Is your firm just making do?
Before, firms could mostly make do with their legacy tools and processes. But, outdated systems and makeshift tools — even those purchased in the last 3 – 6 years — are no longer meeting the needs of many firms. As a result, law firms are investing in legal technology to gain efficiencies and meet new and increasing demands as they grow.
Take a moment to think about your firm’s current technologies and the processes that rely on those systems.
At a minimum, your legal practice management software should be able to:
- Break down communication silos both internally and externally
- Collect, organize, and share case/matter information and client documents
- Help your team avoid missing tasks, appointments, and deadlines with shared calendars
- Eliminate bottlenecks across document management and internal collaboration
- Alleviate the difficulties in securely accessing important data on the go/outside of the office
- Mitigate risks across multiple fronts and enforce compliance best practices
- Reduce time spent on legal accounting chores and enable automatic payments
What’s preventing your team from working faster and more efficiently?
Perhaps it’s existing priorities and uncertainties, or maybe it’s that the systems you’ve relied on for years are no longer meeting the firm’s needs. The news that a seamless, integrated platform empowers staff, teams, and the firm is not new. But did you know that dragging out the inevitable is costing you now?
The high cost of doing nothing
We understand that switching to a new practice management system can sound like a logistical nightmare. It’s not just choosing a solution; you need to ensure data migration doesn’t disrupt operations, and your staff has access to dedicated training and support. But the costs of not upgrading to an up-to-date, comprehensive solution can be even worse:
- Updating and maintaining older systems will become more expensive than investing in a solution that’s continually updated and supported.
- Older and disparate applications hinder productivity and efficiency — preventing your staff from instantly accessing documents and communicating and collaborating freely.
- Legacy systems are at higher risk of security and cyber attacks, and having multiple outdated technologies, makes your firm even more vulnerable.
- Important client and case information is easily misfiled or misplaced, resulting in missed deadlines.
Early warning signs your current tech stack is failing you
If your firm is facing one or more of these issues, then it’s time to consider a technology upgrade now:
You’re missing scalable collaboration & document management
EARLY WARNING SIGNS:
- Your staff still relies on passing spreadsheets, which are extremely error-prone.
- No single source of truth; document organization and management is a free-for-all.
- Outlook is the go-to tool to file, track, and manage matter and case information.
The firm is experiencing productivity or inefficiency challenges.
EARLY WARNING SIGNS:
- Day-to-day dashboards are messy, and tedious tasks are plaguing your team.
- Client intake often results in incomplete or inaccurate information
- Current tools cannot do everything the firm needs them to do, therefore, requiring that many time-consuming tasks remain manual.
Your firm has ‘Frankenstein-ed’ a mix of applications.
EARLY WARNING SIGNS:
- Your team has to use several different applications and tools to manage each case lifecycle and each application has to be updated and managed separately
- The tools your firm relies on are not integrated, resulting in a missing and isolated information
You’re spending excessive amounts of time on accounting chores.
EARLY WARNING SIGNS:
- Your staff organizes the firm’s data by client code and then inputs it into a billing system resembling a spreadsheet.
- Since time and invoicing are manually managed, your firm falls victim to inaccurate billing.
Maybe your firm isn’t suffering from a significant issue, and the current software is “okay.” After a while, “okay” solutions can turn into substantial problems that drain your firm’s resources and hold it back from achieving peak productivity and competitive client service. So, there’s no better time than the present to evaluate the current state of your firm, and think about long-term solutions—to determine what, if anything, can stay, and what needs upgrading so your firm can continue moving forward.
Move forward with a new, more holistic solution
An end-to-end legal practice management software (LPMS) systems like Zolosuite or AbacusLaw will provide your firm with all the hardware and software it needs—from client intake, best in class matters and document management, to sophisticated billing and accounting — in one single solution. No more program jumping or incompatible systems — you get a simplified, centralized solution that provides all of the following benefits (and more) for your firm:
Centralization of all data and information into one hub
Losing, misplacing, and misfiling documents is much more likely to happen when you continue to use multiple systems and applications for data and file storage. Our legal solutions act as a central hub for all client, calendaring, task, and billing information, and tie everything to a single case record. With better access, management, and control, for your teams.
Increased productivity and efficiency due to automation
Document management is an ongoing manual process that is a major drain on your firm’s time. Our LPMS’ integrate with document automation software so you can easily generate, assemble, and pre-fill documents by using templates. These templates automatically pull information from the “hub” of client and case records. But, don’t stop there. You can immediately start automating your scheduling, off-boarding, billing, and invoicing processes.
Improved accounting & payment processes
Timesheets don’t lie: collecting payments and generating invoices eat up huge chunks of billable hours. Our LPMS automates most accounting processes, relieving the burden of manual management of timesheets, expense reports, templates, tax preparation, and electronic signatures. Plus, our systems seamlessly integrate with Abacus Payment Exchange for secure online payment processing, easier invoicing, and automated account receivables. No more waiting for payment via mail—now you can accept payment options like credit cards, e-Checks, and money from Trust & Operating Accounts.
Better client-attorney relations & satisfaction
Our secure client portals establish transparency across your firm. Clients can access their documents, pay bills, schedule appointments, check their case status, and more. This presentation of self-service options allows both parties to move seamlessly through the legal process while managing other tasks.
Increased mobility with easier, secure remote access of important information
It’s a relief not to have to sacrifice security for features or mobility. Our security protocols and access controls enable everyone to work from anywhere on virtually any device — all while meeting the security standards your clients and bar associations demand.
Integration with existing software
With fewer platforms to integrate, the more smoothly your firm is going to run. Our systems integrate seamlessly with other key software you might be using like O365, Quickbooks, and DocuSign ensures a smooth transition. Our LPMS are all end-to-end to make getting support easier and quicker when needed.
Dedicated software training
All our software is designed for lawyers and our knowledgeable experts offer dedicated, continuous troubleshooting support, software training, and product-use consulting. Your account manager will help you coordinate whatever type of training you need, wherever your team is on their technology adoption journey. We also have a curated, self-serve knowledge base that is accessible at any time.
Secure buy-in from attorneys and staff
Onboarding any new system is tough, but it can be made more manageable. Communicating the positive impact on the day-to-day will definitely improve getting buy-in. Even so, here are a few responses to address many of the common objections.
Many law firms are concerned that a new solution’s return on investment (ROI), especially the immediate and direct economic results, may not be immediately apparent. It’s important to understand that you may need to spend the time and resources now to see results in the long run. The benefits of onboarding a new LPMS solution often outweigh the costs — from establishing long-term monetary savings by alleviating current pain points, to conserving resources by consolidating individual tools into one solution.
The idea of losing billable time to the implementation, training, and adapting periods that come with setting up a new solution can be off-putting. Your LPMS vendors should guide you through the implementation process, and provide onboarding and training for your teams to ensure a seamless transition. Be sure to ask vendors about their implementation process, what the typical implementation timeline is, and what training programs are available for user onboarding.
Many LPMS vendors offer guidance through the implementation process and provide onboarding, training programs, and resource materials to ensure you fully equip your team to use the new solution. If your team is coming up with workarounds, then they’re probably not using the current software, possibly because it’s too complex and difficult to use. In that case, this is the perfect opportunity to find a solution that is more user-friendly and offers ongoing training programs.
Your legal technology may have similar features and functions to newer, comprehensive LPMS solutions. However, it likely doesn’t address the organizational and collaborative demands of modern legal practice, like increased volume and complexity of information.