13 January 2018Jon Robinson
The case management system is the central nervous system of a law firm. An organized, integrated system can bolster efficiency and productivity. However, a flaw in the case management process can hamper the firm’s success and growth, sometimes with devastating effects.
How do you choose this vital tool for your firm? For starters, look carefully at whether your case management system saves you time, money, and effort. Your management system should help you work smarter and more efficiently to produce better results. The data on your case management system should be secure, accessible, standardized and mobile.
Intake May Be the Most Important Stage of the Case
The wrong case can drain substantial time and resources only to result in inadequate returns on your investment. Conversely, you could turn down a lucrative case because you failed to ask all the right questions and check off all the boxes. It’s no exaggeration to say that intake is the most important stage in the case. It’s essential for any firm to have a tool that helps qualify leads and ensure that valuable cases are not slipping through the cracks.
Track Cases Through a Standardized, Central System
What needs to be done on a case, when and by whom? How can you track discovery, hearings, statutes of limitations, filing deadlines and other crucial dates in a case? How can you keep each case moving forward? No firm can afford not to have a fine-tuned system for tracking cases.
For firms that handle high-volume, deadline-driven cases, and for larger firms with many attorneys and staff members, the system gets more complicated. All team members should be connected through a central application so each can view the most up-to-date information at the click of a button.
What needs to be done on a case today, next month or by a crucial deadline six months out? Knowing where you stand on a case can help you plan your time better, while making sure you never miss a deadline.
Your Case Management System Should be as Mobile as You Are
In the old days, lawyers had to remain glued to their desks to work a case. Scheduling a hearing or booking an appointment while away from the office usually required several phone calls. This static system creates unnecessary inefficiencies, especially while working after hours or needing to make on-the-spot decisions. Instead of relying on an obsolete and outdated system, firms are switching to cloud-based systems accessible on a laptop, smartphone or tablet through a user-friendly application.
Security Should Never be a Question
Law firms have an important duty to protect clients’ information and a strong incentive to protect trade secrets and work product. A breach of cyber-security can do irreparable harm to your law firm and clients. The security of your data should be one of the first questions you ask of your case management system. It’s imperative to choose a system that is HIIPAA compliant, the gold standard in IT security.
Analytical Reports Help Firms Track Success and Areas for Improvement
Even the best run firms have room for improvement. Do you have the tools you need to analyze your history and identify where inefficiencies lie? It’s important to be able to customize reports about your cases, firm, team members, and financial performance to help you optimize workflow and make positive decisions. The result is improved efficiency, higher profits, and greater success.
No Firm Is Alike – and Neither Is the Right Case Management System
You know what’s best for your business. Your case management system should be designed to fit your specific needs and style, not the other way around. Yet many case management systems use rigid templates that require the firm to adapt to their preferred processes. Being able to customize your platform based on the needs of your business is an essential feature of any tool that your firm uses.