How to shop for the best law firm management software
Today, managing your law firm’s finances is much easier thanks to web-based law firm management software. But when choosing the right tool, it pays to do some research before committing to a particular solution.
Here’s a list of questions you should ask yourself before making a decision on the best law firm management software:
- Is the software scalable? There are so many different types of law firm management software solutions out there, but only a handful truly scale. Law firm management software that does not scale well becomes difficult to manage over time.
- Does the software integrate with my existing systems?
Many times, law firms buy a piece of software thinking it will replace all of their current processes. However, if the system doesn’t integrate with their existing systems, then they may end up spending money on additional licenses to make sure everything still operates properly.
3) Will I struggle finding information?
Unless you’re buying a cloud-based platform, chances are you won’t find all the information you need easily within the platform itself. As a result, you’ll likely spend extra time searching for information, especially during busy periods.
4) How quickly will the software respond to changes?
Every law firm is different. In addition, different clients require different levels of service. Finding the perfect fit is key!
5) What support options are available?
Do you plan on calling customer support daily? Or are you willing to wait until something goes wrong?
6) How secure is the software?
Are there legal risks involved in using the software? For example, are you storing client files on a server that could potentially be hacked?
7) How reliable is the vendor?
How often does the company go bankrupt? Have they been sued recently?
8) Can I access the source code?
Source code is the original programming language used to build the software. When you purchase a product, you typically receive a license agreement stating that you must agree not to share the code publicly.
9) Who uses the software?
Does the company sell directly to consumers or just to businesses?
10) How easy is it to train employees?
Some vendors claim their software is simple to learn. While simplicity may be attractive, if you’re planning on hiring staff members, then training them on the technology is critical. Otherwise, they won’t be able to effectively perform their jobs.
11) How much customization is possible?
Different law firms have different needs. Not every law office requires every feature offered by a certain software package. By purchasing a custom version of the software, you can tailor it to meet your specific requirements.
12) How much does the software cost?
Of course, price is never the only consideration when purchasing anything. However, pricing does matter. Purchasing too cheap a solution could mean losing quality control or missing out on essential features. On the flip side, overspending can lead to unnecessary costs.
13) What kind of return policy does the vendor offer?
Law firms rarely cancel contracts after signing one. Therefore, it’s crucial that the vendor gives you plenty of room to back out if things aren’t going according to plan.
14) Will the software save me money?
Many firms realize that the initial investment required to set up a new system is significantly higher than the monthly subscriptions associated with online platforms. However, if the software reduces overhead expenses and allows you to focus on core functions, then it may actually save you money over time.
15) How does the software compare to similar products?
Before finalizing your choice, make sure to look around and compare the various offerings.