How to Choose the Best Practice Management System for Your Law Firm in 2022

June 9, 2023
 min read

78% of businesses are expanding their Saas (software as a solution) tools as of 2020. This percentage has been growing with businesses focussing on leveraging AI and automation tools to improve processes. Choosing the right practice management system may mean the difference between your law firm and other law firms. But with so many options and features available, it can be a difficult task. Here are the most important factors to consider when choosing the best practice management system for your law firm.

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A practice management system is a powerful and profitable tool. But its ability to integrate with other external software solutions may actually make the greatest difference in the value of the practice system, and the performance of your firm. They can keep your law firm up to date with the latest technology designed to make work simpler, and can even reduce compliance risk.

External software solutions can communicate directly with practice management systems to help make various tasks easier. Integrations that do this include document management, automatic time tracking, easy accounting and billing, and even smart calling software.

As of 2018, 61% of companies were planning on migrating to VoIP services once their current phone contract expired. The many benefits of VoIP phone systems such as the cost savings, increased flexibility in workplaces, and productivity tools, are increasing this percentage rapidly in 2022. A smart communications solution is a valuable integration tool for lawyers that make calls with colleagues and clients frequently. Choosing management software that can integrate with a cloud-based calling system can save your firm time and money. Tasks like time entries, file notes, and call records can be automated and recorded in the practice management system. This will save your law firm on non-billable hours, and can even make it easier to capture billable hours.

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Cloud-Based vs Offline

Now more than ever we can see the benefits and viability of working from home and otherwise working remotely. With more tech moving to online and cloud-based systems, we’re afforded greater flexibility with increased efficiency.

Some practice management systems are following suit, allowing firms to be more resilient against changes happening worldwide, and allowing their lawyers to be productive in a way that suits them.

Law firms using cloud-based practice management systems like Actionstep and Clio are amongst those that are keeping up to date with tech trends, and are even setting the standard. They integrate with various other cloud-based software, such as legal tech phone systems, to make work easier.

Additionally, going cloud-based means that your law firm will no longer need a physical server. This can be a great time and money saver, particularly for small to mid-sized law firms, as all the IT can be streamlined and hardware problems are no more.

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Price Differences

Note that price may not matter as much as you may think. Most practice management systems carry optional features and tools. The size and demands of your firm will vary how the prices of the overall practice management system apply.

So instead of looking at the prices of your options at face value, consider the money saved or spent in the future due to the practice management system. What are the costs of migrating all your team members from your current system to the new solution? What IT issues might arise or might be prevented in the future? How might productivity be affected as a result of the system you choose?

These points make price a much less important factor to keep in mind in the short-term. Instead, consider the features and long-term benefits of the varying options available.

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Size of Your Law Firm

Large international firms will have distinct needs and quirks, as will smaller boutique practices. The size of your law firm may mean variation in the tasks completed by lawyers, and therefore the suitability of the practice management system. Consider the size of your law firm and whether its needs will be met by the best practice management systems out there.

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Ease of Use and UI

The user interface of the practice management system will greatly impact the usefulness of the system in practice. It can impact how quickly your law firm adapts to migrating to that system, and how useful the software is in the long-term.

To help law firms get a gauge on how easy the software is to use, most practice management systems will provide a demo upon request, showing how the software would look to lawyers.

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Size of the Provider

Implementing any new practice management system can be a tricky process, and the size of the practice management system will affect the experience of your law firm. Smaller businesses might provide a more bespoke and customized approach, while larger businesses might rely more on their established internal systems to service law firms.  

This can influence the quality and type of customer service provided. When tech support is needed, the size of the provider may affect how quickly they can respond, and how they respond. When thinking about your options, choose one that will best meet your expectations on the customer support provided.

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Build your business of the future...

Being in the position of choosing a practice management system for your law firm is an exciting one. It is an opportunity to steer your law firm through 2022 and increase its competitive edge, by using the latest innovations yet. Considering factors like the integrations available, whether the system is cloud-based, and the ease of use and customer support will help you make the best decision about things that actually matter in practice.

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