Modern practice management offers a way for lawyers to use technology to their advantage to free up time, stay competitive, and build an efficient practice. Today’s modern practice management looks different than it did ten, even five years ago and the software available to lawyers has developed into a wide offering of powerful, easy to implement tools. Custom-created for the legal industry, these tools are designed to meet the high standards of compliance while making it easier than ever to run a law practice.
Lawyers are responsible for a wide variety of functions and the challenges associated with them can make it difficult to have much time left at the end of the day to spend on billable tasks. There are only so many hours in a day, so in today’s competitive legal landscape lawyers have to make the most of them. By embracing modern practice management and its features, lawyers can optimize their days and tasks.
Mobility is one of those key features, providing lawyers with access anywhere, from any device. Gone are the days when you needed to have specific software installed on your computer to check email. With a mobile law firm, you can do things like check your email and access documentation from your cell phone or any device.
Firms should also look for tools with modern features, that continuously offer updates and improvements as well as new integrations. Additionally, firms can reduce some of their on-premises concerns and liability by using modern technology tools that offer regular backups and are self-maintained.
Modern Practice Management Strategies
From legal time and billing to trust accounting to document management and calendaring, the number of functions required to keep a law firm operating is substantial. For each of these, there are specific techniques and strategies that can offer improvements and save time. With the right tools, firms will find implementing these processes to be convenient – and they can even boost compliance with the use of legal-specific security features.
Dashboards are a great way to easily visualize important information. Using them in your practice management tool will make it easy to stay on top of cases and deadlines, letting you see the data you need at a glance to quickly analyze deadlines, identify issues or high priority items, as well as review your day-to-day tasks.
Simplify the process for setting up clients and matters and create default settings as well as custom fields to customize the setting for your firm’s needs. Go beyond contact information to utilize the matter management portion of your practice management solution to run relation-based conflict checks that search for relations to businesses and adversaries.
Look for tools that integrate with your primary calendar to keep your calendar up to date across all programs, improving collaboration with your team. Certain integrations even allow you to link events to matters and mark them as billable to create a clear audit trail and make sure you get paid for all your hard work.
A lawyer’s to-do list is never-ending and a Post-it note often isn’t enough to keep track of it all, especially when you’re delegating tasks. Use the appropriate technology to help you create workflows, task lists, and assign items.
Draft and store your documents within the file matter. Many of today’s practice management tools offer integrations that allow you to connect with your favorite tools, making it easy to save to the proper matter. These same programs can also offer document assembly, automatically filling matter data into your forms and documents.
Integrations are also essential for email purposes. Most lawyers are comfortable with a specific email tool, so it often makes sense to continue to use that tool while integrating it with practice management to be able to see matter-related emails in one spot. Eliminate the need to go back and search through thousands of emails.
Record matter notes in a single location while using categories and labels to easily locate the information you want.
Send information to clients securely through a secure, encrypted client portal. Information like messages and documents can be shared while ensuring client confidentiality and creating a way for clients to stay up to date on their case. Client portals are an easy way to add additional value to the services you’re providing.
Lawyers need to manage an extensive (and sometimes seemingly never-ending) task list. With modern practice management, it becomes to keep track of these to-dos and cut down on the time spent on them, resulting in a lean, efficient practice.
Learn more by watching our complete webinar, Redefining Modern Practice Management.