There’s no question that automation saves time, and that legal practice management software is instrumental to any attorney in their quest to maximize both time and profit. The benefits to automating your legal practice with software abound, and the best legal practice management software should offer your firm features that assist not just in performing efficiently with your existing clients, but in attracting and securing new clients, as well.
Let’s Start with the Obvious
Let’s get the least surprising out of the way first: legal practice management software comes stocked with various tools meant to maximize your efficiency and, thus, save you time. Of course, it follows that with more open time comes more opportunity to take on new clients, thereby increasing your profit without adding hours of work to your calendar. Any software worth your while will be comprised of various internal features geared towards client organization (and time-saving): automated contacts stocked with fields that can be customized according to the information you need, interactive client portals, and automated workflows to outline the tasks associated with each new client.
The best legal practice management software will also have integrations to the same end. Perhaps the most effective integration in terms of organizing your clients (and thus saving time to dedicate to more clients) is a direct integration with your email inbox. This way, whether a prospective client emails you with a potential case, a client reaches out with questions or updates, or you need to add an email thread your software, you’ll be able to update each contact within the software directly from your inbox.
The first step your legal practice management software must take in assisting you to secure new clients is to make the process of receiving leads as painless and streamlined as possible. Look for a software that allows you to create custom intake forms. These should include all of the information that is absolutely crucial for you to have relating to any client. These intake forms should also populate the information filled out by a client directly into a new Contact in your software, thereby eliminating the need for you to manually enter any information (as well as the possibility that you may enter incorrect information due to sloppy or too-small handwriting).
Your software should also be flexible enough to accommodate these intake forms to whatever your preferred method of lead generation is. For example, if most of your new clients are walk-ins, you should have intake forms on an iPad or laptop in your office that clients can use to fill out. Or, if your website drives most of your new clients, your intake forms should be located there, and every new submission should automatically populate into a new Contact on your legal practice management software. Don’t forget to search for a software that will notify you once a new client’s information has been added. This will ensure that you are diligent in following up with the client. Because most attorneys lose potential business due to not following up in a timely manner, this feature is absolutely essential.
We’ve said it before, and we’re saying it again: the best platforms are the ones who recognize that they can’t do it all. Rather, they seek out the best-performing platforms and apps across the board, looking to build bridges with those rather than creating sub-par solutions that underperform for their users. For this reason, the best legal practice management software will integrate with platforms that seek to maximize your client outreach relationships. Among the most useful tools in accumulating your client base is creating an effective, streamlined email campaign. By finding a software that integrates with an expert email campaign platform, like MailChimp, you’ll be able to work through your software to create messages and send them out to clients easily and efficiently. This will maximize both the speed at which you conduct your outreach and the rates at which you are able to follow up with responding clients.
It’s imperative that you monitor your online reputation. The Internet has made review-based shopping the cornerstone of consumerism, and legal services are by no means excluded from this phenomenon. For this reason, it is crucial that you track your firm’s online reputation, boosting positive reviews by quoting them on your website and social media, and undermining negative reviews by replying to them immediately on the platforms through which they are published. There are various software on the market that deal with reputation and client management. However, very few of them integrate with legal practice management software. We recommend shopping for a software that integrates with platforms such as BirdEye, as they will allow you to track customer success internally.
Legal practice management software is revolutionizing the legal business in more ways than one. A considerable number of law firms have already automated to some degree. However, what too many legal entrepreneurs have yet to identify are the countless tools within their software that can be utilized to expand their client base and grow their business. By focusing on these attributes when evaluating your software, you’ll be better poised than ever to see exponential growth for your legal practice.