It’s amazing how efficient your law firm can be when the right legal software, proper training and IT expertise comes together effectively.
Last November, we sponsored the Thursday night event at the Civil Litigation Conference hosted by one of our clients, the County of Carleton Law Association. We had the opportunity to chat with many of the Litigators from around Ontario, and found that Legal Practice Management Software was a popular topic of conversation. We learned that many law firms seem to be looking for ways to move away from PC Law or better utilize the product.
If you’re trying to decide what type of legal software is right for your law firm, read on for some of our key tips:
- Rent vs Own: Many applications are switching to a cost per user per month pricing scheme. This makes for easy budgeting, but when examining the total cost of ownership it usually exceeds the traditional purchase option. Try to amortize your purchased option over 5 years and compare it to what you would have paid on a monthly subscription.
- On Premise vs Cloud: The Cloud is becoming a great option for mobility and scalability while only needing an Internet connection to access your application’s web portal. However, most of the law firms we support do most of their work from the office, making it crucial for fast access to their billing application. Although Internet access is getting faster, nothing beats your local network speeds for access. If you decide to go Cloud, budget for a fast connection with a less powerful backup connection.
- Accounting Integration: One of the key features in most Legal Practice Management Software is the accounting integration. Some have created their own accounting platforms which will require training. Others tie into Quickbooks and other commonly used applications. Be careful when adopting a non-standard accounting package. Not only can it be cumbersome but it also becomes more difficult when hiring on a new admin/financial person. Make sure their training guides are comprehensive.
- Reporting and Dashboards: One of the often neglected features is reports and dashboards. A good dashboard can provide your financial and client status in a single view. Many of the newer applications do a fantastic job displaying information in an easy to read format. Always remember that the faster you have accurate information the easier it becomes to make decisions across your firm.
Feel free to download our Legal Practice Management Software Chart where we compare PC Law, Perfect Law, Pro Law, Clio, MyCase and Amicus Attorney in an easy to read chart.
Now I will probably be shunned by the rest of my clients for helping make their lawyers more effective at billing 🙂
Post by Mathew Lafrance, President, Grade A