Legal Software is a software used to manage the cases and client records of a law firm. It also keeps a track of billing and bookkeeping, schedules and appointments, deadlines, computer files. It facilitate any compliance requirements such as with document retention policies and electronic filing systems of court.
General law practice programs include Accounting, Cases Management, Client Management, Docket and Calendar, Records Management, Document Conversion, Conflicts Management, Contract Management, Document Management, Matter Management, Patent and Trademark, Email and Groupware, E-Filing, Litigation Support, Practice Control and Management, Time and Billing, and Trial Presentation software.
This software is used by many offices to ease the learning business skills to run a law office and reduce clerical errors. This is a one time investment that can generate long term savings in defending against many mistakes related to calendar and deadline. These programs helps a law firm to run more smoothly by improving efficiency, providing conflict checking, and eliminating the requirement of searching the physical file each time a client calls with questions. This improves client satisfaction and reduces the number of calls as the client can get his/her answers at the time of their inquiry. Use of legal software can increase the efficiency and productivity of a law firm.
Types of Legal Software:
There are many types of legal software available and the picking the best software for a law office depends on the area of practice. Practice management software, which is a form of Customer relationship management software is among the most important one regardless of the type of law practiced. Different features of practice management software include:
- Case management which maintain databases, checks conflicts of interest and statutes of limitations
- Time tracking for billing
- Document assembly
- Contact management
- Docket management
- Contract Management
- Client communication
- Court Case Status Tracker
Password security, Disk encryption, Mind mapping, desktop notes, word processing, and email management are some of the other software systems that are useful for law firms. Modified versions of Open source software are also used by some firms. Computer assisted legal research database is subscribed by most firms for Legal research. These databases provide Case law from case reporters, and often other legal resources.
Billing and time tracking:
There are many different software options to track time and billing that have basic accounting programs which will work in any type of industry. However, Some tools are specific to the legal profession and you need these software when you need a program that includes fields and features that are specific to the legal profession only.
If your law firms will need to create and submit invoices along with tracking time, then you may have to consider a dedicated accounting software program. You can generate reports and determine the productivity of your office with the help of a Time tracking software. You can track the time by category, such as employee or matter to see where the time of your office is spending the most and figure out how to make it more efficient. You can use Legal Files Software if time tracking is the only feature that your firm needs as time tracking software is already incorporated in this software.
Calendaring and docket management:
To stay organized and on task, maintaining a calendar is the most important ting to do. Legal software that incorporates docket management as a feature helps to manage court and case calendars. Workflow and business procedures can also be build in some advanced software programs to make your work more streamlined. Legal software that has only calendaring feature would be perfect for your firm for general purpose. However, you need some extra features if litigation is a key component of your job.
As each legal department will have different needs, the type of software requirement varies. So, evaluate your type of work and requirement of the firm before you invest in any form of legal software.