Computer technology simplifies the modern law practice, letting attorneys focus on the law rather than on mundane administrative details. At least that’s the case when law firms actually use the technology available. Unfortunately despite the wide availability of reliable attorney time and billing software, many practices are still stuck in the Stone Age, and it’s hurting profits.
Solo Firms: I Do Everything
It’s tough to be out on your own as an attorney. The solo lawyer has to handle not only the actual practice of law but also all of the details from filing to computer troubleshooting to accounting. The solo practitioner may feel that software is too expensive, or may not want to take the time to learn a complicated new package when there is already an established system.
Remember that your time is not free. Look at the number of billable hours lost to invoicing, balancing accounts and practice management. How much is that costing you? Modern legal billing and accounting software pays for itself very quickly by giving your more time to handle the cases that pay the bills.
Small And Medium Firms: We Have People For That
Lawyers in slightly larger firms have support staff to handle the administrative details. Some firms may contract with outside accounting professionals while others have an in-house bookkeeping staff. It’s all being taken care of so the attorneys tend to ignore billing.
The problem is that contractors are expensive. Staff bookkeepers are cheaper but they still need the right tools to do their jobs efficiently. Time and billing software for lawyers allows you to handle the billing internally rather than using an outside firm, and gives your financial people the ability to manage billing, collections and trust management quickly and effectively. It also permits attorneys to keep an eye on the practice’s billing so they don’t get out of touch with the financial health of the firm.
Large Firms: Bureaucratic Nightmares
You might think that the biggest law firms automatically use the latest technology but they often run software years behind their smaller competitors. They have so much revenue coming in that they don’t feel the need to run efficiently, plus the tangle of red tape makes it difficult to implement new software systems.
These organizations are the ones that need law practice management software the most. Coordinating dozens of attorneys along with a host of paralegals, administrative workers and other staff is nearly impossible without a centralized, industry-specific, network-ready software solution. Large firms that make the mistake of not running lean end up getting eaten alive by more agile and technologically-hip competitors.
Whether your law firm employs one attorney or a hundred, you need law software to stay relevant in the industry. If you are still using ten-year-old solutions, or if you aren’t using software at all, then check out a few time billing software reviews, download a demo or two and find the right solution for your practice.