Top 5 Technology Must Haves for Law Firms

by Syd Irfan on March 29, 2012

Given the intense competition, law firms today need to focus on increasing efficiency so that they can deliver better value to clients. Using technology for automating tasks and integrating activities can increase efficiency and allow attorneys to spend more time on strategies for clients.

Given below are the top 5 technology must haves for law firms:

  1. Information Management System

Contact details of clients, expert witnesses, opposing counsel, judges and past records of a similar case are critical information for a particular case. Having information is useless if you are unable to access it at the right time. This demands case management software that offers efficient organization and central storage of information, enabling easy access to all in the firm.

  1. Shared Calendaring

Shared calendaring enables easy collaboration across the organization with paralegals, support staff and other attorneys. For instance, entering a client meeting date or a court date in the calendar makes the information available to all concerned team members at one go. Using shared calendaring, it is possible to delegate multiple tasks to several members simultaneously.  Microsoft Exchange server is commonly used for shared calendaring.

  1. Document Management Software

Managing and organizing physical documents is easily the most time consuming activity. Not to mention time lost in looking for misplaced documents. Document management software such as SharePoint does away with these inefficiencies, enabling you to centrally store and manage documents. Any changes made in a document are reflected across all versions, so that no one in the firm is working on an outdated version. Clients can also access their documents remotely via specific log in. Choose a system that is compatible with multiple documents formats like Word, Excel, PDF and scanned documents.

  1. Legal Billing Software

Billing clients and presenting invoices on time is as important as working out strategies for them. Attorneys across the firm may bill at different rates (depending of experience, seniority etc) and may be handling multiple clients. Manually managing all these variables is time consuming and guaranteed to produce errors. Legal billing software logs the time spent on each client and generates a consolidated invoice for the client.

  1. Technology Integration Across Devices

Technology integration is essential so that even while being out of office attorneys can be within the information loop through their mobile phones, laptops etc. As a result critical decisions do not have to be postponed because someone senior is out of office.

While these are the technology must-haves for a law firm, it would be impractical if each of these is incorporated into a separate system. Getting staff trained on each individual system by itself would be too time consuming and defeat the very purpose of the technology. It is best when most or all of these technologies are integrated into a single case management software.  And the icing on the cake would be if such case management software is based on a user friendly system like Microsoft Outlook that you regularly use in the firm and everyone if familiar with.

Now that is having the cake and eating it too.

By Syd Irfan of Legal Track case management software

Syd Irfan
Syd Irfan is a business analyst for Legal Track - case management software.
Syd Irfan

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