?
Attorneys see themselves first and foremost as legal professionals, not service providers involved in a business. This leads to their most crucial and fundamental mistake: they don’t keep track of their operations. They’re not tracking and measuring their spending and results, so they don’t know the return on their investment (ROI) for their marketing and firm development efforts.
No Free Lunch: Law Firm Case Management Software Requires Time and Money
No one expects you to suddenly master spreadsheets or pore over every facet of your operation. What may make all the difference is a case management system. This starts with finding out your needs, choosing the system that’s the best match, and training your lawyers and staff to properly use it and exploit its features to get the most out of it.
Law firm case management systems require investments of time and money. Some are costly, others aren’t; but all of them require at least a basic understanding of how they work and how to integrate them into your firm’s workflow. Don’t be intimidated by the idea of using a case management system for lawyers.
It can have a dramatic effect on your firm’s bottom line, and the right one will absolutely be worth the investment. A well-run, properly implemented case management system can be the single most important change you can make to your firm’s approach to doing business. If that caught your attention, let’s take a closer look…
What is Law Firm Case Management Software?
Case management system software helps you keep track of many different aspects of your firm’s operations. Different systems have different capabilities, so there is no one-size-fits-all choice for all law firms. Case management systems offer several different features, including…
- File management
- Time management tools (like stopwatches, particularly useful for keeping track of billable hours)
- Calendar management
- Workflow management
- Accounting tools and fiscal management
- Online payment systems
- Communication management (emails, texts, etc.)
- Client testimonial management
There are many case management systems to choose from, each with strengths and weaknesses. Not every case management system performs all these functions, nor are all systems equally effective at doing everything. Some are better at working with other apps and devices. Many systems are cloud-based. Others offer more offline features.
You can leverage a case management system’s power to store and organize data so you can make better decisions.
Why Your Firm Should Implement Law Firm Case Management Software
Some case management system tools offer obvious benefits. Payment by and communication with clients is simpler. File management features allow your team to better track all of your documents. Basic features are great, but perhaps the greatest benefit of case management systems is their ability to make your firm more profitable by letting you see the bigger picture of your business operations.
Case management software helps you see the tiny details that create the big picture.
When integrated properly into your firm’s workflow, case management systems allow you to see how your team allocates their time and assess which practice areas could be more profitable. Case management systems also allow you to find out more about inquiries to your firm to improve your outreach. To get these benefits, you must be sure that your team is fully using it – not just skimming the surface by using the simplest functions.
How to Incorporate Case Management Software for Lawyers
What’s worse than a firm not using a case management system? A firm that failed to properly implement a case management system. Once you’ve decided to use a case management system, you must get the most out of it. Typically, this means changing a few of your team’s habits.
Every team member needs to be on the same page and take the integration process seriously. The good news is that these systems are often fairly intuitive. After a few weeks of dedicating yourselves to the new system, growing pains will pass quickly. You will then start to see the benefits of using a case management system at your law firm.
Law firms have had computers and digitally stored documents for decades. Case management software helps tie your digital capabilities together so you can effectively use them.
Criteria to Consider When Choosing a New System
What software does your firm currently use? How big are your team, caseload, and budget? The answers shape which system features you need and want. The best system for other firms might not work for your firm.
Decide which tools your firm needs most and look for systems that excel in those areas. Determine how much you are willing to spend and talk to a representative of the system’s provider to see whether they offer a range of services within your budget.
Examples of Law Firm Case Management Software
Here are some law firm case management systems:
- Filevine: Filevine is a cloud-based case management system for small and midsize legal firms. It helps manage case documents, communication, and project management. It has bill and expense tracking, a settlement calculator, deadline management, record management, and advanced reporting. The system allows for recording conversations, tasks, and notes. Filevine also has project management capabilities like assigning tasks and managing communication with various parties.
- Needles Neos: This is a web-based system that includes real-time dashboards and automated reports. People can work together on documents in real-time. There are templates for different case types and customizable case libraries.
- Law Ruler: Law Ruler is legal practice management and intake software for personal injury and mass tort law firms. Its goal is to help lawyers acquire more cases and manage them better.
- MyCase: This is a cloud-based legal management solution for small firms. It helps manage communications with clients and carry out daily business tasks. It has accounting and scheduling features. MyCase has time tracking, case management, contact management, and docketing capabilities. The system can be accessed through computers and mobile devices.
- RocketMatter: This system is a cloud-based legal billing and management solution designed for small and midsize law practices. It has time and billing management, calendar, document management, payment, and collaboration management features. Its technology helps practices record billable and non-billable time, create bills, and send invoices to clients.
- Zola Suite: This is a cloud-based system that features task management, email, document management, client portals, calendar, contact management, automation, and analytics functions. Its dashboard allows users to manage and track cases.
- PracticePanther: PracticePanther Legal Software is aimed at small to large practices. It’s a cloud-based solution that’s compatible with Macs, PCs, and mobile devices. It includes case management, contact management, document management, calendaring and docketing, time tracking, billing and invoicing, trust accounting, CRM, and payment processing.
- CloudLex: This is a cloud-based legal management system for plaintiff personal injury law firms. It allows users to work together and organize matters with calendaring and document management tools. Through analytics dashboards and targeted reports, management can see cases progress so resources can be better allocated. There’s also a secure portal allowing attorneys to share and receive information with clients.
- CASEpeer: CASEpeer is cloud-based. It offers intake, case, and task management tools, document management, negotiation and litigation tracking, reporting, search tools, and case timelines. Litigation events are automatically populated to a case calendar. Case notes can be searched, filtered, and organized.
- Smokeball: Smokeball can automatically record time for you so can increase your firm’s profitability and productivity, the company claims, by more than 30%. It has more than 14,000 automated forms and an MS Word and Outlook integration. It’s accessible through mobile devices but works only with PCs running Windows 8 or 10.
What is the Best Legal Case Management Software?
There are many online reviews of case management software solutions for lawyers. But like online reviews of just about anything, there are some who love each of these systems while someone else had a very bad experience.
Training and customer service can be issues with users. Some reviewers complain of aggressive sales tactics and promises that weren’t fulfilled. You may want customization, which may be more difficult or expensive with one package compared to others.
We can talk to you about our clients’ experiences with different software. You could also reach out to other attorneys or office managers at other law firms to see what they use and whether they’d recommend them.
What is the best legal case management software? The one that meets your firm’s unique needs in a way that’s easy to use. Buying software with features you don’t need or won’t use is a waste of money. If it’s difficult to use, people won’t use it. Customer service is also important because at some point, there will be a problem that you can’t solve.
The best car may be a Ferrari. It’s not the best car for you if it never leaves your garage. Choose the case management software you will use.
LMA Can Help You Find the Best Legal Case Management System for Your Firm
At LMA, we have seen how dramatically a case management system can impact a legal practice. We’ve also seen firms pay good money for a system and never use it properly. It is vital that you commit to your new system and make sure your team does the same. It might seem daunting but, trust us, it’s never the hassle you’re expecting it to be.
If you are considering a law firm case management system, we can help. As a law firm marketing consultant, we’ve worked with many firms to find the perfect system and make sure it is implemented properly. You can have a more efficient, profitable firm by making a few simple adjustments to your operation. Case management systems can help, and so can we. Contact LMA today at (919) 637-9144 to learn more about our services.