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Case management systems have become common in law firms and legal departments
The first legal case management systems rolled out in the 1980s. Since then, thousands of firms and legal departments have invested in these systems as a way to improve efficiency and client service. Although the benefits of case management are well documented, some law offices still haven’t implemented these systems in their practice.
Let’s take a look at some reasons why law firms aren’t utilizing these systems and why they should start.
Some law offices and legal departments are misinformed about case management systems
Despite other firms and departments experiencing overwhelmingly positive results with case management systems, some law firms are still unwilling to make the switch. A few common reasons include:
- Some firms are reluctant to invest a new system if they aren’t able to see an immediate financial reward, but a case management system is a valuable long-term investment.
- Other firms mistakenly view case management as an immature solution, because they simply don’t realize that modern systems are very sophisticated and efficient.
- Some practices believe that they don’t need one unified system. However, using a mix of unrelated programs will never be as efficient as one comprehensive system.
- Someone needs to take charge of selecting and implementing a new management system, but some firms haven’t selected a senior-level individual to take charge of the project.
Most legal practices like to take a “wait and see” approach to new technology, but case management has been around for decades now. The legal profession is becoming more competitive every day, so it’s important to utilize tools, like case management software, that will help you stay ahead of the competition.
The right management system can increase productivity and attract better clients
All law firms can agree that improving client service makes sense for their bottom line. Satisfied clients are more likely to be return clients, and they’re also more likely to refer their friends and family. When partners and managers are looking for a way to improve their bottom line, their first thought should be to invest in a management system.
When properly selected and implemented, case management can help the entire firm operate as a more cohesive and organized unit. Instead of using a collage of different systems, management software allows firms to manage at least five different components: (1) email, calendar, tasks, and contacts; (2) document management and assembly; (3) client and matter information; (4) tracking of time and expenses; and (5) workflow and deadline management.
Some of the short term benefits of implementing a new system include: providing access to case information and communication in one location, knowing at a glance which individuals are involved in a matter, providing timelier client communication, simplifying conflict checking, capturing more billable hours, and adding key matter information to documents instantly.
As for long term benefits, management systems can help get new hires up to speed faster, protect firm assets and knowledge, and provide productivity metrics.
Think of implementing a management system as an investment in your firm’s future. You will certainly see some benefits right away; however, the most beneficial aspects will only improve as time goes on. In fact, as employees across the firm learn how to use the system, they will eventually become more productive.
The right management software can help a law firm run more effectively as a business by managing client and matter information. The end result is a stronger practice that’s able to attract and retain more desirable clients.