Every law firm is different. Each one has specific needs, operations, and culture. This means that each law firm will value its own set of features in a legal case management software. Despite these differences, there are — of course — features of universal usefulness to most legal professionals, regardless of the area in which they practice.
Contact and matter management, sophisticated security features, client communication, and document sharing are some of the functionalities valued by attorneys around the world. Incidentally, these are the elements that are optimized by one of the most underrated features a leading practice management solution can offer: the client portal.
A mediocre client portal has little practical use, failing to accomplish much more than any email inbox. However, when designed and implemented correctly, client portals can render attorney-client interactions exponentially more efficient.
What is Legal Case Management Software?
Legal case management software helps law firms run more efficiently. Lawyers use case management software to help streamline workflows, communicate with clients, work remotely, oversee and budget firm finances, and manage their firm with an all-in-one solution.
Client portals are a large part of how lawyers communicate with their clients in a secure way. Case management software that offers a client portal provides a platform for clients to share documents, lawyers to scheduled meetings, provide case updates, and request e-signatures, to name a few. Using a client portal can help increase client trust since all case information is stored in a single place.
Why Does Case Management Software Need A Client Portal?
There are multiple reasons legal case management software needs a client portal. A few key reasons being client communication, document sharing, increased security, and even easy legal billing and payments. Below are five of the most definitive components of the best client portals on the market.
1. Increased Security
First and foremost, the best client portals offer their users the highest degree of security. If a practice management solution lists a secure client portal among its features, make sure it offers 256-bit encryption. This is the same level of security offered by online banking systems and credit card processors, and it will ensure that any data sent between you and your clients via the portal is instantly encrypted.
2. Seamless Communication
Too often, client portals operate almost independently of the practice management solutions of which they are apart. Rather, your software’s other communication functions should supplement the client portal. Namely, invest in a solution that sends notifications to your phone once messages from your client are sent through the portal. This will ensure timely, efficient communication.
3. Efficiently Share Documents
Secure, quick document sharing is where a client portal’s security meets its communication functionality. Due to the sensitive nature of the majority of documents sent between your clients and yourself, it is critical that the information contained within them be delivered without fail and kept as secure as possible.
4. Easy Legal Billing and Payments
Offering multiple payment options in a client portal provides safe and secure payments, getting your law firm paid faster. Case management software with a built-in payments processor saves your firm both time and money, eliminating the need for third parties (and lessening the chances of information being stolen). There’s a reason some of the best practice management software has a native payments option; it’s because of the practicality it provides law firms.
Consider PracticePanther When Choosing Case Management Software
When choosing a legal case management software to fit the particular needs of your firm, do not overlook the importance of a high-functioning, secure client portal. Though it is only one of the numerous features that contribute to the performance of a practice management solution, a robust client portal has the power to facilitate and optimize your firm’s client communication capabilities to an exponential degree.
Schedule a demo today to see how PracticePanther’s client portal can help your law firm increase client trust, provide a secure way to communicate, and help streamline your firm’s workflows.
Editor’s Note: This Blog was originally published in October 2019. Recent Update: October 2023.
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