The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Practice Management System
Many law firm owners out there are either just getting started in their operations or don’t like the program they’re currently using. They want to know which system they should choose instead.
This is a big decision. It will impact the way your firm operates on a daily basis. It also plays a large part in determining how far your firm can scale.
As a result, we want to help you make this decision.
But first, what even is a practice management system?
Not a CRM
A practice management system is not the same as a CRM. A CRM is a Customer Relationship Manager and is used only at the point at which the client hires you. From there, you have to get the work done. That is where a practice management system comes in.
With these systems, you can create documents, do billing, and keep track of clients, other people involved in the case, and their contact information.
Calendars are also very popular in this software. They help you keep track of your deadlines, hearings, closings, meetings, and more.
Additionally, tasks and workflow management are contained in practice management systems. They help you make sure that everyone’s doing their part and everything is getting done.
Some of the more popular options for practice management systems are server-based or on-premises solutions. This is software that’s housed on the server in your office and can either be accessed remotely or not, depending on how it’s set up.
The second option is a web-based solution. With this solution, you would log into a website and access all your information there.
Some solutions are a combination of those first two: some of the data is kept in the cloud and some of it is kept on your computer.
Finally, there are non-legal options that were not designed specifically for law firms. Just be aware that if you are picking a solution that is not specifically geared towards law firms, you’re probably going to have to spend significantly more time, money, and energy to build it out.
How to Choose Which System is Best for Your Law Firm
- Look at your priorities: Do you do hourly billing? Do you need something that will track time? Are you heavy into documents? Do you have an estate planning practice or an immigration practice where you’re constantly creating documents for your clients? Whatever your priorities are, make sure to add them to the list of things your practice management system must have.
- Demo the software: Because each system is more similar than different to every other system, make sure you’re picking one that you’re comfortable with. Do you like where they put the contacts and the way the calendar looks? Is it intuitive to you and your team? Take the time to demo 1-3 of the products you’re interested in.
If All Else Fails, Choose This System
If you’ve done your analysis, looked at the options, and still aren’t sure which one is best, go ahead and pick Clio. Although many systems are similar, some things set Clio apart.
They handle data in a way that you can get it out very quickly and easily.
Secondly, they have very good tech support with a quick response time. They will also offer you workarounds for things that they’re not able to accomplish.
Lastly, they have the most opportunity for integrations. This is vitally important because you don’t want to feel stuck. You want to be able to use your data with other products and not have to enter it multiple times. This is very unique to Clio and important when trying to build a business.
If you want to learn more about practice management systems and CRMs, check out https://nextlevel.legal/episode/lfn003/