In a digital-first world, law firms are realizing the many benefits of using law practice management software. The ABA has even created guidelines and recommends the use of such legal technology to support how law firms practice.
There are several law practice management platforms available to law firms, but there are key features firms should be aware of when adopting new legal technology. It’s important to remember that any new solution a law firm implements should relieve issues, not create new ones.
Having an all-in-one solution is the easiest way to ensure a law firm’s data is secure and accessible from anywhere. Continue reading to learn more about why it’s essential to manage your practice in a central location.
What Is Law Practice Management Software?
Law practice management software is a comprehensive software system that helps law firms manage business operations. An all-in-one solution offers features for managing cases, calendaring, document management, tasks, time tracking, billing, payments, contacts, client relationships, communication, and accounting.
Traditionally, law firms would implement multiple solutions to address each of these needs, such as accounting software, a calendar application, and more. With a law practice management solution, all these features are in one place and integrate with existing solutions, such as Google Drive and Dropbox.
Why Is an All-in-One Law Practice Management Platform More Secure for Law Firms?
All-in-one practice management solutions offer many benefits covering vast areas of your practice, especially when it comes to security. Here are the main reasons an all-in-one practice management platform is more secure:
Cloud-based software solutions have numerous advantages over on-premise solutions. The latter is a more traditional model that allows law firms to purchase licenses for staff members and install the software through a download or a disk. Each staff member needs the software on their individual computers, and it’s all stored in the same place, creating information silos.
With on-premise software, information can be shared and retained within the firm, and the firm can back up data from all the staff members’ computers to a centralized location that the whole firm has access to. The network is only within the firm itself, so the staff can only access it in the office.
The best thing about cloud-based software is that it can be accessed wherever you have a secure wifi network. This is a helpful option for remote and hybrid teams of lawyers who are often in the field and need to access client or case information quickly.
Law practice management software ensures the security of sensitive client or firm information at multiple levels. The parties that can access, view, edit, or delete the documents are limited, internally and externally, and the data is encrypted to ensure airtight security.
In addition, cloud-based systems are more secure than on-premise solutions, which can have data wiped from a virus or a technical problem. The cloud can be secured using geo-redundant servers that ensure data is always safe and backed up in the event of a natural disaster or power outage.
With a solution like PracticePanther, all law firm information is secured through 256-bit military-grade encryption. Once a staff member logs in, the data is transmitted with an encrypted connection that protects it from outside parties.
In addition, PracticePanther partners with Box.com to ensure confidential files are kept that way, and all features are HIPAA compliant. For more security, law firms can enable only specific IP addresses or VPNs, such as the firm’s, to access sensitive information. This prevents accidental data leaks while lawyers or staff members are in the field and using unsecured public WiFi.
Pro tip: With the increase in remote and hybrid working models, creating a cybersecurity plan is a proactive measure firms can take to protect their information no matter where staff is working.
Traditionally, law firms would take payments using cash or checks. More recently, law firms have begun to accept online payments through payment processors, allowing clients to pay for their services using a credit card, debit card, or online bank transfer.
Unfortunately, this also means clients need to take the time to create an account with a payment processor to pay their bills, which can be frustrating and time-consuming. With a payment portal like PantherPayments, it only takes a few clicks to complete payment. Firms even have the option to enable the client portal where clients can pay their invoices or store their preferred payment method. These on-demand features allow clients the convenience they’re comfortable with and in turn, law firms experience faster payments.
PantherPayments is also 100% compliant. As one of the most trusted and recognized merchant processors, PantherPayments is ABA and IOLTA compliant.
Secure Data and Communications
With many lawyers working remotely or on the go, having a cloud-based solution enables any staff member to access documents and communication with clients efficiently. Using automated communication, payment, and organizational tools, lawyers can communicate with clients using two-way business text messaging to schedule meetings, and send automatic SMS or email reminders.
Clients can also share files and respond to invites to events or tasks with the customer relationship management (CRM) software. Law firms can collect contact information and case details through automated client intake forms and share communication and documents using the portal.
And with PracticePanther, all submissions are 256-bit SSL encrypted with CAPTCHA. While many only encrypt when messages are in transit, this option encrypts messages in transit and at rest. Client communications have never been safer.
Law firm practice management software stores all documents digitally, so they can be accessed in the office, on the road, or at home. PracticePanther integrates with OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box.com to share documents with clients or colleagues seamlessly.
All documents are stored in a centralized source for better organization, and files can be created, edited, archived, and managed in real-time. This also assists with tracking hours with templates that are automatically completed in one click for faster processing.
An All-in-One Solution to Law Practice Management for Law Firms
Cloud-based all-in-one software solutions are the best options for law firms to save money and time while getting the functionality and features they need most. Whether a solo firm, small-to-mid sized firm, or large firm, PracticePanther offers tailored industry-leading software solutions built for efficiency, productivity, and security.
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