Within the last twenty five years, information technology has become a part of almost every office and building, and it’s difficult to consider that any business could do without the many contributions that information technology can make to their profitability and productivity.
However, as technology changes, as do the needs of an individual business, and it’s often not enough to simply have IT – one must have the right IT for the job in question.
For many legal firms, large and small, the right IT comes in the form of legal case management software from providers like Redbrick Solutions and LexisNexis.
These databases can be fitted to every computer and laptop within a firm and bring with them a number of benefits:
1. No loss of information
Loss of client information causes major problems for many firms. Even with the greatest of care and attention, a paper file can be lost or mislaid leaving the firm at risk of failing in their data protection requirements and potentially leaving the client with no documentation relating to their case.
However, by inputting not only correspondence but also file notes and other important information onto law firm software, the firm allows themselves the opportunity of looking professional, never losing or not having access to client files and maintaining all of their DP obligations.
2. Shared information
Another problem which is often experienced by firms who have only paper and hard files is that only one person can possess this at any one time. This means that should two people from the firm (for example fee earner and support staff) require access to the file at any one time they would find this extremely difficult. Consider the difficulty of a case where one fee earner is dealing with the administration of a deceased estate and another is dealing with the sale of property. Both need access to the file but with only one paper file, the sharing is difficult. However, the introduction of legal software could not only give both access where and when needed but also allow each to see the others’ work without the need for a constant stream of memorandums.
3. Low cost
The main factor which prevents many Partners of law firms from updating their legal practice management IT is the cost, especially with the recent changes to Legal Aid allocation. Therefore, when confronted with new legal accounting software like Business Intelligence, many are unwilling to act as they imagine a large perceived cost. However much of the technology is very reasonably priced to allow smaller local firms to participate in the benefits too.
As changes to the law have been introduced, many firms have become Lexcel accredited or have applied with another body for the same purpose. As many practice managers are aware, this accreditation and continuation takes considerable time and effort. However, the use of legal case management software or IT consultancy can make it simpler for any firm, of any size, to keep and continue the best practice they achieved as they applied for their Lexcel standards.