Enhance Your Law Firm with Legal Project Management Software

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Most of us have probably been part of a poorly planned project or two in our lifetime. Whether it’s team members who back out at the last second, disorganized files, or just procrastination, there’s nothing worse than having to put out the fires after the fact.

What’s worse is that in the legal field, poorly planned projects can actually lead to poor client experience. Poor project management plus poor client experience equals bad news for your law firm.

One of the easiest ways to get around these issues is to implement legal project management software. This guide goes over everything you need to know about project management software for law firms so you can spend less time fighting fires and more time doing what you’re supposed to be doing—helping clients with legal problems!

Why Law Firms are Increasingly Choosing Project Management Software

 

Once upon a time, clients may not have been too picky with who their lawyer was. Today, however, client expectations are climbing and they’re expecting more from their legal teams. For instance, 82% of legal clients today check reviews before even picking up the phone to call their lawyer!

If those reviews don’t show that you’re well-organized, on time, and affordable, clients aren’t going to work with you. Clients expect you to have clearer project updates, better payment processing, and clearer communication. However, in order to be able to deliver on all these points, law firms have to whip themselves into shape.

To do so, law firms are adopting legal software solutions, including project management tools, to help contribute to their overall success. A few of the ways that law firm project management software furthers law firm success include:

  • Systems are automated
  • Better case organization
  • Progress is easily trackable
  • Goals are clearer

Project management software allows firms to track project progress and deadlines, establish actionable timelines, and enable team collaboration. It also supports the roles of traditional project managers, automating and streamlining processes such as:

  • Monitoring the progress of each project
  • The need for procuring new resources and materials
  • Scheduling casework and other essential meetings
  • Risk management
  • Checking whether the firm meets all deadlines

Which Type of Law Firms Need a Project Management Tool?

Which Type of Law Firms Need a Project Management Tool

Although there are plenty of reasons why law firms choose project management tools, not every type of law firm chooses to use project management tools. However, this is a mistake. Regardless of the size and type of firm you’re working in or running, project management tools can have a big impact on your processes.

What may vary for law firms, however, is the type and scope of their chosen project management systems. Depending on their projects, business goals, and work ethics, some software may prove better than others.

This chart breaks down a few different types of law firm models and their characteristics so that you can get a clearer understanding of how project management tools might be useful to them.

Type of Law Firm

Characteristics

Scaling Law Firm

Firms focused on constant growth. These are usually start-up firms

Spread-out Law Firm

Team members work together simultaneously from various locations

Customer-Centric Law Firm

Using client communications and recommendations as a way to improve trust, reputation, and loyalty

Another important part of organization for any of these types of law firms is having a strong pricing system. This helps ensure lawyers are providing accurate prices upfront and that client expectations around cost are managed from start to finish.

AltFee is a pricing system that does just that.

This virtual software lets remote teams collaborate on their pricing, enabling spread-out law firms to build out clearer pricing models. At the same time, it helps customer-centric law firms provide upfront cost certainty to clients. Finally, the software enables law firms to systemize their firm-wide approach to pricing which is crucial for scaling law firms.

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Spend more time practicing the law with the only all-in-one legal pricing and collaboration tool. With an intuitive interface and straightforward navigation, AltFee maximizes your legal pricing workflow, improving the efficiency of your law firm.

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With the table as a guide, let’s go over each of these types of law firms and how project management software can be beneficial to them.

Scaling Law Firms

Scaling law, or growth-focused firms, are typically start-up firms working with several cases to grow and create a name for themselves in the legal industry. These firms need a project management tool to ensure that legal documents and project materials are kept organized and secure.

Start-ups tend to be less organized than well-established firms, largely because they’re just starting to put processes in place to create streamlined systems. Legal practice styles can account for 50% of the fee in a case, and when that practice style is disorganized, fees could be higher for clients than they should be.

The good news is that project management tools can nip these issues in the bud. Through an efficient project management tool, scaling law firms can have better calendaring, especially for important appointments and meetings.

These tools can easily integrate into a team’s existing email, calendar, and phone systems to ensure that no overlap or interference happens.

The Spread-Out Law Firm

Spread-out, or distributed law firms, are companies that allow remote working or have distributed teams. Without an effective project management tool, it’s easier for mishaps and misunderstandings to happen in these types of organizations.

The main reason for this is that since employees aren’t in a central location, keeping everyone looped into project progress and deadlines can be tough.

With the help of the project management tool, spread-out law firms can easily access the data they need without having to physically go to the firm headquarters. They can utilize the software, get the information they need, and share their deliverables with other team members.

Furthermore, legal project management software gives team members access to information about who’s doing a certain task for a legal matter and when they are expected to accomplish that task. This can help team leaders assign tasks to team members, set deadlines, and track progress in order to report back to clients.

The Customer-Centric Law Firm

Customer-centric law firms make clients’ demands and expectations the focus of everything they do. For these firms, strong attorney-client relations are the lifeblood of their business.

For these law firms, having project management tools can help get rid of miscommunications between the firm and the client. This is partly because it makes all project objectives available to team members at any time. That way, law firms can clearly communicate what stage they’re at with their projects to clients.

Additionally, project management tools can make it easier for lawyers working remotely or adhering to odd hours to stay in communication with clients and on top of deadlines. This not only helps legal teams maintain flexibility, but helps them better cater to client expectations.

Benefits of Law Firm Project Management Software

Enhance Your Law Firm with Legal Project Management Software

Project management software serves as a law firm’s compass to provide accurate directions for ongoing projects. These tools assist firms in guiding and meeting objectives for:

Project management software also allows proactive management of the entire firm’s operation to speed up projects and improve work efficiency. A few other benefits include:

  1. Increasing predictability
  2. Reducing management stress
  3. Allowing for future planning
  4. Creating data-driven decisions according to real-time data monitoring
  5. Anticipating possible risks that could cost money when not prevented

In terms of specific benefits to look for when choosing legal project management software, there are quite a few to keep your eyes peeled for. Here are a few of the most important benefits that these tools can provide your firm and that you should look for when selecting one.

Easy Project Management and Assignment

Your firm’s project management software should make it easy for you to manage and assign projects. It should also promote efficient communication between team members for better collaboration and file-sharing.

With easy project management and assignment, it becomes easier to delegate tasks to others in your firm. This, in turn, helps speed up processes and improve outcomes for your clients.

Ensures Secure File Storage

Working on projects in a legal firm entails sharing private files and documents. This means that your project management software should offer proper data sharing and storage features. Good software should let you upload files conveniently while providing easy access.

One way of doing this is to use a cloud law firm model, which involves using a remote cloud to secure access to files while still making them available and accessible to all team members regardless of location.

If you go this route, however, you need to make sure that you set up proper encryptions to ensure maximum security. Only team members with access to your company’s files should have permission to edit and view them.

The good news is that most legal project management software has encryptions set up so that you can upload and share files through the platform. This ensures the security and integrity of any documents involved in your projects.

Responsive Support

When conflicts arise, you need responsive and accessible support to ensure that all your questions can be answered. Look for legal project management software with reliable customer support so that it’s easy to reach them should problems arise.

Remember that having responsive support prevents delays and ensures your firm’s projects can be accomplished on time. Otherwise, you could run into technical glitches that throw a wrench in the planning, development, and completion of projects.

Even though the issues might not be your fault, it’s tough to explain to clients why it is that you’re behind on your deadlines.

Allows Easy Integration

Better results can be generated when your legal project management software allows easy integration with other programs. This promotes the easy sharing of data and relevant information across various platforms.

For example, legal project management software can be integrated with your payment systems. Doing so keeps your team members savvy about what your pricing schedules are and how to properly bill clients, avoiding miscommunications and billing hiccups that can upset clients.

One example is AltFee, a legal pricing software that integrates with the project management system Clio. By taking advantage of this integration, law firms can establish an end-to-end pricing and billing solution that can effectively boost a firm’s collection rates.

Permits Customization

Good project management software should allow you to customize the tools and features you need that fit your firm’s goals. It should allow you to tailor the software according to your preferences, promoting better efficiency and productivity.

Remember, there are different types of law firms out there with different goals and objectives that they’re trying to meet. A good legal project management tool should allow you to customize the systems and features to create tailored project timelines for your firm.

That way, you’re able to streamline and automate processes through legal software, taking some of the manual labor out of your work.

Improving Document Production Tracking

An essential advantage of project management software is its improved document production tracking. The software allows easier streamlining of processes to increase the firm’s efficiency and organizational visibility.

In essence, what happens with this is that project management software gives better visibility as to what stage of production a certain document is in. From there, legal teams know whether that specific document has to go to another team member or is ready to get to the client.

Legal firms can also adjust project timelines so that they have better visibility of deadlines and expected turnaround times. All these things lead to improved production timelines, turnaround, and tracking.

Efficiency with Matter-Specific Workflows

Project management software reduces risks and mishaps across various workflows in a law firm. It does this by identifying bottlenecks and providing easy solutions to avoid mistakes before they occur. These mitigation strategies can help with improving your law firm’s overall efficiency.

Matter-specific workflows also include proper allocation of available resources to reduce project risks. The result can be avoiding skyrocketing project costs just because of poor resource allocation at the initial planning stage.

Client-Attorney Relationship Enhancements

Another essential benefit is improved client-attorney relationships. Because you are utilizing the software to meet your client’s expectations, you can expect to improve things like turnaround times and productivity. Both those things lead to happier clients in the long run.

The Clio and AltFee integration is the perfect example of this advantage. Through its integration, law firms can update client information across the platforms simultaneously, helping streamline information sharing and ensure that there are no gaps in client and matter descriptions.

Get Started Today

Spend more time practicing the law with the only all-in-one legal pricing and collaboration tool. With an intuitive interface and straightforward navigation, AltFee maximizes your legal pricing workflow, improving the efficiency of your law firm.

Get A Demo
Altfee: Get A Demo

Examples of Legal Project Management Software

Project management software for law firms really does practice what it preaches, as can be seen when looking at certain use cases through actual software solutions.

Although there are many different project management software and tools out there that law firms can use, let’s hone in on a couple of major players and take a look at how they change law firm outcomes.

Clio

Clio

Source

Clio is one of the most sought-after legal project management software. This legal document software allows advanced document management for easier client collaboration.

Clio allows law firms to process online payments, take e-signatures, and automate document workflows. Three other essential features of this software include:

  1. Accurate billing through real-time tracking of expenses
  2. Accessible client portal for easy communication and collaboration
  3. Unlimited storage for your documents

In addition, Clio app integrations, such as their AltFee integration, have made streamlining all business processes even easier for law firms. Because they can find and organize data from different departments in one place, it creates better transparency and organizational access.

All of these features translate well, regardless of the size of the law firm, too. That means that start-ups and major players alike can see project management success through Clio.

LegalFiles

LegalFiles

Source

LegalFiles is another project management software that has proven its reputation across famous firms like GlobalExcel, CannonDesign, TD Bank, Crystal Clean, and more. Clients trust this project management software because it’s user-friendly and cost-efficient.

Crystal Clean, for example, is a team that relies on LegalFiles largely because of its versatility and productivity in maintaining organized files while keeping them secure.

Crystal Clean also uses LegalFiles to track schedules and monitor current projects to ensure they meet all deadlines. Plus, it also assists the company in contract management that speeds up client communications.

Another government legal department, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, prefers using LegalFiles because it promotes reasonably priced eco-friendliness. The legal project management software creates an exceptional knowledge database that team members can access anytime.

LegalBoards

LegalBoards

Source

LegalBoards is an efficient project management software that saves a lot of time by allowing several tasks to be done simultaneously. One of its key features is assignment tracking, reducing confusion among team members.

LegalBoards also promotes the collaboration of various departments to meet project deadlines earlier. With its integration with leading account billing software, billing and payment processes are also faster.

LegalBoards also feature matter management so team members can micromanage each essential aspect of a project. With its easily accessible board, anyone within the team can view current and upcoming tasks for faster turnover.

Nifty

 

Nifty

Source

Many upscale law firms trust Nifty because of its ease of use, which does not require that much of a learning curve. Nifty is easy to navigate, where clients, paralegals, and lawyers can collaborate.

This project management software also features well-structured projects law firms can replicate for new cases. With this, case timelines are more precise for clients and law firms.

Other key features of Nifty include:

  • Easy collaboration, which improves client communication
  • Simple case navigation allows tangible timelines to be created
  • Allows document sharing and storage, which are essential for legal processes.

All of these features make the software ideal for firms that have a high level of collaboration and work with sensitive data. Plus, the simple navigation reduces training time for team members and keeps systems scalable.

Conclusion

Law firms can benefit from legal project management software because it features advanced tools to speed up projects and cases and meet deadlines. However, the exact use case for these project management tools depends on the type of law firm you operate.

In terms of what to look for in order to find a platform that makes sense for your company, it’s important to look for platforms that are readily accessible, efficient, and allow easy integration. With these features, your firm can easily use the software to ensure your services meet client expectations.

Besides project management, part of having a well-organized law firm involves having a solid pricing and scoping system that provides clear and transparent pricing to clients. Get in touch with our team to learn more about how AltFee can transform your approach to pricing client projects that will result in a boost to your revenue all while building greater alignment with your clients.

Get Started Today

Spend more time practicing the law with the only all-in-one legal pricing and collaboration tool. With an intuitive interface and straightforward navigation, AltFee maximizes your legal pricing workflow, improving the efficiency of your law firm.

Get A Demo
Altfee: Get A Demo