When it comes to technology, resistance is futile. Whether you’re a visionary ‘early adopter’ or a sceptical ‘laggard’ you and your business will change and adapt to new technologies; it’s only a matter of when.
Don’t believe me?
Look at the phone in your pocket. Is it a Nokia 3310?
Launched in September 2000 it was a real classic. Robust (regarded as the most ‘unbreakable’ mobile phone), massive battery life (typically around one month between charges) and it did everything you needed – at that time.
But I’m guessing the phone in your pocket is not a 3310.
Remember when you switched? It was quite scary. These new phones didn’t even have instructions – you learned how to use it by playing around with it and using it.
When you ditched your feature phone for a ‘smart’ phone, were you one of the first ‘early adopters’ or one of the reluctant ‘laggards’. You were probably somewhere between the two – but you switched. Resistance is futile.
I have two lawyers in my immediate family, I think I can say this with a certain level of confidence and authority, that they like to think things through and make sure that every detail is in order before taking the plunge. They don’t like surprises, and they certainly don’t like change. So, when somebody proposes that they change their legal software, it’s like asking them to jump into an arctic pool of icy water. Yeah, it took them a while to move from their Nokia or Blackberry to a smart phone – but they did, of course they did.
Ok, so you know where I’m going with this…your case management system.
Is it more 3310 or more iPhone 14?
New technology allows us to do the things we need to do more efficiently and effectively with less room for error, but more than that it allows us to do new things – you could still order a pizza or a taxi on a 3310 but watch your favourite tv show or take a photo and send it to family at no cost? – unthinkable.
What is your case management software provider doing for you and your business right now? Some firms have been using theirs so long that they don’t notice how much time they waste and the opportunities they are missing using outdated legal technology. All of this is hidden from them because right now, they’re probably too busy to take a step back and look at how technology is changing law firms. So, when somebody like me or someone in the team finally does tell them what the new software can do, it can come as a bit of a shock. Fortunately, most of the time, once they actually take the plunge and try out the new software, they realise how much better it is and how much of their life can made easier. They can now work faster, more efficiently and increase productivity, with a reduced error rate, and they don’t need to worry about outdated software features, compatibility, or integration issues.
So, I guess the message here is that you will upgrade your practice management software, it’s just a question of when.
If you are thinking of upgrading your legal case management software soon here’s some things to consider:
- The software should be cloud-based and have the ability to track, manage and automate all aspects of a case, from enquiries/leads, notes, and deadlines to document management and communications. It should also integrate with the key platforms you use every day. Additionally, it should have an intuitive, familiar user interface, that is fully customisable, allowing you to quickly access the information you need and work the way you want to. It should also have the ability to generate reports, charts and dashboards to help you better understand the case and your overall business. And please, accept nothing less than best practice in a system – full customisation and automation throughout. It exists and don’t let any provider tell you otherwise.
- The cost of the software is obviously an important factor. Many law firms are reluctant to invest in new cloud-based software, but it’s important to consider the long-term benefits of a better case management system. The cost should be weighed up against the potential savings in time and money that a new system can offer. And let’s be realistic, if you want a better product sometimes you have to pay more than you do currently. Particularly if you have been using a low cost, outdated system for a number of years. Think of it not as a cost but as an investment. Look for the functionality you want and tell the provider what you can afford to pay.
- Finally, the ease of implementation is essential. A good legal case management system should be straightforward and easy to use, allowing lawyers to get up to speed with using the software without any real issues. Furthermore, your provider should offer comprehensive in-person training and support. Investing in a new system will be an invaluable tool for any lawyer. With the right software, law firms can customise and streamline their processes, save time, and better manage their cases.
For me through, the best tip when it comes to changing your case management system is all about having the confidence to change your mindset and in many cases the mindset of your team. So, let’s not continue to frustrate ourselves by complaining about it. If you have the opportunity to get a free trial of a new platform try and create the time to be curious – press that button, play around with that document, input that data and just see what happens. You won’t break it, I promise!
If you need more advice, drop me a line. You can reach me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 0141 331 5290.
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