Today’s law firms are adopting case management software to operate efficiently, keep clients informed and enable their lawyers to collaborate on cases in and out of the office. This fast-growing technology is automating the business and practice of law firms. Sometimes called matter management software or practice management technology, case management software helps busy law firms keep track of deadlines, documents and client communications.
There are general case management software solutions for law firms with many different practice areas. Other legal technology companies have developed practice area-specific platforms. You’ll find solutions tailored to personal injury practice, estate planning or family law, for example. In addition, some practice-area management offerings are geared toward small- to mid-sized firms or large law firms.
Case management solutions for the modern law firm operate in the cloud to reduce IT maintenance and make information easily available for lawyers working remotely. Some solutions are still offered as “on-premise” software.
Key Law Firm Benefits
- Legal matters are driven by deadlines. Lawyers must meet detailed filing deadlines set by courts. Transactional lawyers have pre-merger filings and due-diligence deadlines they must adhere to, whereas regulatory attorneys must comply with due dates set by regulators. It can be a challenge to keep track of all tasks, deadlines and case milestones.
- Lawyers can use case management software to assign and track case tasks in the firm. The platforms’ project management and calendaring capabilities allow everyone to view key due dates and see who will deliver a brief, motion or draft agreement.
- These solutions also help lawyers create, share and manage case documents. Automating legal billing and invoicing is another benefit of case management software.
Key Client Benefits
- Clients love when law firms use case management software because it’s easy for the client to stay informed. Secure texting features offer a quick way to learn about a change or ask your lawyer a question on the fly. Many of the solutions on the market allow lawyers to schedule meetings with clients for updates. Some even let clients schedule or request meetings using online scheduling.
- Most case management software platforms offer client relationship management, or CRM, which centralizes all client and case information so lawyers can quickly find what they need. Onboarding and responding to invoices is easier because these systems help firms efficiently gather and manage client contact, payment and other administrative information.
What Should You Look for When Choosing Case Management Software?
- Before you start hunting for case management software, think about the problems you want to solve in your firm’s operations. Prioritize the features you want most, and don’t get sucked into “nice-to-haves” that don’t solve your most pressing needs.
- If your lawyers and staff are overwhelmed with tracking deadlines in spreadsheets, look for case management software with a robust calendaring feature, preferably one with a database of the deadlines required by the courts you most often appear before.
- If you anticipate resistance to a new platform’s calendar, look for software that syncs with your attorneys’ calendar tool of choice.
- Law firms that struggle with onboarding clients and keeping case information organized for easy access by lawyers working from home or in the office should prioritize a cloud solution with an effective CRM and case information management system. You’ll want every email, note, bill and document kept neatly together where you can easily find them.
- Many firms struggle with managing client invoicing and collections. If this applies to your firm, choose a practice management solution that offers invoice templates, push-button generation and automatic reminders on overdue bills.
- Do clients ever complain that they don’t hear from you enough? If so, secure texting and a CRM that let you automate client communications may be what you are looking for. Because so many people use SMS and text messaging as their basic communication tools these days, offering text messaging can set you apart from the competition.
- Firms focused on metrics, matter management and overall performance will want a solution with strong reporting capabilities.
Popular Case Management Software Platforms
The list of available case management software platforms is long. Here is some information on three popular solutions to make your search easier.
Filevine is changing the way legal work gets done for law practitioners and their clients. As a leading legal work platform, Filevine is dedicated to empowering all organizations with tools to simplify and elevate complex, high-stakes legal work. Powering everything from document management and client communication to contract lifecycle management and business analytics, over 25,000 legal professionals use Filevine daily to deliver excellence in every contract, deadline, and result. The centralized information in the platform helps firms collaborate and communicate to efficiently complete case work.
Filevine is highly customizable, so firms can make it work for their processes and culture. Automatic task assignments, texting, emailing and reports are all included.
This popular case management system was initially designed by and for, personal injury and mass tort litigation firms, it is now used by a wide range of practices. As a fully browser-based system, law firms can select between SmartAdvocate’s Cloud or Server versions.
This case management solution helps firms automate workflows and processes using checklists, templates and texting. Specialized features include automating the client funding request process, an outstanding items page tailored for mass tort and medical cases and easy visibility into insurance policies germane to the case.
Litify is built on Salesforce to offer an intuitive, configurable and secure platform right out of the gate. The software platform offers billable-hour tracking using a built-in timer, invoice templates and custom accounting system integrations to help firms get their finances under control.
Litify helps firms move beyond paper file cabinets with advanced document management. Features include OCR search, bulk upload of scanned documents and customizable file-folder structures.
The platform’s CRM keeps the entire firm current regarding client information and supports remote lawyers with easy access to needed documents. Litify has a running news feed so lawyers and clients have the latest news relevant to their cases.
Mass Tort Case Management
If your firm is using Filevine, Litify, Smart Advocate or another legal case management platform, Case Works can augment your staff with expert case development services. We’ll integrate our services directly into your case management system to provide real-time updates on every case file. Let our team work up your mass tort cases and stay engaged with your clients to reduce dual representation and expedite case resolution.