Look before you leap: what to think about when choosing your legal case management software
How we interact with technology continues to change as our expectations and requirements shift. With the legal software market continuing to change in response to the ways in which firms are working during the pandemic, you probably feel some pressure to review your computer systems, if not actually to change them…
You may wish to take advantage of new technologies and to keep a competitive edge for your practice.
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 is often a difficult process.
What features does your legal case management software need?
Benefits of a cloud-based system
Cloud software runs across multiple servers and locations, removing any single points of failure and providing unparalleled uptime. The cloud was made with the purpose of protecting data, which is why it is undoubtedly more secure than your own server or machine.
Due to economies of scale and the provider’s investment in their product, cloud-based systems are far more secure and robust than the ‘traditional’ model server. Is there data simply stored in an office or held centrally which have multiple levels of security they are anonymous locations, which are manned by experts 24/7?
It’s important to have the option to work remotely and at a time to suit fee earners, so ensure your provider is able to offer mobile options – ask for a demo of their case management software’s mobile version. Does it work across multi-platforms?
Ease of use
The system needs to be easy to use so the firm can adopt it quickly. We recommend trying to open new matters, record time, finances etc. Ensure it works for your firm
No case management provider is going to tell you about their poor reviews or advertise their dissatisfied customers. Do your due diligence and check for reviews including asking the provider to supply you with details of happy customers that use their software. Try to speak to ones that are a similar size to your firm.
Another benefit of cloud-based systems is their ability to interact seamlessly with the programmes you already use – and wish to retain. Be sure to ask your provider about integrations so that your services aren’t interrupted.
Unfortunately, some case management providers use the tactic of enticing new clients with a price that seems too good to be true. If it seems that way, then it almost always is. Don’t be tempted to go with the lowest quote; it isn’t necessarily the cheapest – or the best – in the medium to long-term.
Ask whether the monthly retainer is ‘all inclusive’ i.e. are there any additional costs such as installation, data migration, or maintenance. It’s also worth checking when the price will be reviewed, as we often hear about huge price hikes after 12 months.
Advice for choosing the best case management solution for your firm
Once you have an understanding of what features your case management software will need to have, it’s important to know how to find the partner that suits these needs.
Below are our three tips for the selection process but check out our guide of the top 10 things to consider when purchasing new legal tech for more advice and guidance.
How to choose from a crowded market
Depending on time constraints choose around five case management suppliers, but preferably no less than three, 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 will invite you to ask questions, but don’t be afraid to interject and ensure you get what you want from the demonstration. 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.
It’s important to remember you’re not just buying a product, you’re investing in a solution that should provide your business a return on that investment.
Involve your entire team
To improve buy-in, increase usage, and maximise return on your investment, it’s key to involve all areas of the business and all roles within your firm. Depending on the size of your firm, you may include your whole team or nominate designated leaders per department. Firm-wide involvement is crucial at all stages including identifying current challenges, outlining goals, attending demos, reviewing options, and implementing the solution.
Discover our Q&A with Alex Simons, New Business Manager at The Law Factory, who discusses the importance of involving your accounts team in the software purchasing process.
The next step is your due diligence, to ensure this is the kind of company you want to engage with. Ask for some references about their 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 have the correct 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”.
Our holistic approach
That leads us to the Osprey Approach and our holistic view of providing software and building a relationship with you and your ﬁrm.
- 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.
- 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.
To discover more about the all-in-one Osprey Approach solution that makes running a law firm easier, get in touch with us today and we can show the platform in action and answer any of your questions to help you choose the best solution for your firm.