The decision to choose a case management software system is a big step for a small to mid-sized law firm. The founding members of the firm were probably practicing law since long before word processing altered workflow and law firm staffing needs. Then electronic filing came along, requiring additional technical capabilities, especially for litigators in larger jurisdictions. Legal case management software is the next major step in incorporating law and technology.
Choosing litigation management software, or legal case management software for non-litigation practices, is tough because the number of providers of legal case management software has increased in the last several years. There are many case management software systems out there, and the key is getting the right system for your practice.
When choosing your case management software system, keep in mind:
1. Specific legal software needs of your firm.
2. Cost to convenience ratio of a legal software system.
3. Upgrades and maintenance plan for the case management software system.
Assess your needs for legal case management softwareBefore shopping for case management software, you need to know what you want it to do. Most systems track calendar events, store client and matter information, and generate form documents populated with case information. Some case management systems also tie in billing, and other accounting functions or can interface with your existing accounting software.
Compare features on legal softwareYou will find a confusing number of legal case management software system providers on the Internet. Start by narrowing the field based on your specific needs and comparing features of various systems.
Try a free demo from case management software providersSeeing a litigation case management software system in action is the best way to understand its capabilities and be sure it is compatible with your practice. Walk through the product in an online brochure with screenshots and then request a free demo.
- Do what lawyers do best - negotiate! Find the best case management software system available for your specific law firm needs, and then negotiate a great price with installation, user training and maintenance included. Keep in mind, you'll want to develop an on-going working relationship with the case management software system provider.
- Plan beyond the initial installation. Designate and train support staff to maintain your new legal case management software system. A database is only as good as the data entry. Coordinate regular training and refresher sessions for anyone who will be using the case management software.