Even highly effective legal practices can improve their document organization to speed up locating information. While file organization is vital, it is not always obvious how to improve it, regardless of whether you are using a digital or manual filing system. It’s even more difficult if you are using a combination of both.
Legal case management software can be the solution to your organization problem, though firms often resist making changes. Many agencies may not want to spend what they believe to be a significant amount of money on a new system, unconvinced that the ROI will be worth the upfront cost.
Other firms may see open-source case management as an incomplete solution. This attitude is driven by the belief that legal case management software is inefficient and doesn’t solve any of the problems that an agency may have.
Without an open-source case management program, however, many firms will have to put up with disorganized filing systems, communication breakdowns, missed deadlines, and much more.
It’s worth looking at how an open-source case management program will be able to help your law firm increase productivity. We will look at five key areas for improvement.
Encourages Team Collaboration
One of the largest issues that many legal firms may have is trying to schedule meetings between partners. Traditionally, legal firms have had to use third-party scheduling and collaboration software that doesn’t connect with the rest of the programs that are being used.
With modern case management software, however, you’ll be able to significantly reduce the time and effort needed for scheduling. Instead of having to search for everyone’s availability manually, the program will do it for you and book that time for a meeting and send automated notifications and meeting reminders.
Rescheduling a meeting with an open-source case management program is also quite easy, and is typically just drag and drop to when you would prefer to hold the meeting. Meeting invites can include any files and documents needed, making it impossible to forget them.
Improve File Organization & Meet Deadlines
Meeting deadlines is vital in the legal world, but manually tracking workloads is insufficient to keep up with a busy schedule. Meetings and deadlines can be overlooked as a result. This can also happen if you’re using a variety of programs to manage your workload. Constantly switching between them could mean that you’ll overlook a certain deadline.
With legal case management software, it’s much simpler to browse through the system and see when your deadlines are. These are listed chronologically, so you can see which ones are coming up and what you need to prepare. If a deadline is moved, you’ll be notified quickly. With a chronological visual presentation, you can be immediately aware of upcoming events.
Coordinating Communication & Document Retrieval
Keeping client contact details on hand and up-to-date is critical. If you use several independent systems to store client information, client details could be scattered throughout several of them. Consolidating your client contact data will ensure that you have all the details needed, making communication with clients much easier.
An efficient client tracking system will also allow you to pull up relevant files when you’re speaking with them. With a manual filing system, this is a much slower, error-prone process.
Depending on multiple, non-integrated digital systems will add time and effort to the communications and document retrieval process. More modern legal case management software brings all of this together in one easy-to-use system. You should be able to type in a client’s name and have everything you need on-screen.
Time Tracking & Billing
Accurate client billing requires an accurate time tracking solution. An effective time-tracking solution must be simple to use and accessible from anywhere. Modern case management software lets you enter your billable hours into the system, automatically links them to a case, and allows your firm to provide transparent and accurate billing.
This can also be accomplished when you’re away from the office. As a result, you can input an accurate amount of billable time before you forget about adding it.
The ability to search long legal documents quickly is vital to an efficient practice. With some software solutions, this isn’t available, which can lead to a significant amount of time being wasted searching through documents.
This can be especially true when trying to differentiate between various documents related to the same case. Modern case management software allows you to input metadata for each document, i.e., the topics and other relevant information about the document. This information ensures that the legal case management software creates easily searchable documents and files. Through this, as well as an in-document search, you’ll be able to save a considerable amount of time and effort looking through records.
Legal professionals need to be able to remotely
- Access documents
- File documents
- Check client records and notes.
Many legal professionals have experienced needing a particular document only to realize they left it back in the office. With an open-source case management program, this shouldn’t be an issue since you’ll be able to access the digitized documents securely and remotely. This is especially true if there are limited physical copies of a particular document, and several people in different locations need. Utilizing modern case management software allows you to be productive regardless of where you’re based for the day.
Open-Source case management is often much more affordable than you think, making it time- and cost-effective approach to solving many of the critical issues that your law firm may be facing.
Subscribe to our newsletter or contact us today to find out how our legal case management software can help you. With our tailored approach to dealing with our clients, you’ll be able to ensure that your documentation and billing system is efficient, accessible, productive, and accurate.
It would be good to have some text here about e-discovery since it could be very relevant and required in some legal case management systems.