Client relationship management (CRM) systems can help your law firm create a client-focused environment where your clients feel valued — while your firm reaps other benefits. Through organization and enhanced efficiency, CRM software helps your law firm maintain and strengthen business relationships. CRMs can help you keep your eye on the prize by prioritizing clients and ensuring that no growth opportunity goes unnoticed.
But it can be hard to decide which CRM is right for you. Multiple law firm CRM options are available today in the market. In this blog, we’ll guide you through what to consider as you evaluate the best solution for your law practice.
How to Determine the Practice Management Features & Requirements That Best Meet Your Law Firm’s Needs
Recently, we wrote a blog about the timekeeping, billing, and accounting features you may want from your legal practice management solution. However, those requirements likely don’t include anything related to calendaring and task management, document and email management, workflows and automation, or communication tools.
When evaluating new technology, you should also think about your firm’s day-to-day operations and how those procedures lend themselves to your practice management software requirements.
Through proactive planning, risk management, budgeting, and resource allocation, legal project management helps law firms streamline the work they do on legal matters. Applying disciplined legal project management also helps lawyers build greater consistency around law firm processes, which, in turn, delivers greater predictability, meeting client expectations regarding cost and experience. Combine these benefits of legal project management with technology, and lawyers can achieve their growth and client satisfaction goals faster and with less effort than ever before.
Are You Getting the Timekeeping, Billing, and Accounting Features You Want From Your Legal Practice Management Solution?
You’re probably constantly in the process of putting together a requirements list to include certain solutions, but let’s dig a little deeper into the questions you should be asking to ensure you’re getting the timekeeping, billing, and accounting features you want from your legal practice management software solution.
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Billing seems like a simple process, and it can be. But you’re reading this blog post — and we wrote it — because we both know it’s usually not. There are ample opportunities for bottlenecks: delays in opening a new matter, attorneys not logging billable hours in time, reviewing attorneys sitting on approvals, bills being sent out late, and everything in between.
Your firm relies on getting paid and paid quickly to stay afloat. A clean, concise, and consistent billing process is the way to ensure that happens.
So you’re evaluating new legal technology; maybe you’ve already picked your vendor. Most software vendors today are set up for you to work directly with their team throughout your migration, go-live, training, and ongoing support period; however, they will also accommodate your firm if you choose to work with a practice management consultant.
How do you know if you should work with a software consultant? Use this blog as a guide to determine what will work best for your firm’s needs.
Your firm might be brand new to data analytics, or maybe you’ve dipped a toe into the waters and have the basics down. Either way, keeping close, regular tabs on certain metrics and understanding financial reports will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your firm and lawyers and, in turn, your law firm’s profitability. Technology can streamline this process and make collecting and interpreting your firm’s data easy.
This blog will provide a basic overview of legal reporting and analytics and tell you why they’re important and how they can help you intelligently run your firm. Then, we’ll go in-depth into the different kinds of financial reports your firm should be running to help you understand your bottom line.
Your law firm’s matter management systems matter. In fact, they’re the lifeblood of your law firm. Why not look to tech to help achieve operational efficiency by moving to an all-inclusive legal technology platform?
So, where should you get started? Fortunately, this guide on matter management systems can walk you through the benefits of matter management and help you start moving forward to improve your practice.
If you are a law firm leader or administrator who is frustrated with the inconvenience of premise-based software, this blog post is for you.
We’ll explore the four big reasons that law firms are quickly moving to cloud-based legal practice management software and automating tedious aspects of legal operations, accounting, billing, and more: consistent availability, decreased downtime and IT issues, ease of internal changes, and improved security.
Many firms, upon deciding it’s time to evaluate new technology, make the mistake of immediately sprinting toward a solution, especially when they have been forced to react to address a sudden problem.
Diving headfirst into the search for a new practice management software completely forgoes a huge step (and arguably the most important one): meeting with the people who are going to use the software the most.
This week’s guest on the Mostly Legal Podcast is proof that you really can have it all! Suzy Klepac (Office Administrator, Kirk & Chaney PLLC) has served in multiple administrative roles at various law firms for the last six years, but she recently embarked on her greatest challenge – working remotely full time with a newborn. Working parents everywhere will be inspired to hear Suzy’s story of work-life balance in the fast-paced legal industry, which, according to her, is a little like living life like someone left the gate open. Don’t let the goats out!
Paul Bridgewater Named Centerbase Chief Executive Officer and President; Appointed to Board of Directors
Centerbase, a leading provider of cloud-based legal technology for mid-sized law firms, announced today that Paul Bridgewater has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President. Bridgewater succeeds current CEO and founder, John Forbes who has led Centerbase since its inception in 2015. Forbes will remain an active member on Centerbase’s Board of Directors.
The Mostly Legal Podcast: Season 2, Episode 9 “Never Stop Learning: Continuing Your Education In and Out of the Classroom”
This week, Rob and Amanda have the pleasure of talking to Amylyn Riedling (Paralegal, Office Manager, and Bookkeeper at Robin H. Balsam, P.S.) who went back to school to become a paralegal because her friend was doing it and thought it sounded fun. However, through the course of her career, Amylyn has found that her experiences outside of the classroom have been just as beneficial to her success as lectures and tests. How did her job operating rides at an amusement park when she was 16 set her up to be a paralegal later in life? You’ll have to listen to the episode to find out!
If you’re the administrator of a small or midsize law firm, you’re probably wearing a lot of hats. In fact, you probably have a closet full! In short, if it’s part of day-to-day legal services operations, and it doesn’t involve the practice of law, it lands on your desk. (There is a desk somewhere under all of the piles, right?) That means when your firm’s leadership team wants to find new ways to increase efficiency and drive law firm profitability, those tasks are automatically yours too.
It’s a daunting task, no doubt. But fortunately, there are legal technology solutions that you can implement quickly so you can demonstrate progress toward your goal. Here’s a list of typical efficiency problems that plague law practices along with some suggestions for how to solve them:
The Mostly Legal Podcast: Season 2, Episode 8 “Building a New Generation of Talent: Applying Strategy When Hiring Legal Support Teams”
Most people start their careers with the dream of changing people and the world. This week’s guests, Julie Logan (Director of Strategic Workforce Planning & Development, Thompson Coburn LLP) and Karen Griggs (Executive Director, Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice, LLC), have discovered that you can’t necessarily change people, but you can give them the tools they need to succeed. Join us for this discussion on learning to be adaptable in the ever-changing legal administration landscape. Julie and Karen both have unique perspectives to share on mentorship and hiring a new generation of talent. Your mindset will be forever changed after hearing what these two have to say.
Timing is everything. This old adage holds true even when thinking about upgrading technology. Maybe you’ve been on legacy software for years. Maybe you work entirely on paper. Perhaps you’re still dipping a fountain pen into an inkwell (by the way, if that’s the case – cool). Wherever you’re at, how do you know when it’s time to start evaluating new technology?
When firms begin to think about evaluating new software, two distinct mindsets come into play: reactive and proactive. Which one your firm holds will set the stage for how you kick off this process.
Mastering law firm accounting is no easy feat. However, the right legal accounting software can help you streamline these critical accounting functions. Join us as we explore what law firm accounting is and how legal accounting software (with the right features) can resolve your biggest accounting challenges and meet your firm’s needs.
No matter the current state of your law practice’s financial health, you’ll always find that there are opportunities to reduce costs, improve lawyer productivity, and get more cash in the door. If you’re struggling to keep your firm’s cash flow consistent, read on to discover ways you can take your law firm’s current cash flow to the next level.
The Mostly Legal Podcast: Season 2, Episode 7 “How a Change in Circumstances Can Shift Your Perspective”
Imagine this… you’re a junior in college and all signs are pointing to you being selected as a top 30 NFL draft pick. Right before the rest of your life is supposed to start, you sustain a life-threatening injury that leaves you with a paralyzed arm. What would you do? Many of us would probably want to give up, but not this week’s guest! We had the honor of speaking with Inky Johnson (Host, Serendipity with Inky Johnson Podcast) about maintaining strength and resilience in the face of adversity, and we can’t wait to share his story with all of you.
Acquisition enables Centerbase to offer end-to-end client and matter lifecycle management, bolstering the company’s mission to power the growth of law firms. Centerbase, the leading provider of cloud-based legal technology...
What if we told you about a technology that would relieve 50% of the administrative burden from your legal operations professionals… would you be interested in hearing what we had to say? Of course you would!
In this blog, we’ll introduce you to workflow, explain what workflow is, some of its benefits, and the different workflow tools available in legal practice management software to help you streamline your law firm.
It’s time to take your timekeeping to the next level.
We know the process of getting the lawyers at your firm to bill in a timely and accurate manner can be a struggle. By getting the right legal practice management software in place, you’ll minimize friction in workflows, help lawyers enter time more regularly, and save the administrative staff at your firm time and headaches. Plus you’ll increase your firm’s profitability. It’s a win-win-win-win.
The Mostly Legal Podcast: Season 2, Episode 6 “Rise to the Top: What You Learn After 45 Years at a Law Firm”
This week’s guest needs no introduction. As a long-time member and past president of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA), Teresa Walker’s (CEO, Tennessee Private Trust Services) legacy precedes her. Teresa has been at the same law firm for 45 (yes, you read that right!) years and she’s on the mic this week with lots of knowledge to share.
If you’re looking for new ways to simplify your workload and manage all of your cases, you need a better system than Excel spreadsheets and a desk full of clutter. If you’re ready to look for a technological solution, look no further than a matter management and case management system that helps you keep every important detail in one place. Read on for key features of matter management and case management software that can help you streamline your legal processes – leaving legal technology to do the legwork for you. We like the sound of that!
The Mostly Legal Podcast: Season 2, Episode 5 “It’s Lonely at the Top: Turning Problems Into Opportunity”
It’s not often a podcast guest is introduced via poetry, but this week, you’re going to hear exactly that. Take a trip down memory lane with us as one of our Season 1 guests, Jenna Carter (Director of Administration, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP) introduces us to Maria Stanfield (Founder, My Sister CEO) to the tune of Maya Angelou. A speaker, executive career coach, and bestselling author with a heart for service, Maria’s message is simple: it’s never too late to realize your full potential.
Dashboards help law firm leaders turn data into usable information to inform decision-making. A well-thought-out dashboard can benefit a law firm by driving productivity and helping the overall business development. Every law practice can use dashboards to easily track financial metrics, make informed decisions, and grow their business. Which metrics should your firm be tracking? Read on to find out.
The Mostly Legal Podcast: Season 2, Episode 4 “Building a Successful Law Firm: How Culture, Strategy, and Leadership Collide”
As a consultant in the legal industry, reluctance to change is an attitude Debbie Foster (Partner, Affinity Consulting) knows all too well. This week, she takes the mic and shares her tips for making law firms a great place to work from the top down – one change at a time.
Innovations in legal practice management software have changed the way that law firms do business. Technology is an incredible tool for law firms looking to streamline workflows and increase productivity, but how do you know which one to choose? While some software is fully integrated, others can only perform one function, like billing and accounting, client management, tracking metrics, or generating reports.
Let’s explore the most important features legal accounting and billing software should have. (Spoiler alert: QuickBooks is not the most efficient option.)
In high school, Kyle Weigand (Director of Operations, Brouse McDowell, LPA) wrote letters (yes, back when snail mail still existed!) to 40 law firms in the Cleveland area and got one response. He started in that firm’s mailroom soon after. Kyle’s personal touch paid off; from there, it’s been a steady rise from paralegal to director to helping start a law firm from the ground up for this go-getter.
Join us for this fascinating discussion on why transparency and communication for all levels of employees are crucial to a firm’s success. Kyle brings a unique perspective to this topic and gives us all a lot to think about.
80% of a law firm’s revenue comes from just 20% of its clients. By spending too much time trying to turn unsatisfied clients into repeat customers, law firms ignore the happy, easygoing clients who make them money. This doesn’t mean ignoring other clients and their needs but instead using thoughtful business practices that allocate resources to get the most bang for your buck.
One way to start the client experience off on the right foot is to offer a new client welcome kit. Read on for six crucial items to include in your firm’s client welcome packet:
How do you earn the nickname “Major Problem Solver” throughout the course of your career? We won’t say it comes solely from holding a variety of positions in the legal industry, but that’s a great place to start.
Brandi Hobbs (Director of Operations and Process Improvement at Offit Kurman) started her career thinking she was going to be an attorney, but now she’s a strategic change innovator and has a Master of Professional Studies in Law Firm Management from the George Washington University, one of the only schools to offer such a program.
You won’t want to miss this fascinating discussion on the sheer impact marketing can have on law firms. Brandi has some wild insight to share that just might blow your mind!
The right reporting and analytics tools will undoubtedly help your law firm optimize its performance. Your firm’s leaders will be more empowered to make more strategic decisions because they’ll know just where the firm can and should grow, and where it should scale back. Choosing smart legal analytics solutions and reporting tools makes it easy to develop a competitive advantage and keep your firm running smoothly and efficiently all year long.
Find out how to maximize the value of your law firm data with the right tools here:
The Mostly Legal Podcast: Season 2, Episode 1 “How a Social Media Star is Disrupting the Legal Industry”
The Mostly Legal Podcast is back for season 2 and we’re starting this second go-around off with a bang!
How do you know when it’s time for a career change? Maybe you’re not enjoying the work you’re doing, not happy at your current employer, or perhaps you’re in the wrong industry altogether. Alex Su (Head of Community Development for Ironclad) thinks you’re much more likely to be successful in your career if you focus on doing something that’s aligned with your strengths instead of trying to fix your weaknesses.
Join us for this discussion on what it means to find your own path and be successful, even if it’s not what you initially envisioned.
It’s time to take your firm’s billing to the next level.
Since billing is arguably the most important administrative process in the legal profession, it’s a great place to start when you’re looking for ways to increase your firm’s productivity and profitability. In this blog, we’ll discuss some steps you can take to improve your insurance defense firm’s productivity and accelerate client payables.
Once upon a time, an Executive Director and a Chief Revenue Officer set out on a journey to share the untold stories of the people in the business of law. After having climbed to the highest tower, defeating the odds, and rescuing the princess that was Season 1, they decided to forge on to Season 2. With the launch of the new season coming on February 14th, they felt invincible. Until they met their foe, the blinking red light of a camera recording, and this is what happened….
Tax season can be a stressful time of year for law firm leaders and administrators, but there are some steps law firms can take to help alleviate that stress for a more seamless approach to tax season. The most important components of tax preparation are deadlines, organization, and documentation. With an awareness of potential tax deductions and guidance from a skilled accountant, law firms can successfully navigate tax season.
Financial well-being is an important piece of the law firm operations puzzle. To continue to serve your clients most effectively, your firm must be operating efficiently. You must have a consistent cash flow that allows you to continue marketing campaigns, acquire clients, and hire new lawyers to do the work.
The key to this is a comprehensive financial strategy. Here’s how you should get started building yours:
While modern technology has changed the way that many lawyers connect with their clients, it hasn’t changed the fact that confidentiality is key when it comes to the attorney-client relationship. So, how can you take advantage of the benefits of modern technology to optimize the client experience at your law practice and maintain your clients’ confidentiality at the same time?
There’s an easy answer: it’s called a client portal.
Family law clients are facing some of the most trying situations of their lives when they find themselves in your law office. One way that family law firms can make the client experience easier for prospects is to offer a client intake form that helps prepare clients for the information they need to share, so they can organize their thoughts and documents in advance.
Read on to discover how an online intake form can help you make the most out of the intake process – and download our suggested template to get started on your own form today.
It’s no secret that the last two years have been filled with unprecedented challenges. Moving into 2022, the legal industry is taking the lessons learned from navigating these challenges and turning them into resources to support a successful year to come.
Firms want tools to help them handle routine tasks in a more efficient manner so they can save time and drive revenue. Keep reading to explore some of the trends that will drive these concepts and shape the legal industry in 2022.
You know that your law firm is a business, but only recently have firms started focusing on how to improve their business. By spending time now to build a strong legal operations team headed by an experienced, tech-savvy legal operations manager, you can modernize your firm and situate it to capitalize on future trends in legal operations. Join us as we uncover what a legal operations manager does and how having one at your law firm can increase efficiency.
A recent study from Bloomberg suggests that a third of law firms don’t have a dedicated legal operations function. If you’re considering whether your firm needs a dedicated legal ops professional, you may be wondering how deep to go down the rabbit hole in forming your team. Let’s take a closer look at what a legal ops team does and how you should go about building yours.
Every law firm should start 2022 with accurately balanced accounting that is ready for all that the new year will bring. This year-end closing process comes together through reconciling bank accounts, adjusting entries, and preparing financial statements for analysis.
The following are some annual bookkeeping processes to help your law firm set the foundation for financial success in the coming year:
Evaluating end-of-year compensation for your attorneys may be the last thing (or, we’ll say it, most dreaded thing) on your to-do list as you work through closing the books for 2021.
There is some good news – you don’t have to go it alone. We were lucky enough to be joined on a webinar by Amanda Koplos, Executive Director, and Stephanie Donaldson, Controller, at Shuffield, Lowman & Wilson, P.A. They were gracious enough to share their own theories and best practices surrounding end-of-year compensation for attorneys. Here is what they had to say:
Tis the season for law firms to give back and expand on their charitable endeavors! Giving back helps firms solidify themselves as members of their communities with a vested interest in their people and their wellbeing, and also provides a powerful brand-building tool.
Join us as we explore the various aspects of law firm humanitarianism, including the benefits of giving back and some ways your law firm can serve its community this holiday season and throughout the year.
April Campbell (Executive Director at the Association of Legal Administrators) and Judy Hissong (President at Nesso Strategies) discuss everything from diagnosing firm culture to the shifted focus on mental health. These two ALA royalties discuss how the world as we know it is changing, and there are quite a few noticeable differences coming out of the legal industry because of it.
If you’re like most people, managing your clients’ funds is unfamiliar territory. Most of us don’t have an accounting background, and accounting isn’t a subject that’s included in law school curriculums.
In this guide, we’ll give you an overview of the basics of attorney trust accounts and describe how you should manage settlement proceeds and other funds on behalf of a client.
Melissa Chambers and Mike West give us some great insight on what firms should be doing once they implement new software. From continuing vendor relationships to leaning into training, check out their best practice tips, and suggestions to help you utilize your new system to the fullest.