Common Mistakes When Procuring Legal Software ...


Here are some mistakes lawyers make when procuring legal software:

1. Choosing software with unnecessary features
2. Choosing software without necessary features
3. Choosing software that isn't scalable
4. Not accounting for software setup fees
5. Not accounting for ongoing maintenance fees
...

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Legal software can transform your business if it’s the right software for your firm. And that’s where organisations often run into trouble.

With so many options out there, how do you know which legal software will have the power to organise, simplify, connect and streamline your firm? Sometimes it’s helpful to learn about common pitfalls before you ever have a chance to fall into them.

That’s why we’ve put together these nine common mistakes legal firms make when procuring legal software. We want you to avoid frustration and hit the ground running with a platform that will deliver real value to your firm.

Mistake 1: Choosing software with unnecessary features

A long list of features can seem appealing. After all, you’re looking for a solution that encompasses all of your firm’s requirements. But if your legal software includes features you don’t need, you’ll soon feel encumbered.

It’s like packing too much for a holiday. While it’s nice to have items for every possible contingency, you soon get tired of lugging around a bunch of stuff you don’t need. The same principle applies to software. When you have a long list of superfluous features, your workday feels cluttered.

Mistake 2: Choosing software without necessary features 

On the other hand, you might go too far the other way and skip over the essential elements. The best way to avoid this problem is to make a list of must-haves for your firm. Here’s an example:

  • Connectivity with Outlook
  • Client management
  • A central filing system
  • Time capture features
  • Task management
  • Certified trust accounting
  • Document automation
  • Mobile capabilities
  • Ability to share briefs with clients
  • Dashboard visibility.

Once you know exactly what you need, you can compare your list with lists of features offered in different software packages. If you leave out a must-have, you will have to patch together several systems, causing extra work and confusion throughout your firm.

Mistake 3: Choosing software that isn't scalable

Once the members of your firm get comfortable with their legal software, their work becomes second nature. They no longer have to consciously record their fixed-time fees or save documents in the correct location. So if you have to replace your software in a couple of years due to expansion, everyone experiences a learning curve that disrupts the flow (and the balance sheet).

Avoid future headaches by choosing legal software that can scale with your firm. Then, as your client base grows and you add new employees and lawyers to the mix, they’ll simply be absorbed in the systems and processes that already work so well. 

Mistake 4: Not accounting for software set up fees

For a perfect fit, you’ll need a successful onboarding process, and this comes with fees. For example, our tailored client journey starts with a Needs-Based Analysis, which helps us know your legal practice to better understand how we can help you. 

Remember to account for setup fees when evaluating your legal software options.

Mistake 5: Not accounting for ongoing maintenance fees

Traditional legal software requires ongoing maintenance, which can disrupt your systems and processes. Whenever a new version of the program is released, you may have to deal with downloads, installations and other time-consuming procedures. 

While you’ll need to account for ongoing maintenance fees, maintenance is less time-consuming and imposing when you use a cloud-based system

Mistake 6: Not considering the integrations you require

Faced with the prospect of new software, it’s easy to forget about the tried-and-true applications that you’ll want to continue using. Take Outlook, for instance. With years of emails in the system, you don’t want to think about transferring your firm’s email system to something new.

Think integration while you shop around for legal software. If Outlook is essential, then choose a system that harmonises flawlessly with it.

Mistake 7: Not considering mobile usability

In the past few years, we’ve learned to work in new and different ways. Specifically, most of us have worked at home for stretches, and we needed access to files, databases and financial information that has traditionally been located at the office.

So moving forward, it’s wise to use legal software that offers mobile capabilities. Whether you’re working at the office, at home, in a cafe or on the road, you can track your time, create invoices, access your files and get the job done.

Mistake 8: Not considering data protection and compliance

Data security is more important than ever before, especially in the legal profession. And when your business system maintains compliance for you, everyone in your firm can focus on their productivity rather than worrying about nasty surprises from non-compliance.

Mistake 9: Not dedicating internal software champions 

It’s easy to forget about the internal resources required to maintain the software in an ongoing capacity. However, we’ve found that law firms with a dedicated Champion or Precedents Manager who can build their workflows and automation succeed far better than firms that just install LawMaster and never invest in further training or upskilling their staff or allocate the principal ‘keeper’ of the software.

About the LawMaster Needs-Based-Analysis (NBA) process

With so many considerations, procuring legal software can be intimidating. That’s why we developed our Needs-Based Analysis (NBA) process.

One of our expert advisors will walk you through each step of the analysis, getting to know your firm’s specific needs. We’ve developed LawMaster to fit firms like a glove, providing the just-right features for each organisation.

To schedule a time to talk with us about how LawMaster can upgrade the performance of your law practice, call us at 1300 135 214 or fill out this form. Talk soon!

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