Selecting the right legal case management software to help you become more organized and efficient is no small task. With a variety of options, many managers aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to selecting the right software for their organization. One of the most critical and often overlooked criteria that legal professionals should consider when selecting software is how the user interface functions to help you work smarter, not harder.
What makes up a good user interface?
A good user interface (UI) can have a profound impact on how legal professionals experience the software. A hard-to-use application will be underutilized or disregarded completely. The best user interfaces contain the following elements:
- Simple and concise. The UI should be clutter-free and without excess elements that can distract. By containing the main features in a simple interface that users can easily navigate to and read (with big font options available)—you can ensure you have everything you need with a few simple clicks.
- Intuitive. A system that lets you find what is important and quickly get back to what you were working on is crucial for boosting productivity. Features like saved searches and navigation history help you do just that.
- Flexible. Every legal organization is different, and the software should be able to adjust to meet your unique needs. With a user interface that can be customized without any technical expertise, you can ensure you have a system that will grow with you no matter what.
- Consistent. With clear labels and messaging throughout, there are no surprises, and you can quickly learn the application. With a navigation pane that is ordered logically, you can find what you need on the application much faster and easier.
- Responsive. You want a system that you can access on multiple devices—and fast. With a responsive design, you don’t have to worry about wasting time waiting around for pages to load.
Six Essential UI Features to Look for When Selecting Legal Software
If you give your team all the tools they need, it’s hard for them to not be successful. And having the right UI applications is a critical part of adequately equipping your team so they can be more productive and efficient. Here are a few of the must-have applications that should make up your legal software UI:
- Built-In Calendar. Online calendar tools are embedded within legal case management software to help professionals better organize tasks, appointments and goals in a visually simplistic way. If done properly, this can streamline the activities of the entire organization. Legal calendar software allows users to access, edit and share electronic agendas with team members, as well as other legal professionals outside the organization through integrations with Microsoft Outlook and Google.
- To-Dos and Tickler System. The average person’s short-term memory can only hold seven pieces of information for about 30 seconds. If you have more than seven tasks to remember, you are already set up to fail. Keeping a list of to-dos is one of the simplest ways to stay organized. Through legal case management software, you can track both task lists for the case and individual user to-do lists. Having a robust notification, to-do and tickler system built into a single legal case management platform is essential to managing all your tasks and a key feature to look for when selecting your software platform.
- Complete Document Storage and Management. You are likely managing dozens of documents and matters daily. The traditional way of managing documents on your desktop or network drive with file folders is outdated. Legal software offers you fully functional document management tools built-in to the application. Now, you can have at your fingertips every document or file anyone has created or copied into the software stored at the appropriate case/matter and creator. The document management feature can store and index any file type, such as Microsoft Office, Outlook messages, .pdf and image files so no item gets left behind and you have a complete knowledge base of everything you need anytime, anywhere.
- Integrated Time-Tracking Mechanism. Whether you bill your time or not, keeping track of your time in a clear and organized way is essential to maintaining accurate timesheets—and ultimately protecting transparency and trust with your clients and department contacts. Legal technology enables a better way to track time in multiple ways. With a built-in auto-timer, you can automatically track time spent on cases during the day with the ability to turn the information into time slips at any moment. Time can also be directly captured from any of the UI items (calendar, to-dos, documents, notes, phone logs, etc.), making it easy for you to enter time while working in the system.
- Expense Reporting and Tracking. In addition to tracking time, maintaining accurate expense records is an essential part of matter management. One of the simplest ways to keep accurate records is to track your expenses as you incur them. Legal software helps you track case-related expenses and tie them directly to the case in which they were incurred through built-in expense tracking features. Any expense such as research fees, records fees, copying or outside counsel fees can be entered easily into the system directly from the UI. Once entered, expenses can be reviewed, approved and exported for payment, while maintaining a permanent record in the platform of all expenses.
- Notes. Sometimes the information about a case doesn’t always need a dedicated document, but a simple note to keep track of important details. With note panes throughout the UI, you can enter blocks of text in your own words to further explain or supplement the data about a case to ensure that no information gets lost. Legal software also provides the ability to create alert notes, so that upon opening a file you know exactly what needs to be done.
Helping You Work Smarter, Not Harder
Say goodbye to systems that have slow task processing, unreliable data and errors. Your time is valuable—and choosing a software platform with a good user interface is essential to accomplishing more in less time. Through a simple and concise UI like Legal Files that is intuitive, flexible and responsive you can boost your productivity and efficiency almost overnight.
Legal Files offers a single case management platform with smart tools like built-in time and expense tracking, notes, calendar, to-dos and comprehensive document management that your team can adapt to easily. With 30 years of experience supporting organizations across a number of industries, Legal Files gives teams the tools and resources they need so they can focus on accomplishing more activities each day—helping them work smarter, not harder.
With a dedication to customer feedback and continuous improvement, Legal Files ensures your legal case management software works the way you want it to—no matter what your needs are.
“The best thing about customization is that we do it ourselves! The flexibility of the program makes it appropriate for anyone with case scheduling and quasi-judicial functions.”
Michele LeBrun, Board Chair
Request a demo to learn more about how we help organizations like yours manage what matters most.