When it comes to the age-old art of practicing law, modern technology can help a solo attorney or law firm function efficiently. Legal software programs increase productivity, keep all staff members informed of the weekly schedule, and ensure that nobody misses a deadline or court date. There are a limited number of programs available. If you are in the market for legal software programs, these five tips will help you narrow down the selection.
1. Choose Cloud-based or Web-based Software.
When data is stored via the Internet, it can be accessed from anywhere. This can help your staff members function more efficiently. There is no need to run back to the office when all pertinent information is accessible from your home computer or smartphone. It also provides a safety net, should something happen to your computer. You need not worry about backing up your information daily, or in some cases, hourly.
2. Make Security a Priority.
Many individuals are anxious about the security of information stored online. This is a reasonable concern, but one that is easily remedied. Compare security and encryption features for multiple programs to determine which offers the best protection. Ethically speaking, the majority of bar associations consider this a safe way to store data, as long as the attorney has taken reasonable precautions to protect information.
3. Billing and Calendar Integration is Practical.
Look for programs that offer an all-in-one solution to your business needs. Online Legal Software combines calendar functions with timekeeping tools to create accurate billing statements. Attorneys can be confident that all details are included before sending bills to clients.
4. Look for Advanced Payment Discounts.
Most programs offer a monthly subscription service fee and payment schedule. If you are just testing out a new program, it might be practical to consider the first month a test run. However, once you have chosen the best program, you should plan to use it for years. It just makes sense to pay for a whole year at a time. Look for programs that offer a discount when the year is paid in advance. This could save you a little money and guarantees a fixed price for the year, should rates increase.
5. Find Products Tailored to Your Firm Size.
Not all legal software programs work well for solo and small firm attorneys, whether because of a high price point, or the complex IT infrastructure required for them to work. . Ask for recommendation from colleagues or choose a program that is targeted to your specific type of firm.
Legal software programs are a valuable tool in a busy attorney’s stock that can make a significant difference in daily business operations. The professional and personal rewards are tangible. Your firm will function efficiently, avoiding conflicts and improving revenue.