As law firms continue to modernize, there are now more digital tools to help with case management, billing, team collaboration, dictation and other functions essential to your workflow. The challenge is not whether you and your firm can benefit from them, but which software platforms fit best with the way you work.
Software For Billing
Even in the most automation-resistant firms, paper management of billing functions has gone the way of the dinosaur. The most popular billing applications now offer mobile apps and online versions that allow you to track billing details, and will subsequently deliver them into your accounting system. AbacusLaw is one such program, providing integrations with common online payment systems such as Law Pay, and also delivering valuable analytic data so you can track activity against billable hours. This is just one example of the literally thousands of other options available.
Finance & Accounting
Financial analytics and accounting applications can help you manage your cashflow, salary and benefit expenditures, and is an integral element if you are trying to grow your business. One of the most popular accounting platforms is QuickBooks Pro, which offers a cloud-based or on-premise option, allowing your metrics to be accessed anywhere, from any device. As an added convenience, QuickBooks Pro also includes a mobile app, which may help to save time for smaller firms or multi-partner firms who require on-demand access to financial data
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
A CRM helps you to make the most of referrals, stay on top of existing clients, and track new leads, helping you maintain active contact at every level of involvement. This allows you to stay on top of a client’s mind in several different ways, including through content marketing, timely reminders about ongoing legal matters, or just to reach out for birthday or anniversary greetings. LexisNexis is one of the most popular CRM platforms in the legal realm, but there are many others
HIPAA Compliant Data Storage
While we won’t be able to completely dispense with paper files anytime soon, there is a growing trend towards storing case files and research in the cloud for easy access and collaboration. Though there are plenty of cloud storage options, we are bound by legal compliance, which requires a higher level of security guaranteed. Box is one such, a HIPAA compliant online data storage service that is being embraced by the legal industry. Features include secure FTP, file synch and file sharing, document management, and document tracking, all with the latest encryption protocols in place
While we can all agree that the bulk of our time is spent processing files, research data, statements, depositions and various other assets, we can probably also conclude that our time can be maximized using a secure case management and collaboration platform. CaseFox is just such a platform: highly rated by legal professionals throughout the United States, it is easy to use, and allows you to associate files with specific cases to help you better organize your case documents. It also provides integrations with Dropbox, Google Drive and many other popular applications, delivers activity reports so you can see who has accessed files, posted comments, edited or attached new documents
We are all battling on a daily basis to maintain our existing client base, land new clients, and attract the attention of potential future clients. Managing social media campaigns, blog posts, and content marketing to your list is all part of a strategic marketing plan. While there are plenty of digital marketing platforms, there are a handful of new entries that are targeted to the legal field, specifically Law Firm Marketing 360, and SalesForce. Both of these platforms offer an end-to-end solution that includes integrated content marketing, pay-per-click advertising, and detailed analytics where you can measure your progress and results.
Your progress depends on your investment in software that can help you better manage your basic functions, as well as to help you market your services to find and retain new business. An emerging trend in legal practice is the on-boarding of dedicated personnel to manage their digital marketing and document workflow, and also to maintain compliance in issues of data security.
As modern law practice moves slowly away from paper to digital management of their legal collateral, there is an opportunity to reduce cost, error and redundancy while improving the bottom line, proving that investment in software tools such as these will really deliver.