Case management systems aren’t just for large firms. They can be beneficial for small practices, too, improving your workflow and increasing your efficiency. A good case management system can also lower your professional liability risk by helping to reduce data input errors, filing errors, deadline calculation errors, and missed deadlines.
Here are some key points to consider when deciding what system to purchase:
1. Is The System Compatible With What You Practice:
While case management systems can help improve every practice, not every system is right for every practice. It is important to investigate the wide variety of available options and pick the one that will work best for your office.
Every lawyer and firm needs a way to compile basic client intake information, but not every practice needs software to generate estate planning documents or real estate closing checklists. If you don’t ever do trial work, there may be no need for the litigation support functions of some packages.
2. Is The System Compatible With Where You Practice:
Many case management systems include the ability to interface with courts or other government entity’s systems. Confirm that any system you install covers your geographic and regulatory footprint.
3. Is The System Compatible and Customizable With The Way You Practice
Maybe your legal assistant has developed the perfect intake process for your practice: don’t be forced away from it because you are adopting a new case management software. Instead, look for a product that supports what works well for you while improving what isn’t. Some systems can be segmented to include only what you need. But remember that integration is your ultimate goal: the value of a case management system is that it allows you to create efficiencies by integrating a number of processes into one place, rather than using different software and different systems for each portion of your case work. Case management systems should integrate client intake, document creation, calendaring and ticker systems, email, and even billing, to provide the greatest benefit.
4. Is The System Recommended By Other Lawyers In Similar Practices
Ask the vendors you are considering to give you referrals so that you can speak with other lawyers who have actually used the products and find out about their experiences.
5. Is The System Recommended By Other Independent Experts
If your budget allows, consider working with an independent consultant to help you weed through the selections and narrow your choices. If not, there are a number of free resources that can provide a jumping off point, including clearinghouse websites that aggregate reviews of systems (e.g. capterra.com and softwareadvice.com), and the technology sections of the American Bar Association and local and state bar associations.