7 Ways Practice Management will Help You Get a Head Start in 2018

When you’re able to accomplish more in less time, everyone wins. Your clients will get more for each billable hour they invest in you, and you’ll make more money. A lot more. Consider this: If a lawyer, who charges $365 an hour (the median rate for a consumer law attorney[1]), bills one extra hour per week, they will earn an additional $18,980 annually.

The easiest way to achieve this is with law practice management software.  Here are 7 simple ways it can help improve your client service and revenues in 2018.

1. Provides you and your staff the power to work from anywhere.
Stop putting in long hours at the office. Instead, be efficient with your time by working anytime from anywhere there’s internet access, like at your home or the courthouse. You’ll be able to read, download, upload, edit and save documents and files from your smartphone, tablet or computer. This has enabled Roeder Smith Jadin, a Minneapolis-based boutique law firm, to quadruple their size in just three years.

“I can access the entirety of my office from anywhere, and that gives my clients more accessibility to me and ultimately drives down costs,” says partner Alex Jadin. “When you’re efficient at your work, you’re ultimately saving that client money by spending less time getting the same amount of work done.”

2. Automates tasks you do repeatedly, like time-keeping, billing, and form building.
Instantly track every billable minute with your computer, tablet or smartphone. Then automatically generate and send detailed invoices, or run financial performance reports ranging from time-by-matter to expense-by-matter to accounts receivable.Stop wasting time repeatedly entering the same client information to complete forms. Just enter it once into your practice management system. It will automatically be inserted into all relevant matter documentation.

Get more ideas to streamline matter management here: Matter management checklist for overworked attorneys.

3. Provides fast document retrieval in a click – even when you’re away from the office.
This begins by digitizing and uploading your paper documents into electronic files. Be certain to have in place an electronic filing system that duplicates a paper one. Achieve this with a consistent naming convention, such as:
– File number – 2191
– The client’s name – Jones Corporation
– The type of document – Brief
– Date – 9-21-2017

The result: File names that look like this – 2191-Jones Corporation – brief – 9-21-2017- which can help you know what they contain without opening them.

Furthermore, use a  cloud practice management system that indexes the text of every document for easy retrieval through a quick online search. So instead of wasting time digging through paper files, find the exact document you need through a simple search that not only returns document titles but also returns documents that include your search term within the text of the document.

4. Automates legal deadline calculations. Instead of manually calculating legal deadlines, use a legal deadline calculator to automatically do it for you. You’ll never have to worry about miscalculations or missed opportunities, plus you’ll be automatically alerted with updates on rule sets for the matters you are handling.

5. Saves you even more time on legal research. Don’t waste time validating and looking up every citation. Instead, use a practice management solution that automatically marks an uploaded document – like an opponent’s brief – with citation KeyCite flags and links to supporting authority.

6. Enables efficient collaboration. Changes in documents are instantly recorded and made available to all users, and calendars are updated real time so everyone is always on the same page. Avoid the tedium of sending multiple emails, and manually tracking drafts and edits.

7. Adhere to ABA mandates. In May, the ABA’s Committee on Ethics and Legal Responsibility issued Formal Opinion 477. It states, in essence, that lawyers need to make a reasonable effort to protect client data from hacks. (A reasonable effort is probably more than a stern disclaimer tagged onto the end of an email.) Fortunately, you can easily adhere to these mandates with leading law practice management solutions that have world-class cybersecurity.

Get guidance on how to select a secure vendor with this: Checklist: Five Most Important Cloud Security Considerations.

Best of all, you can achieve all of this for a monthly subscription that:

  • Costs less than half of an average cable or smartphone bill
  • Can be covered in about seven minutes if you charge the median billable rate

Isn’t your law firm worth that?

If you need more convincing, use this ROI Calculator to discover how much value you can get from investing in a practice management solution so you can more efficiently manage your practice while practicing law.

[1] Burdge, Ronald L., esq., United States Consumer Law Attorney Fee Survey Report, 2015- 2016


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