Are you looking for ways to improve the productivity in your law department? Perhaps the first thing that comes to your mind is gaining new staff members. However, that is not the only way. A legal case management software can provide your law firm an increase in productivity without an increase in payroll. It will allow you to collect more information, possibly bill more, and make informed, data-based business decisions.
Multiplying the number of staff members takes more time, energy, and finance than maximizing the productivity of your current staff in your law firm using modern legal case management software application. So, before you invest in increasing your staff members, make sure you invest in legal case management software application and use it to its maximum to boost both productivity and revenues.
Accurate Time Tracking
Efficient time tracking is still a weak point for many attorneys in law firms. However, there are a number of apps for time tracking using Windows, Mac, and mobile devices. If you are utilizing a modern legal case management platform like ArkCase, you will find an intuitive way to enter your time. (ArkCase is a technology company, with expertise, services, and products in Big Data Analytics, Content Intelligence, ECM (Enterprise Content Management), Case Management, Open Source and Mobile Technologies. ArkCase also develops end-to-end solutions for improving service levels, decreasing costs, achieving compliance, protecting information and improving the management of the complete case life cycle).
Whether you are working on a document, doing a task, attending an event, or sending an email, there is a place for you to more easily record your time. You can also track time from multiple cases on a single time card, so you can very quickly track more than one case when switching between tasks.
Further, when you are not in front of your computer, you can enter the time tracker through the mobile app. ArkCase is designed to help you be more efficient so you can provide greater value to your customers.
Accurate Billing Records
If you bill hourly, it is easy to see the parallel between money and time. However, even if you do not bill hourly, tracking your hours efficiently has benefits.
As you declare your time transparently, your clients can focus more on their responsibilities and worry less about their legal bills.
Secondly, in litigation procedures, even if you are working on an unforeseen basis, you may have to share your hours to the court to gather your fees. Detailed, accurate, consistent billing records make it more probable that the judge will approve the hours you state it took to handle the case.
Lastly, you must keep track of the hours of all of your staff members. That is the only way you can accurately know what profit you are gaining on particular types of cases.
Streamline and Boost Collections
Collections are another area where many attorneys have a hard time doing their job efficiently. Billing practices that involve sending unclear and long-delayed statements result in delayed payments or even no payments. The fewer details you add, the fewer clients will believe what you say you did for them. The longer it has been since you last helped your clients, the more likely they have forgotten how much you helped them.
Modern case management systems like ArkCase will help you avoid these errors by making it much easier to record and track your time. This results in detailed statements with less effort for entry and for reporting (and in a timely manner).
To boost collections, you need to make it as convenient as possible for your clients to pay. ArkCase integrates with your organization’s existing accounting system. As an example, Armedia integrated ArkCase with Microsoft Dynamics for a healthcare client and can support pay.gov integration for Public Sector clients. However, utilizing the bill payment feature built into your legal case management software streamlines invoicing, since time and expenses are already entered.
Another benefit of using ArkCase to integrate with your existing payment system is that your client will feel more comfortable going to the exact portal that he or she has already used to collaborate with you. It’s one portal for both interaction and transactions. Clients will be able to see the work you’ve provided and pay for the services provided, which makes the whole process much more transparent and appealing to your clients.
When your organization or department is more productive, you can spend more time on activities that improve revenues. These include billing time on other cases or working to get new clients. Below are some of the key ways a legal case management software can improve productivity in your law firm.
Document Assembly / Correspondence Management
Lawyers frequently have to create the same documents for their cases. These include documents like retainer agreements and documents filed with the court. To cut down on time and errors, you need automated document assembly, and there is an easy way to do that. Indeed, there are plenty of dedicated programs to pick from for document assembly. But why complicate the workflow with extra software when modern case management systems like ArkCase already come with a built-in automated document assembly module for correspondences?
Automated document assembly typically works by creating templates in Microsoft Word format with static and dynamic text. Similar to mail merge, dynamic text from the case is substituted within the Word document at the time of creation. Once created and stored in the repository, ArkCase allows users to update the document online creating versions whenever the document is saved without making the user download the document to the user’s desktop and upload after editing.
Workflow and Templates
Probably the best way to improve productivity is to make automated workflows for every task that recur from case to a case. It not only saves time, but it can also prevent errors and oversights too.
When you are handling cases of a similar type, it is likely that you are repeating the same steps over and over. Rather than recreating these steps every time you open a new case, you can make a template of steps and then apply it when needed to drive efficiency.
The repeating list typically consists of documents, tasks, and due dates. But you can also find that the cases need various sets of fields based on the case type. These include pre-determined tasks, contacts, calendar events, and custom fields.
The whole process of starting, managing, and closing a traffic violation case, for example, boils down to using a preset template that ensures that all the bases are properly covered.
Firm and Client Insight with Analytics
Law firm owners tend to look just at how much revenue one practice area generates. They may not consider all the expenses included to acquire the clients and to service the cases. If you do not know the full picture, you may easily focus your efforts in the wrong area of practice. With a solid legal case management software, it is now a lot easier to gather useful data regarding ROI in specific clientele or case types.
Make sure that you enter precise information on how the person came to you when you create a new case or contact. If it was a referral, add the name of the referring client, the company, and a category like “accountant” or a “real estate agent”. And if the lead is from an advertising or marketing campaign, be specific as to which campaign, what keywords, and so on.
If you decide to use ArkCase, you can take advantage of its advanced analytics package to report on income sources, complete with cost data related to the cases, so you can quickly and easily estimate the profit margin linked to a type of case.
The reason that ArkCase includes case-related costs in its reports is that revenue is just half the story. What matters is the net income to you and to your firm. If costs eat up your gross revenue entirely, then you are working for nothing. A thorough maintenance of records is vital. Be sure to relate everybody’s time to a case or category. Also, be sure to record each cost related to a case.
Collections reports, such as those that can be created using the analytics package of ArkCase, will allow you to have accurate insights into which clients pay and which do not. Feel free to “market more services” to a client if you think working for them is worthwhile. Collection data also provides efficient information about the types of matters and clients that are likely to present problems (or ROI) in the future.
Compare the revenue collected with the expense to acquire a new client and the expense of handling the case effectively. That way you will know precisely how much profit you made from each client, case type, and practice area. When armed with this information, you can easily make informed decisions.
Good Case Management is Good Practice
Don’t get stuck thinking that increasing your practice begins and ends with hiring new staff. This is just one piece of the puzzle. If you use the right legal case management software that offers full functionality, you can grow your law firm. Improved productivity and revenue, expense savings, and savvy business decisions are all achievable outcomes of good case management.
Did this article help you see the importance of utilizing a legal case management software to improve the productivity in your law firm? Maybe you have other features in mind that could boost productivity? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below! And don’t forget to share this article with your colleagues on social networks. Help them to improve the productivity in their law firm too.