There are many benefits in using a law firm case management system, not least of which is that today it runs in the cloud. There are no IT hassles, no down time performing system maintenance, and you don’t need expensive hardware or any upgrades. You can leave all that to the management system company. All you need is a browser and you are good to go.
You can bill more hours. A study done in the US has shown that law firms there using a case management system billed more hours than those who did not. Large firms of more than 50 attorneys were found not to bill all the hours saved, but in smaller practices of five attorneys or less almost all of the hours saved were converted to billable hours.
The same study found that staffing reductions resulted in considerable savings. It found that for a five attorney practice the annual saving was $42,865 which equates to about £30,000. That amount, of course, goes straight back on the bottom line.
The most important word in a case management system is “management”. When you have a case management system everything is together. All of your contacts, documents, matters, calendars, tasks, and billing are available in a single interface. Some systems also have their own email client. For every matter, everything related to it is kept together – notes of phone calls, documents drafted, incoming and outgoing emails – are all to hand so you can find everything very easily, and nothing will get lost. You can’t mislay a document because it was filed in the wrong place.
With a case management system you are never away from your office. All you need is a tablet or smartphone and you can log in wherever you happen to be. Whether you are on a train, in a taxi, or just waiting in court for your case to be called, you can access and work on another case and the case management system will record the time, so you put in more billable hours this way too. Some case management systems will let you run multiple timers, so you can switch from one task to another without losing track of a second. Since you are recording time on the go you don’t have to try to remember it all when you get back to the office. This is one of the very big benefits of such a system.
Your information will actually be more secure using a case management system from a reliable software company, both when you are using it and when it is stored on the servers in the cloud. Your data will also be backed up regularly. If you are a sole practitioner or a small firm, the security that you get will usually be far greater than you would have on your own server.
A case management system can even help you to get paid faster. To start with, the generation of invoices is streamlined, which means that you can produce an invoice at the click of a button. Some systems also enable you to accept payment by credit card. This makes it easier for your client to pay the invoice, and indeed one supplier of a case management system has found that its users who accept credit card payments actually get paid 35% faster than those who do not.
Another feature of a case management system is that it can help you to avoid claims of malpractice. The most common causes of such claims are due to clerical or administrative errors. You might fail to calendar an event or a deadline. Conflicts of interest can also be a cause of malpractice claims. When you have a system in place with integrated calendar, conflict checking, and reminders, such claims are far less likely to occur.
So those are just some of the major benefits of using a case management system. No doubt there are others. Certainly, if your firm does not yet use such a system it would be well worth your while to check it out.
DPS Software has been developing software and systems for law firms in the UK for over 30 years and has some 700 client firms with a total of around 18,000 users. Its’ case management systems like law firm case management system cover every aspect of legal practice.