Law practice management software provides lawyers with an effective and convenient way of managing their clients and other pertinent case information such as documents, contacts and calendars. This can also be used by law practitioners to share important information with other attorneys within the firm.
Purpose of Law Practice Management Software
Since law schools basically do not teach law students all the needed business skills to manage a law firm, most law offices have heavily relied on technology to aid them in the process as well as to reduce any unforeseen clerical errors. According to the American Bar Association or ABA, the majority of legal malpractice claims can be attributed to deadline and calendar-related errors. Hence, most law firms have invested considerably in their very own software in order to save the firm considerable amount of money, making a law practice management software an ideal investment for any law firm.
Also, an entire section has been devoted to this type of software by the American Bar Association, of which software and other related programs can be very crucial to the delivery of their mission as law practitioners. Majority of state bar associations have also provided their members assistance and discounts for law practice management software. The goal of such program is to ensure that law firms can function effectively with the aid of such software.
This specific tool, when used effectively, can be a huge contributing factor to the success of any law firm. This will enable a law office to reduce the number of callbacks everyday since they don’t need to look for physical files in their large archive.
Law Practice Management Software Industry
This industry is gradually growing in the United States and United Kingdom. This is likely attributed to the industry’s natural competitive edge. In United Kingdom, the LSSA or Legal Software Suppliers Association is the sole governing body of the law practice management software industry.
Web-based Law Practice Management Software
Web-based, or most commonly referred to as cloud-based law practice management software basically means that your software and other pertinent case files, calendars and other pertinent data are stored on servers on the internet rather than being stored in your local computer. However, most law firms are wary about cloud-based law practice management software due to security risks, which is not the case.
In terms of security, law firms need not worry since all the important data are securely kept on the web-based servers. With regards to desktop versions of the software, there is a chance of losing all the data stored in one’s local computer. A crash or a virus can completely wipeout all important data in your local hard drive.
Billing and Accounting Features
When you are this kind of software, you also have to make sure that it comes with billing and accounting features. It is equally important that the software generates invoices and it works compatibly with other third-party software such as Quickbooks. Most lawyers make use of Quickbooks for accounting purposes. Hence, it is ideal that the law practice management software works well with the company’s accounting software.
Integration with Third-Party Software
Majority of these software work well with Microsoft Word and Outlook. Only a few of the bunch can integrate with Google Docs and Calendar. Some law practice management software providers charge a fee for additional plug-ins to be integrated in their product. These plug-ins allow third-party applications to be integrated in the law practice management software.