How to Assess an Enterprise Legal Management Solution ...


Upgrading software becomes necessary over time. Sometimes a law firm will keep ten-year-old legacy software on servers. Eventually, such software starts to cost more to retain than upgrade. Sometimes this cost is direct, sometimes it's collateral.
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Matter Management

Time considerations, software limitations, competitive viability, overall productivity, the cost of securing IT service after a given software has reached EOL (End Of Life); all these things combine to make "legacy" software more expensive than it is valuable. At a certain point, it's possible to quantify associated losses.

The question becomes: how do you know if the software you're using is a benefit, or represents a loss that an upgrade would counterbalance? Sometimes even "newer" software is doing more harm than good. But how do you know? Here we'll explore several considerations to help you determine if your present software is pulling its weight, or whether you might do better to upgrade.

How to Determine the Effectiveness of Your Legal Software

Certain variables of software effectiveness apply to virtually all types of software, not just legal solutions. Think of these as your foundation for determining if you need to upgrade. These generalised variables can include:

  • Functionality
  • How effective the onboarding process is
  • What options in local support there are (EOL considerations fall under this category)
  • What reviewers are saying
  • Integrations
  • Updates
  • Flexibility and more.

Virtually all those subjects apply to legal software, as well as any other enterprise-level options in use. 

The Importance of Document Management

As specifically pertains to legal solutions, document overview and management represent one of the most important features today. Legal matters were known to generate mounds of paperwork before computers were used in law firms. Today, it's possible to totally digitalise all files. However, managing digital files is hard with a poor interface, poor searchability and poor sharing.

Document tags help classify information, as do email tags and attachments--especially when there are thousands of emails to sift through in a given case. The right software can configure tags to match practice areas at your firm. Document automation allows for the generation of documents coupled with varying legal processes in onboarding new clients and staff. This helps enable consistency throughout operations. Searches can be saved to expedite day-to-day processes, and sharing documents is easier through Document Management tools like those in LawMaster.

Whether based on the web and managed through the cloud or inherent to your servers, your software should prioritise automation and visibility. If it takes ten minutes to look up a file every time, that translates to hours of unproductive work that a single software solution could correct.

Gauging Legal Software Productivity

Clunky and outdated legal software can be a burden to all members of your firm. With a smaller business that only has a handful of employees, such losses may be negligible. However, when there are hundreds or even thousands of employees in an enterprise, losses exponentially increase. Consider these tactics for increasing productivity as a lawyer: they include frequent short breaks, not eating at one's desk, varying forms of meditation, and exercise.

Except for point number four, the other three things are compounded by difficult software. If it takes twenty minutes to load an email library, this digital "marathon" alone can fatigue a lawyer before any real work has been done. How do you not eat at your desk when an enterprise software solution takes twenty minutes to do some basic function?

Certainly, slow software is good for meditation; but is the meditation pure when you're downright irritated at lost time? If existing software has a long lag time, upgrading is definitely recommendable. Also, you don't have to upgrade all at once. Individual departments can be transitioned as necessary, "phasing in" the shift where convenient.

Does Current Legal Software Integrate Well?

This was glossed over briefly, but it's an important point: legal software should have little or no trouble integrating other digital legal solutions like InfoTrack, Dye and Durham, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Outlook, Google, SignIt and Client Portal. If present software can't integrate, or doesn't do so in a way that's feasible, upgrading is wise.

Consultation From Tech Professionals Specialising In Legal Options

A good idea to determine efficacy of existing legal software is seeking consultation from professionals. They can give you precise figures and facts related to advantages that will come through upgrades. Also, there are anonymous legal resources through the knowledge bases of software providers.

Optimising Enterprise Operations With Innovative New Legal Software

Consultation through experts, integration considerations, overall productivity and general software qualities represent key points of data you can use to determine if your present software solution is working, or if you would be wiser to upgrade.LawMaster is an optimal legal software solution built with today's legal enterprises in mind. For more information pertaining to your particular legal enterprise, contact us here.

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