5 Immediate Benefits to Law Firm Management Software

Law firms succeed based on relationships — both external and internal. With the start of a new decade, law firms are looking for ways they can better cultivate and nurture both new and existing relationships. Investing in law firm management software offers a practice immediate benefits, as well as a long-term solution to several antiquated hurdles that exist within the legal field.

By implementing law firm management software, legal professionals are able to usher in a new generation of productivity and security. In doing so, firms are able to better collaborate with colleagues and communicate with clients, furthering their ability to build successful relationships in-and-out of the industry. The solution that management software provides is spreading to law firms across the country. According to recent surveys by the American Bar Association, technology spend is quickly rising — 48 percent of law firms had increased their budget from the prior year, and as a whole, 53 percent of reporting law firms use management software.

Let’s begin to analyze and deconstruct what makes law firm management software attractive and effective.

The five points we’ll examine include:

  • Improved Company Workflow
  • Stronger Security
  • Centralization of Tools
  • Referral Management
  • Enhanced Client Experiences

1. Improved Company Workflow

One of the biggest impediments facing law firms that do not use management software is a disordered workflow or an altogether lack of one. Standard operating procedures are key contributors to efficiency and consistency. Haphazard workflows limit the capabilities of lawyers and cause growth stagnation within a firm. Document management systems bring a new level of autonomy over a firm’s internal processes.

Litify’s legal management platform empowers law firms to have a say in exactly how their workflows function — from intake to settlement. A custom-built Litify workflow aims to provide firms with:

  • Better Case Management and Tracking
  • Reduced Intake Time
  • Streamlined Processes for Employees
  • Process Automation

2. Stronger Security

Security concerns are healthy. Law firms must be conscious of the sensitive data they are handling on a daily basis. For the protection of themselves and their clients, firms need a 21st-century solution that can handle large amounts of complex data, but also provide end-to-end secure encryption. Litify provides both.

Built on Salesforce, the world’s most trusted and secure cloud-based platform, Litify is engineered to safeguard large quantities of administrative, financial, and personal case information. With nearly 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies using Salesforce, you are assured that your firm’s sensitive information is being protected within the industry’s best form of protection and support.

Litify security measures include:

  • 128 or 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
  • Encryption at Rest and in Transit
  • Dual Redundant Copies Stored in Two Geographically Diverse Locations
  • PCI-DSS L1 Compliance
  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

3. Centralization of Tools

Even if law firms are not currently using management software, they are juggling between several other third-party applications in order to conduct daily business. From Outlook to QuickBooks and more, lawyers and support staff are constantly shuffling through numerous programs as they carry out tasks.

Introducing Litify’s platform at your law firm can immediately provide a simple to use solution. In addition to best-in-class built in features such as document management, intake questionnaires, case management, and expansive analytics and automation, the cloud-based platform integrates seamlessly with your communication, finance, e-signature, and other tools. With the Litify platform, staff is better able to manage cases at a faster rate and at a higher volume with a centralized user interface and integrated environment.

The Litify platform also features fully customizable dashboards and reports to fit the needs of your firm. Now decision-makers are able to identify specific KPIs in quick snapshots, or in deep data-driven research in order to see how the firm is performing. These individualized dashboards and reports allow for around-the-clock understanding of marketing effectiveness, intakes, matters and more.

4. Management of Referrals

Referrals remain a tricky subject for many law firms across the country. Whether a firm’s strategy is to offload cases due to lack of specialization, or onboard more cases in an effort to develop an additional revenue stream — there seems to be confusion in how to do so. However, Litify’s platform has engineered a direct solution for both parties.

The Litify Referral Network (LRN), enables law firms of any size to send and receive case referrals to other firms throughout the country. With hundreds of law firms actively using the LRN, over 1,000 case referrals are exchanged every day.

Using the LRN is beneficial to:

  • Maintain comprehensive records of all referrals in one application
  • Receive and send more referrals
  • Monetize every referral by setting customizable referral agreements
  • Enhance your relationships with partner firms with Litify’s built-in success metrics
  • Receive referrals that are appropriate for your firm

5. Enhanced Client Relations

Not only do law firms see immediate benefits from management software, but so do their clients. Mounting frustration on the client-side is one of the most common barriers that prevent positive experiences between firms and their customers. Whether it be spotty communication, unclear timetables, or unmet expectations, these impediments can quickly be resolved with the help of management software.

Litify is built with client relations as a top priority. The platform gives firms the ability to manage and care for every client in an equal manner. With features like logic-based intake questionnaires, automated appointment/task reminders, client text messaging, e-signature, and more — law firms are able to unlock a new degree of customer satisfaction.

Ready To Experience The Benefits of Law Firm Management Software?

Litify is the all-in-one law firm management platform that can transform your firm and your client’s experience. See how this platform can revolutionize your company’s efficiency — let’s talk.

The Transformation of Legal Technology: 1990 to 2020

Since the 1990s, legal technology has transformed dramatically.

The tools and technology that were once a luxury are now a necessity for firms of all shapes and sizes. From keeping track of billable hours to task management and invoicing, everything has shifted to digital first.

But, many law firms are still stuck in the past. Is your law firm one of them?

We’ve broken this incredible transformation into a few key categories. Check out the infographic at the bottom of this post to gain deeper insights into each one!

Case Management

Back in the ‘90s, some high-tech law firms started adopting “personal information managers” that stored files on a single computer. But, most lawyers still stored all their files and conversations manually in file cabinets.

Now, client conversations, agreements, and documents can be automatically consolidated to a cloud-based system that can be accessed anywhere by anyone who needs the information at the firm. In 2019, 43% of small firms were using practice management software to manage their firms, and 58% of firms were using cloud services, according to the ABA’s 2019 Tech Report.

Communication

In 1990, over 59% of law firms were using PCs but only 3% were using email. Most communication took place over the telephone, fax, or via snail mail.

Email is now a standard form of client communication, while texting and chatbots have emerged on the scene. In fact, Gartner predicts that by this year, 25% of customer service teams will use chatbots.

Phone calls are still made, but they too have been transformed thanks to CRM integration. Agents know exactly who to call and when, and records of phone calls can be attached to the relevant client.

And clients are no longer as patient as they once were. Now, 82% of consumers want an immediate response from companies when they have a question.

Legal Research

The 1990s truly revolutionized legal research. Gone were the days of manual research. LexisNexis was taking off, with over 600,000 users by the time it was sold in 1994 for $1.5 billion.

While LexisNexis is still a popular resource, firms also use Google Scholar and other online resources today to research case law. Soon, lawyers may not have to do legal research at all, but instead rely on A.I. to find and review documents related to their case. Programs like Relativity and Everlaw are already using natural language processing to scan documents related to a lawyer’s query.

Billing and Payment

By 1995, some firms were using computerized billing systems to create invoices. However, these invoices still had to be mailed to the client manually and took way too long to create in the first place. Throughout the 1990s, clients would receive their invoices in the mail and send back a check. Law firms then had to manually cash checks at the bank.

Today, invoices can be created with the click of a button and are usually sent via email to the client. Once a client receives a digital invoice, they can pay online using their debit or credit card.

Document Management

Throughout the 90’s, documents were becoming computerized, but had to be manually shared via floppy discs between computers. This made accessibility and collaboration difficult.

Today, documents are stored, accessed, and integrated into cloud-based practice management platforms, allowing lawyers to easily save records to each matter. This significantly reduces the amount of time it takes for firms to find and share documents. Templates make document creation even more efficient, allowing users to quickly generate new letters, agreements, or requests. You’ll want to make sure that any platform you’re using has enterprise-level security baked in.

Calendar

Before we had cell phones glued to our hips, keeping track of important dates meant legal teams would use their computers, Palm Pilots, and old school paper calendars. Devices didn’t talk to each other so they had to be diligent in keeping everything up to date.

Now, our devices communicate with each other. Calendars are digital and can be accessed from anywhere. But most importantly, Outlook calendars can be easily integrated with practice management platforms, ensuring that lawyers don’t miss a single call, meeting, or court date. Everything from your calendar to your practice management platform should be accessible on mobile so your firm can work anywhere, anytime.

Marketing

Two decades ago, law firm marketing involved the phonebook, billboards, and television commercials.

The most high-tech firms have shifted to a digital-first marketing strategy and run ads on Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more. Forty-one percent of firms rely on email marketing, and 30% cite Facebook as a leading marketing channel. A high-quality practice management platform will integrate your marketing efforts so you can have full-funnel insights into what is working and what needs fine-tuning.

Reporting

Creating a data-driven law firm used to involve a ton of manual labor and an overwhelming amount of spreadsheets. Most organizations didn’t have the talent or time to optimize their firms and stuck with old school tactics that “just worked”—or at least seemed to work.

Now, high-performing law firms use platforms like Litify to automatically extract deep insights about their firm’s operations, intake efficiency, and marketing. A lawyer can quickly assess the firm’s health by glancing at a dashboard that they’ve customized to show the numbers that are most important to them. No need to ask someone else to run a report: real-time analytics are at everyone’s fingertips.

Get Your Firm into the Future

Check out the infographic below to see other ways firms operated in the 1990s vs. today. Does your firm feel stuck in the past? Whether you don’t have a cloud-based case management platform, or your firm still has to run manual reports, Litify can help.

Litify: The Right Solution for Every Law Firm

The legal industry is vast—there are roughly 40,000 law firms in the U.S. today. No two firms are alike, which is why the industry requires a platform that is customizable and can accommodate the large differences (like law firm type, practice areas, and size) as well as the minute differences (processes, product integrations, KPIs, and the like) which make each firm unique.

Enter Litify.

With Litify’s extensible platform, built on Salesforce, law firms don’t have to worry about trying to fit their operations within one standard interface. With customizable features, an endless list of product integrations, and the ability to easily add users as you expand, Litify will mold to fit your unique needs.

Which Types of Law Firms Does Litify Support?

Short answer: All of them.

After a successful track record equipping some of the largest personal injury firms in the country with Litify, we’ve now branched out to service all law firms, including:

  • Plaintiff
  • Immigration
  • Defense
  • In-house counsel
  • Government agencies
  • Criminal

Why is Litify The Right Solution for My Firm?

Transparency, efficiency, insights, and best-in-class security

1. Matter Management

Manage each of your cases the right way, every time.

Build matter plans relevant to each case type. Establish a consistent sequence of tasks for each litigation stage, assign each task to a team member, and set a level of priority. See “next steps” and view completed tasks, or filter all tasks by assigned user. This ensures everyone in your firm knows exactly what’s expected of them and when, and enables leaders to monitor workload across the organization.

From one matter, you can view and manage associated events, documents, call logs, emails, time entries, and more.

2. Document Management

Lawyers know all too well the importance of saving document trails. And the sheer amount of agreements, communications, records requests, and evidence that attorneys handle every day makes efficient document management a must for any firm that wants to be successful.

With Litify, create custom templates or use suggested Litify templates for commonly used documents like records requests, agreements, and motions to compel.

Review, edit, and download multiple docs without leaving the matter, and use our one-click print feature to save even more time. And with Litify Inbox, you can easily send, save, and edit email docs between Litify and Outlook, without having to log in and out of either program.

3. Collaboration Made Easy

Built on the cloud, Litify allows multiple employees to view and edit the same record. Don’t worry about duplicating efforts or miscommunication—see exactly what your colleagues are working on, and get the most accurate status updates for each matter.

Litify’s Chatter feature allows your team members to easily discuss a particular matter, task, or record. Tag other team members, “like” other comments, share links, and more, all within Litify.

4. Time Tracking

Make billing a breeze by tracking the time you spend on each matter within Litify.

Use the stopwatch feature to track time spent on a matter in real time. Or, manually enter time spent on a matter, specify the billable rate, the billable party, and add a description of the work performed.

5. Real-Time Analytics

To succeed in today’s data-driven world, every business needs to be able to harness their data to make intelligent business decisions.

Customize dashboards and reports to quickly view:

  • Matters: by case type, litigation stage, assigned attorney or paralegal, and more
  • Open tasks: by Litify user and priority level
  • And more: each Litify user can customize their dashboard to show the data most relevant to them

6. Email sync to CRM

Litify Inbox allows you to integrate Outlook with Litify.

Without leaving Outlook, save emails, entire email threads, and documents to a matter. Create new tasks or log a call from Outlook, and automatically sync it with Litfy. Or write a new email and quickly find and attach a document from a specific matter, without having to switch programs. Litify Inbox also allows syncs with your Outlook calendar, so you can save events created in Outlook to a specific matter in Litify.

7. A secure environment

Built on the cloud, Litify offers users all of the security benefits that come from moving off of an on-premise solution. This includes data redundancy across multiple offsite servers, all of which are protected by around-the-clock security. This ensures your firm never has to worry about losing your data in the event of an emergency or disaster—there will always be a backup.

Litify is also supported by two-factor authentication—a more secure way to log in than just using a password—and data encryption in transit and at rest, so that in the unlikely event your data does get into the wrong hands, it will be impossible to decipher without a key.

Discover all of the ways in which Litify can transform your firm. Schedule a free demo today!

Future-Proofing Your Law Firm: Q&A with Attorney Chad Dudley

What does it take to double, triple…quadruple the size of a law firm? According to Chad Dudley of Dudley DeBosier, it requires having a growth mindset, trying new things, and always prioritizing the client experience.

Dudley joined Dudley DeBosier in 2007 as Chief Operating Officer. Within 10 years the firm grew from 30 employees to nearly 200. But despite that success, they aren’t resting on their laurels. Dudley continues to look ahead and find new ways for his firm to stay relevant amid rapid technological changes.

We spoke with the LitiQuestX NOLA speaker about the changes law firms need to make to be successful today and long into the future.

Litify: Dudley DeBosier has grown at an impressive rate—the firm now boasts nearly 200 employees. What advice do you have for law firms that want to scale, but their growth seems to have plateaued?

Dudley: Have a plan. Strategic planning matters. It makes a difference, but you must do it right.

There are very few firms that I have come across that can successfully do strategic planning without an outside facilitator. Bring someone in that knows what they are doing and knows the industry, and get them to challenge you to keep growing.

Litify: In your role as CEO of cj Advertising, you help personal injury law firms create and execute marketing strategies to grow their firms. What is one area of marketing that you see personal injury law firms repeatedly struggle with?

Dudley: Client service. I think it is a key part of your marketing plan and it often gets overlooked.

You can drive more people to the restaurant, but if the food is not good, your business will suffer. Firms often fail to consider that part of their marketing plan, and do not spend enough time, effort, and energy on it.

Litify: In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge the legal industry will face in the future?

Dudley: I think that plaintiff personal injury firms will face increased competition. It is getting easier and easier to compete with established brands in new and creative ways that are not economically prohibitive. Firms that do not stay up to speed from a marketing standpoint and an operations standpoint are going to get left behind.

Litify: What changes have you made at Dudley DeBosier to future-proof your firm?

Dudley: We aren’t complacent. Just because something works today doesn’t mean it is going to work tomorrow.

We have had a lot of success, but we have a mentality of always learning and never thinking that we have it all figured out. I think that is the only way you have a chance to adapt to the changes coming to our industry.

Litify: Outside the specific practice of law, which skills do you think lawyers need to develop to be successful now and in the future?

Dudley: I’m going to go back to client service. It matters. Building relationships, building trust, taking the time to show that you care, being responsive…those things will never go out of style. The firms that have a culture of practicing these things have been successful in the past and will continue to be successful in the future.

Litify: In what ways do you think technology has changed law for the better?

Dudley: It has made it easier to communicate with clients, to answer questions, to speed up the process without losing quality. I also think that it has allowed law firms to simply run better and more efficiently. That is a good thing for lawyers and a good thing for clients.

Want to hear more of Chad Dudley’s insights on how to future-proof your law firm? Register for LitiQuestX New Orleans, the one-day-only legal tech conference happening Thursday, September 26.

How Your Law Firm Can Get More Done in Less Time With Process Automation

Every day, law firms repeat many processes over and over. For example, intakes staff receive calls from prospects, who must be vetted before they can be brought on as clients. Once a matter is created, the legal team goes through routine steps to prepare basic pleadings to commence the matter. And, along the way, they draft discovery requests and prepare subpoenas designed to collect documents for discovery in these matters.

But all too often, lawyers and their teams are spinning the hamster wheel on these lower-end, repetitive tasks instead of on higher-end aspects of case management, including analyzing the law, determining case strategy, and preparing for trial.

This is where automation comes in. Legal process automation takes away painfully boring yet often mistake-prone manual human tasks with consistent, repeatable processes.

Creating an automated, streamlined workflow for matter intake and creation can save law firms significant amounts of money as well as improve consistency, reducing the likelihood of errors that can lead to disgruntled clients.

Here are two examples of how automation is revolutionizing law firm operations.

Automating and streamlining client intake

Without a consistent intake process, law firms might turn away potentially lucrative cases or take on inappropriate cases that might drain their resources with little in return. Information might be recorded on slips of paper or post-its that never reach the legal team assigned to bring the client on board. And intake information may not make its way to a lawyer until after the prospect has already reached out to—and possibly retained—other attorneys.

But an automated, dynamic intake questionnaires can make sure that the intake staff gathers the right information—the first time—to help lawyers make better decisions and sign up higher-quality leads quickly and painlessly. The best tools allow law firms to create a customized path of questions relevant to their practice area, so lawyers have all the information they need at their fingertips, equipping them for success. They also can help ensure that a firm’s first contact with clients is as professional as possible.

Creating matter plans

While no two matters are ever the same, many have overlapping tasks. For instance, every new matter requires a complaint and discovery. But most law firms don’t have a process in place that provides a consistent blueprint for each of the steps, so there’s no guarantee that tasks won’t fall through the cracks or that key deadlines won’t be overlooked.

But with an automated case management tool, as soon as a new matter is opened, it’s prepopulated with a series of tasks and events, called a matter plan. These tasks and due dates can be assigned to team members and can be monitored to ensure that the case stays on track and that the team remains in sync. Automated matter plans can help organize the workflow of a firm’s tasks, processes, and teams, avoiding missteps that may derail a case.

If your law firm is struggling to stay on top of its manual processes for client intake and matter management, it’s time for a change. Let’s chat about how Litify’s legal process automation solutions can help your law firm save time and money.

Are You Running Your Law Firm Like a Business?

For law firms to survive in today’s highly competitive market, they must be run like a business. Unfortunately, law school doesn’t train lawyers in business skills, so many partners aren’t equipping their law firms to survive and thrive in the current market.

Here’s a short quiz that will help you determine if you’re running your firm as efficiently as possible, including tips on how to improve your firm’s business operations.

1. Are non-lawyers handling the firm’s client intake process?

If not, why not? Lawyers should only be handling tasks that require a license to practice law; otherwise, they aren’t making the most of their time—in fact, they’re probably losing you money. Intake is an area of your business you can easily automate or delegate if you implement a consistent, repeatable client qualification process. You can even assign this task to virtual assistants who can follow your firm’s protocol to further improve your bottom line.

2. Are you monitoring your lawyers’ and employees’ productivity?

Are you studying how often your lawyers are opening new cases, sending out demand letters, or closing cases? What about your intake team? Which employees are the most efficient, and which have the highest conversion rates?

If you don’t have this information, how can you tell whether your firm is on the right track to meeting your business goals? You can’t. You need your data at your fingertips so you can quickly assess who is—and who isn’t—as productive as they could be.

Incentivize your staff. Where are the bottlenecks? Take steps to retrain personnel as needed to improve their skills. You can also share metrics about case value and efficiency with your team so they can see how they are doing compared to their peers, stoking their competitive fires.

3. Are your clients happy?

Don’t assume your clients are satisfied and that everything is going well. Be proactive by monitoring client communications and regularly seeking feedback.

Do clients know the status of their case? If there is a long delay, do they know why, or do they think their attorney forgot about them? Do you have a consistent case management procedure, ensuring that nothing is overlooked or falls through the cracks? What do clients have to say about each of your attorneys?

By tracking all of your client communications and regularly conducting surveys, you can more accurately assess client satisfaction.

4. Are you targeting the right types of leads?

Do you know who your target client is? If you do, are you putting your ideal client persona to work by qualifying leads, or are you still taking every case that comes through the door?

All leads are not created equal. If your intake process is broken, you’ll miss lucrative opportunities because you failed to ask the right questions; you might also take on inappropriate cases or waste time on tire-kickers or price-checkers, who will drain your time and deplete your resources without yielding any return on your investment.

The goal is to use a set of criteria that will help your intake team identify and score valuable cases early in the intake process, so you can focus your firm’s resources accordingly.

5. Do you know the value of your case inventory?

Do you know which type of case is the most valuable for your firm: car accident, product liability, or class action? How much revenue is your current case inventory projected to earn? Are you monitoring the settlement value of each case, and tracking it against each attorney’s performance?

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, how do you know? Educated guesswork, or are you using a form of Artificial Intelligence or predictive intelligence technology to inform your decisions?

Predictive analytics can show you how much money your firm has on the table and where you’re potentially losing money. With this information, you can focus your resources on the most profitable sectors of business for your firm, and eliminate or improve the areas that aren’t performing as well.

6. Do you know the status of your referrals?

Referrals are an important element of any law firm’s business. While you may not represent every client that contacts you for help, it’s still important to monitor the cases you refer out.

What is the status of each of your referrals? Have the clients signed with your referral partners, or is it time to reassign the case?

By using an inventory management software platform, you’ll know the status of each of your referrals at a glance, without having to follow up with each firm individually.

7. Do you know where your cases are coming from?

Marketing is the top of the funnel that drives your business upwards. Allocating your marketing dollars to the campaigns that generate the most qualified leads and new revenue is key to growth. Do you know which of your marketing channels produce the most new business?

Which of your campaigns have the highest return on investment (ROI)? How many new leads come in through your TV advertisements compared to online/SEO? Without the answers to these questions, how will you know when strategic changes are necessary?

The Results

If you answered “no” to any of the questions above, you need to rethink how you’re running your law firm. It’s time to explore how your data can help you eliminate inefficiencies so you can capture more clients and, in turn, more revenue.

Fortunately, your law firm has all the data you need already. The problem is, it’s probably not captured or stored in a centralized repository, so you can’t visualize your results, much less put it to work for your firm.

Want to know how you can use your data to drive more clients to your pipeline and build your law firm’s bottom line?   Contact us to schedule a demo of Litify.