Look before you leap – What to think about when choosing your legal software.
Posted on March 7, 2018
Technology and legal software seem to provide better and better solutions as it continually develops so you probably feel some pressure to at least review your computer systems if not actually change them.
Wanting to take advantage of technologies beneﬁts and to keep a competitive edge for your practice may be the starting point, but with an overwhelming variety of opinions and advice available along with the marketing claims of the suppliers, choosing a system that meets your expectations can be a difficult process.
You are almost certain to be offered some sort of cloud-based solution so some research into how modern systems work is worthwhile.
However, the real value of changing will be related to issues of functionality, usability, efficiency and deliverability, both in-house for your own staff and externally for your clients and other stakeholders. It should be easy enough to get together a list of preferred suppliers as even in the crowded legal software market there are not so many specialist suppliers that will readily ﬁt your practice proﬁle.
Depending on time constraints choose around 5 case management suppliers but preferably no less than 3 and invite them in to give a detailed demonstration.
Not surprisingly the sales rep will have a demonstration script and will show you all the bits they want to, to promote their ideas and focus on what makes their offering look good. They should invite you to ask questions but anyway remember to interject and ensure you get what you want from the demonstration. It can be beneﬁcial to make a list of “must haves” and “nice to haves” and tick these off.
It’s a good idea to think about your current software and what you like and dislike to see how the new legal software product will compare. Make a list of questions you want to ask and press for a deﬁnitive answer. If you’re still unclear ask the sales rep to demonstrate the feature to you. Any sales rep will be able to make their legal software product look great (it’s their job after all!) but a good sales rep will know their product and will be more than willing to take you through the software step by step to satisfy your curiosity.
Ask your sales rep for a log on so you can get a “feel” for the case management system. Again, a good sales rep demonstrating good legal software will have no problem with this. Last, but not least, be ready to listen to new ideas, that was after all where the process started.
The next step is your due diligence. Ensure this is the kind of company you want to engage with. Ask for some references about the legal software.
A telephone call can often suffice but depending on the scale of the implementation you may ask for a site visit to be arranged and perhaps a second or even a third demonstration.
At the same time, you should be reading the contracts and ensuring you are asking for the right number of licences to suit your needs.
If you’ve done all this, then you’ve put yourself in a great position to avoid any nasty surprises but that won’t necessarily stop the supplier providing you with a quote much higher than you had expected with a host of “add-ons” that you had always believed was part of the licence cost. That leads us to “Approach” and our holistic view of providing software and building a relationship with you and your ﬁrm.
The foundation of our product and work up. The legal software must look and feel great and should be constantly reviewed, renewed and reinvigorated in a continuous development life cycle. The software must be web-based and accessible from anywhere in the world at any time of the day. There should be no “add-ons”.
Your licence should cover the full product set and all features, and those features must include email integration and the portal that your clients will access. You shouldn’t pay for training, it should all be performed online and be free of charge throughout the term of the agreement. The same for the support service. You should expect to have mobile apps available for both Android and iOS and your supplier should be continuously adding and developing more apps to suit the changing needs of law ﬁrms.
With 30 years of experience and as a pioneer throughout that time we believe our “Approach” is the right approach for legal software.