There are reference materials necessary before and during trial, precedents need to be readily available, research is key to any case, and all these things shouldn't be hard for your firm to manage.
It should be possible to do a simple search that takes seconds. This often requires a database of some power, and that can be secured in one of two ways: you can either have an IT team run your database, or you can use legal software to that end. Here we'll explore the legal software option and how it can help you with effective knowledge management tools.
Legal Software With Knowledge Management is Essential to Many Firms
Both IT and software-managed knowledge solutions will prove beneficial to your firm, but the digital route is substantially less expensive. The digital option based in software can, from the right software provider, facilitate automated storage of updated info, make searches more efficient across accumulated knowledge throughout a database, and much more.
Single search functionality acts in a way that essentially consolidates systems, and acquiring such solutions through software removes a substantial burden from your monthly budget. Doing so using internal technicians adds tens of thousands of dollars in overhead (at minimum), and usually isn't as efficient.
Keep in mind, businesses producing software for legal firms have resources and prerogatives that make their output more affordable than tech companies providing outsourced service solutions for law firms.
explore knowledge management in greater detail here. There are five primary considerations that represent relevant variables in knowledge management systems for your legal firm:
- Cataloguing Case Records
- Library Management Specifically
- Knowledge Management as a Whole
- Keeping Clients Apprised of the Latest Relevant Developments
- Assuring Search Engine Functionality Matches Recurring Needs.
1. Cataloguing Case Records
Knowledge management needs to comprehensively catalogue both physical files and hard copies of metadata. According to The Litigators Guide to Metadata, metadata provides information about other information. It is evidence during litigation, it's often stored electronically, and it can describe "characteristics, usage, and validity of other electronic evidence".
This can be very important during a case. For example, let's say lawyers on the other side alter a video or other piece of evidence very slightly. Their digital "paper trail" can be revealed in the metadata.
Proper knowledge base management will make such metadata quick and easy to access for purposes of reference, elucidation, or evidence during a trial.
2. Library Management Specifically
Library management is another aspect of knowledge management and includes cataloguing, storage, physical record search capability, aforementioned metadata available in "hard copies", electronic document storage, physical document management and hardcopy file records. The right enterprise-level legal solution will provide such library management features by default.
3. Knowledge Management as a Whole
General knowledge management pertains to efficient end-to-end search capability across your legal enterprise's database. Reference material should be easy to access as pertains to a variety of matters concerning a case.
Also, you shouldn't need multiple software systems (and the costs that come with them) to facilitate such knowledge management. It should be possible to attain it through a single software option.
4. Keeping Clients Apprised of the Latest Relevant Developments
Some legal firms have separate software for internal and external use--if a client needs to access something, for example, you might have one particular software for that access which differs from what lawyers use when working on a case.
This is more expensive than necessary. A better way to manage knowledge clients need access to is by providing them with a unique login to a portal that is at least partially decentralised. This allows them to reach out when they need to, send documents, and whatever else may be necessary.
This can be done via the cloud, or on-site software at a centralised array of servers in your firm; which works best will depend on your resources. Whatever the case, it should be easy to share real-time document updates with clients in a secure way. Embedding client portals in workflows makes it easier to use online avenues for automatic updates in terms of matter progress.
5. Assuring Search Engine Functionality Matches Recurring Needs
Search capabilities need to encompass the digital network of your legal company as alluded to earlier, including hardcopy and electronic data. Non-matter files should also be searchable. Not all corporate legal management information involves specific "matters", as it were. Case management is distinct, as an example.
Upgrading Your Legal Practice With LawMaster
LawMaster provides end-to-end solutions for a variety of legal practices, especially those which are large and getting larger. One of the most important features of LawMaster's software suite is knowledge management. Search engine functionality, keeping clients informed, library management and case record catalogues represent key features defining LawMasters' comprehensive solution for legal practices. Contact us for more information.