How to choose the right Legal Practice Management Software for you

Choosing the right Legal Practice Management Software to fit your firm can be a challenging task. With the emerging change and improvements within the Legal Tech space, keeping up to speed can be next to impossible. Then lawyers have the added responsibility of running a successful practice whilst maintaining compliance set down by regulatory bodies.
We have therefore listed below important guidelines to consider the best Legal Practice Management Software for your firm. However, even before looking at a new Legal Software it is important one assess the structure and working practices of their existing firm, how this is likely to change in the near future and most importantly, the key goals of the firm. This could be to increase market share and/or increase bottom line profits.

Making the choice…

1. Narrow down your requirements

The complexity here is that different people within a legal practice will have different requirements and these requirements are continuously evolving. Lawyers for example will not be too concerned about the features of accounting functions of the software. Hence a balanced approach is required to ensure that the software can firstly fulfil your core requirements and also enhance key business processes.
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2. First hand research
In depth research is not feasible in most cases. It would be very difficult to line up all Legal Practice Management Software’s available in the market and then ask every user of the organization to give their option on the best fit. It would be much easier to ask legal software users within friends and colleagues about their experiences of legal software. In addition, reading recent review sites can give valuable user feedback on the experience of working with different legal software.

3. Feature comparison

Once a shortlist has been achieved, a feature comparison can greatly help in determining which legal software could be right for you. This also gives you the opportunity to take a deeper look at the shortlisted softwares and see how they differ. Also looking at the overall package in terms of how features interact, the cost-benefit and their scalability as a system is also important. A well-integrated software will be easier to adopt by most users and also streamline the firm’s different business processes.
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4. Test Drive
Test driving is vital before committing to a software. This will give you the satisfaction that the software actually works as you expect it to do so, not what vendors have promised. You will also get a feel for how this can improve and enhance your firm once adopted for real. One important point to note here is that there should be sufficient data (larger the better) in the system when test driving. This will prove the issue of future scalability as your firm grows. Many legal softwares are limited to a certain amount of data or their performance seriously begins to lack after a certain load.

5. Make the decision

Once all due diligence has been performed, it is the time to make the decision. Remember, Legal Practice Management Softwares can greatly differ, and an impulsive decision could be very costly. A good software should make life easier for you and make your practice more productive. Finally, as with most things in life you need to find the best fit rather than the perfect fit. However, it is also worth noting that many softwares can be further customized to suit your needs. These can greatly enhance the benefits of using the Legal Practice Management Software.
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