What Does Legal Case Management Software Do?
As a lawyer, your billable hours are extremely valuable, and making the best possible use of your workday is key. At the same time, every matter involves a lot of moving parts: client intake, communications among team members, communications with clients, drafting documents, deadlines, court dates, billing, referrals, and more.
Legal case management software is designed to make your life easier. It supports you and your legal team by:
- Keeping matters and client details organized
- Improving communication internally and with clients
- Improving workflow efficiency
- Streamlining the billing process
Ultimately, the right legal case management software helps you organize and streamline workflows and sets you up to put more of your workday toward billable hours.
Keeps you organized
Lawyers handle vast amounts of client information and juggle multiple competing deadlines—and Excel spreadsheets can only take you so far. That’s where case management software comes in.
Instead of having to hunt down information in various different locations, a legal case management software organizes and centralizes information so that it’s easy to find when you need it.
Your client information, deadlines, updates, communications, invoices, and notes for a matter can all be found by looking up the matter or the client’s name. With this approach, everything is located in one place.
Today’s cloud-based software solutions let you securely access documents and information from anywhere, on any device.
The same goes for your team, and you can also customize user access to ensure you’re providing high levels of data privacy and security for your clients—while still ensuring everyone can do their jobs.
Good communication is the lifeblood of any working relationship. Clear communication with clients and between team members can help eliminate frustration, stress, resentment, and lost time.
Whether your office operates remotely, in person, or as a hybrid of the two, snag-free workflows are essential for your team’s success.
If team members know which tasks they’re responsible for and when those tasks are due, then they can focus on actually doing their work—without getting distracted by time-consuming back-and-forth communications with other team members about deadlines and who should have gotten what done by when.
A good legal case management program lets you set up workflow templates for routine tasks so that each person knows when their piece of the project is due. With an organized workflow in place, there’s a lower risk of missed deadlines or rushed, subpar work.
Timely and effective client communication does wonders for clients’ overall satisfaction. It makes them feel heard and valued, and it puts them at ease to know their lawyer hasn’t forgotten about them.
With a secure client portal for sharing documents and messaging and matter-centric organization that makes it easy to look up the details of a case, legal case management software streamlines the client communication process.
Improves workflow efficiency
Billable hours are valuable, but it’s easy to lose that time to routine tasks like data entry and billing. Legal case management software frees up your and your team’s time by eliminating redundancies with smart automations.
Less data entry
The only thing worse than losing part of your day to data entry is having to enter the same data in more than one location. Legal case management software seeks to reduce these kinds of redundancies.
For instance, if you’re entering the same information into your billing system and your legal accounting system, you don’t need to be. Instead, with the right software in place, you can enter the information just once and it will automatically update across both systems.
The other issue with data entry is that as human beings, we’re prone to error. Mistakes happen, and they also take time to fix.
By reducing the amount of data entry you and your team have to do, you can reduce your overall risk for good old-fashioned human error.
If your law office routinely uses certain legal documents, you likely already have a template made. Legal case management software can build on this template.
Instead of having to copy and paste client information into the template each time—which runs the risk of not updating all the required fields properly—you can simply choose the client whose information you want to put into the document, and the system will do the updating for you.
It’s faster and exposes you to a lower chance of error.
Another great automation feature offered by legal case management software is batch invoicing.
Because these software include integrated time tracking, the billable work you’ve done for your client is already in the system. You can save significant time by generating invoices for billable work from customizable templates in only a few clicks, and you can even draft all of your invoices by batch at the same time—doing in seconds what used to take hours.
Streamlines the billing process
To keep your legal practice operating, your clients need to pay their bills. But in the middle of a busy day, billing is often the easiest task to punt until tomorrow. And when there are issues, following up with clients about outstanding balances can be emotionally taxing.
Legal case management software lifts some of this burden.
Clients are far more likely to be disgruntled—and reluctant to pay—if they don’t receive an invoice until months after the work has been completed.
While it’s easy to view billing as something that doesn’t have a hard deadline, the truth is that your office needs to send bills out at least once a month. Legal case management software makes that easier by streamlining or automating a lot of the work for you, such as bulk invoice generation, electronic delivery, and even opportunities for clients to pay online.
The less of a hassle billing is for you and your team, the easier it will be to make sure your clients receive their bills in a timely manner.
The other tasks that often get delayed are accounting chores like reconciliation, including three-way reconciliation. While these tasks have traditionally been tedious and time-consuming, they don’t need to be with the right software in place.
With your legal case management program, you can complete monthly reconciliation tasks in far less time. Since lawyers are required to perform regular reconciliation for trust accounts, this software support can be a huge boon.
Moreover, the longer you put off reconciliation, the harder it is to untangle any problems that you do find.
Designed to make a lawyer’s life easier
Legal case management software is designed specifically to streamline a lawyer’s workday. With matter-centric organization, better communication, and automated features, it frees up more of your time for work that uses your law degree—and keeps your clients happier, too.