It is a delicate balance ensuring liberty and security are maintained during unprecedented times. This is the challenge national and state government authorities face right now as they are taking all precautions to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Civil liberties and legal defense lawyers are working overtime as they seek to protect basic rights and keep those in power accountable to the Bill of Rights on a number of current issues.
Civil liberties and legal defense teams deal with complaints related to freedom of speech, privacy, religion, discrimination, police misconduct, censorship, fairness, jail and prison conditions and other issues of fair treatment by government. Each case involves lots of documentation, including emails, documents, case notes, intake information and research that are essential for legal professionals to stay organized and ready to act.
The ACLU has become the nation’s largest civil liberties organization with more than 1.5 million members, nearly 300 staff attorneys, thousands of volunteer attorneys and offices throughout the nation. Groups like the ACLU and other legal defense groups receive thousands of inquiries each day and it’s never been more important to have a streamlined system for intake and case information—allowing legal staff to work more efficiently and effectively to manage the overwhelming demand.
Many civil liberties and legal defense organizations are looking to technology to solve the pressing challenges of today. With legal case management software, these organizations can drastically improve efficiencies in the areas of not only case management, but additionally in client intake, tracking service requests, capturing client demographic data and generating custom fundraising reports for management.
The Challenges Facing Legal Defense Teams Today
Civil liberties organizations face unique challenges that many other legal teams don’t. Not only do many have to meet strict reporting requirements that have been set forth by national and local governing bodies, but they may also be responsible for tracking fundraising and managing a steady flow of individuals seeking legal assistance. With so much information to track, civil liberties organizations reap huge benefits from a centralized technology solution that provides automated case management tools, while also offering client intake features, compliance and fundraising reporting from a single platform. Here are a few of the challenges facing civil liberties and public defense organizations today:
- Disparate data systems. With information stored in multiple places, many legal defense organizations struggle with how to handle or track documents and emails related to intake or advice-only files. Organizations will often receive records before officially accepting a case, which poses challenges for where to properly store the information until it is accepted and assigned to the appropriate person or team.
- Inefficient reporting. It’s essential that legal defense organizations have an efficient way to track cases, fundraising and other relevant data and report back to their national and state offices as appropriate. And with multiple systems for storing information, reporting is often time-consuming and cumbersome. Without custom reporting tools and a sophisticated database, it’s nearly impossible to quickly filter data and run timely reports like legal defense organizations really need.
- Ineffective processes. Without a centralized legal case management system, it’s extremely difficult to see “the big picture.” Each volunteer, staff member or attorney may have their own system for saving case files, and the data often resides on network drives, local hard drives or even zip drives. With manual processes and a lack of visibility across the team, it simply isn’t possible for everyone involved in a case to easily access the most current information when needed.
- Time-Consuming and Outdated Tools. There are a variety of data sources that legal professionals need to access multiple times each day, including emails, templates, case files and contacts. By automating and centralizing this data in a single technology system, legal professionals gain valuable time back that would otherwise be spent manually searching for these relevant data in multiple places. With advanced legal case management tools, you can create a new file in a snap and easily share it with your entire team with the click of a button.
How Legal Case Management Software Can Help
As our country faces significant challenges, work for civil liberties professionals has never been more plentiful (or meaningful). Legal case management software is the technology solution that civil liberties and legal defense organizations are looking for to make an even greater impact in the world. Through a central repository of any information that a legal organization could want, you’ll have a comprehensive solution designed to work for you. Here are just a few of the ways legal case management software serves civil liberties professionals:
- A single platform for all case data. Legal technology provides one central location for all the information related to each file or case, including documents, emails, notes, alerts and reminders. It ensures that everyone has access to the most current information and that reports can be generated instantly. Through these enhancements, civil liberties organizations are able to deliver better service to their clients and reduce the amount of time spent on redundant or administrative functions.
- Streamlined workflow process. Once a legal case management system is set up, civil liberties organizations can immediately begin to track and save information in the system. Once an intake is accepted, all the data is saved and migrated seamlessly into an open case where legal professionals can then review and analyze it. There’s no longer a system for intake and another for case management—all of your critical data is stored in a single platform.
- 24/7 access to all your data. With the ability to access your legal case management platform from an iPad or iPhone, you gain an inside view into your cases anytime and anywhere. Gone are the days of disparate data systems and outdated Excel files. Now, you can instantly get a glance at your important case-related information on the road, at a different office location, or at home (where many are still doing business from because of the coronavirus).
- Easily transfer case files. There are times where a case is best handled by a different group within an organization. This can often be a complicated process due to multiple data platforms. With a single, secure legal case management system, you can easily transfer all case data from one office to the next without losing days of productivity time. With advanced features, you can provide multiple, independent offices or locations with the ability to share a single database for ease of maintenance, while at the same time segregating each office’s case data from all the others.
- Flexible user interface and dashboard. Within the legal case management platform, users can easily manage their cases through a user-friendly interface and customizable home page. You can choose to share individual and group calendars, access an unlimited selection of document templates, search and copy from a complete library of documents, create and monitor task assignments for yourself and other staff and dramatically improve communication and organization. The legal case management platform allows team members to work the way they want, but within a relational database as part of a team.
- Trust and security. Data security is crucial, especially in legal matters. With built-in security, you can restrict or grant privileges on multiple levels, including role, group and by individual files. This level of security grants user permissions to update and edit features and functions of the system. Plus, all security permissions happen in real-time so you can rest assured that your system is secure.
Legal Files is On Your Side
We at Legal Files want to help you save time on administrative tasks and focus more energy on the real issues: protecting the rights of people across the country. We value the work you are doing and want to partner with you through our superior technology offering to help alleviate some of your day-to-day challenges.
With a legal case management system, you’ll not only improve your operations and workflow, but also empower your civil liberties and legal defense professionals to do what they do best: fight for justice.
We’re here and ready to support you however you need. Our sales staff is ready and able to take your questions via phone or email.