Software was not made to stay the same. It is continually evolving, just like the industries it is made to serve. Legal teams use software every single day to manage emails, cases, documents, billing and more. With so many software options available, how do legal teams select the best software to meet their needs? This is the million-dollar question, and one that leaders wrestle with daily as they make decisions and research the variety of software options available. One tool that is growing in popularity and adoption is legal case management software. In fact, the market is expected to grow to nearly $2 billion by 2028, according to the latest Insight Partners report.
How Do Legal Teams Use Case Management Software?
There are several ways that legal teams use case management software to facilitate, coordinate and track the delivery of legal tasks and services. Case management software has multiple uses, including:
- Workflow management;
- Data tracking;
- Workload management;
- Content management;
- Document management;
- Time tracking and expense management;
- Deadline management;
- User management.
These built-in features help legal teams capture, organize, access and analyze legal cases to optimize efficiency and effectiveness. Legal teams often use government workflow management software to also store information related to the following types of cases:
- Litigation and disputes
- Corporate transactions;
- ContractsIntellectual property
- Labor and employment
- General legal advice files
Legal case management software can also be useful for legal research, governance and compliance activities
The most recent Gartner Market Guide for Corporate Legal Matter Management predicts that legal departments will increase their spend on technology threefold by 2025. This jump in spending is cause for all to consider what ways their organization is evolving to meet the needs of the changing legal landscape. Additionally, it is also predicted that by 2024, legal departments will have automated 50 percent of legal work related to major corporate transactions.
Five Software Tools Legal Teams Need to Stay Ahead
Technology has been a game-changer for legal organizations of all sizes, enabling them to transition to remote work seamlessly and focus more on client satisfaction rather than menial everyday tasks. To achieve success, investing in the <em>right </em>solutions is crucial. To maximize efficiency and productivity in your practice, here are a few of the necessary software tools legal teams should take advantage of.
Your legal team is made up of a variety of technology users, and you need a software system that can track each user’s activity, as well as provide the ability to collaborate with them. With the right attorney case management software and security settings, you can set up access for reviewing other users’ calendars, to-dos/tasks, documents, time entries and other action items. The user management software feature enables you to:
- Unify and track the legal calendar.
- Track and balance workload among legal staff and personnel.
- Identify and proactively address operational bottlenecks.
There is also an option to set up notifications when a matter or case has been switched to a new status/phase so that members of the team can stay informed throughout the entire process.
Provide easy, role-based mobile and/or remote access to internal and external users.
Every legal case has multiple parties involved who need to be communicated with regularly to ensure they are up to date. Legal contact management software enables you to keep track of each individual’s and company’s basic information (name, phone number, address, etc.). Once you enter an individual’s or company’s contact information in the system, you never have to do it again. And if an update is made, that information is updated across all channels automatically. This ensures that everyone always has access to the most current information. The attorney contact management software feature enables you to:
- Organize and identify key contacts, including clients, third parties, outside counsel,
opposing counsel, experts and judges.
- Coordinate and facilitate activities with outside participants, including law firms.Maintain a history of the contact and view both current and past involvements in other cases or issues, avoiding conflicts.
By keeping track of each person’s contact information for each case and file, you can also identify specific roles for each individual within a case. This enables other team members to pick up where you left off if a case needs to be transferred—all the information is there and ready for someone to learn the relationships, past dealings and history of the contact within minutes.
The spectrum of legal cases or matters is varied, which is why a flexible software application is so important. With case management software, you can build out your own unique user interface that corresponds to the different cases or matters being managed. This allows you to track and store almost anything you want when it comes to your cases and matters, no matter how unique your operations.
Non-technical users can rest assured that updates will be seamless, and customizations are made easy with the right lawyer case management software. With intuitive interfaces designed for the average legal team, users can customize the software quickly and easily by modifying settings such as security, custom windows, document templates, custom prompts and file menus, without the expense of IT professionals or outside vendors. The case management software feature allows you to:
- Categorize and track all substantive legal work on a per-matter basis in a central
- Provide robust and granular access and data security to ensure the safe handling of
information by entitled parties.
Documents are crucial to the legal process, and the variety of types you need to create, manage, search and store can sometimes feel endless and overwhelming. With a document management solution, you can centralize all your files in a single location to create a knowledge base of current and future assets. Litigation document management software can store and index any file type, such as Microsoft Office, Outlook messages, PDF or jpeg images. You can also keep track of document details such as the created date, modified date, creator, author, type or classification, making quick retrieval so much easier. The document management software feature enables you to:
- Collect, store and organize documents and content relevant to a given matter.
- And, along with document assembly tools, automate the generation of standard forms, letters, contracts and other case/matter related correspondence.
Time Tracking and Expense Management
Since hourly billing is the most common method used by legal teams, keeping track of time is essential to getting paid. With a law manager software solution specifically catered to tracking time, you no longer need to worry about accuracy and efficiency in this key area. You can enter time at the user level or directly from the case. You can also capture time from any of the action items in the interface (calendar, to-dos, documents, notes, phone logs, etc.). An auto-timer also automatically tracks time spent on cases throughout the day.
With expense litigation tracking software features, you can monitor any expense such as research fees, records fees, copying or outside counsel fees and easily enter them into the system. Once entered, expenses can be reviewed, approved and exported to many popular accounting programs for payment, while maintaining a permanent record in a single location. With time tracking and legal case tracker software solutions, you can:
- Provide budget and cost management insight across different practice areas, by
matter type and by specific matter.
- Encourage time and expense tracking, establish billing rates for users and cases, set up tax rates and generate pro-forma invoices.
No need to track time, the best software tools allow you to “turn on” the functions you require and “hide” those you do not.
Legal Files Case Management Software Offers Multiple Solutions In One Location
There is a way to streamline all these essential legal software tools in a single platform: Legal Files case management software. By getting rid of disparate software systems and pulling everything into one place, you no longer must worry about extra expenses, data solos or how to keep things running when expected (vacations, sick time, etc.) or unexpected (pandemics) disruptions occur. Legal Files helps you keep all your information centrally located, secure and easily accessible 24/7, allowing your office to be fully functional—no matter what.
With more than 30 years of experience supporting organizations across a number of industries, Legal Files gives you the security, peace of mind and much-needed collaboration that can only come from a unified, centralized platform for all your legal cases, matters, issues or projects. Request a demo to learn more about how we help organizations like yours manage what matters most.