What is Legal Case Management Software?
Legal case management software enables you to manage, store, and track legal cases and records (e.g., contacts, intakes, documents, events, tasks, etc.) quickly and easily. With the right case management system, you can save time, money, and effort.
Why should you use Case Management Software?
As a personal injury lawyer, it’s important to keep track of your cases from beginning to end. There will be numerous tasks to keep track of, but the right management software can help you properly organize your cases effectively, helping you increase your revenue potential and your firm’s profitability.
If you’re the owner of a small law firm or you’re in solo practice, the concept of case management software can sound intimidating. You might be under the impression that you don’t need it because such software is mainly geared towards larger firms. If you only have a handful of cases, you might even currently be tracking them using Word documents or Excel spreadsheets.
Though this manual approach may have worked previously, it exposes you to potential mistakes and might even limit your firm’s growth in the future. It’s time for you to adopt a legal case management system.
Let’s start from the beginning.
First impressions go a long way when converting an intake into a client. Even if your system has worked until now, if you start receiving multiple inquiries from potential clients, you won’t have a system to capture them all.
Ask yourself this:
Implementing a more streamlined and organized document management system will help save you time, money, and effort in the long run. You will no longer have to worry about important case notes and documents slipping through the cracks or forgetting an important deadline. Why? Because your case management software will remember all these details for you and remind you.
There are many different software programs marketed explicitly to law firms, and they differ in terms of functionalities, benefits, and offerings. But you don’t just run a law firm; you run a PI law firm. Personal injury firms have specific workflows, processes, and other concerns when it comes to staying organized. Many legal software options developed for general law firms won’t be right for a PI firm.
How do you know which management software to pick, then?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this guide, we discuss the nuances of case management software and how you can find the best one for your practice.
Personal Injury case management software is designed explicitly for PI lawyers to help them process cases (e.g., automobile accidents, premises liability, slip and fall, medical malpractice, etc.) from intake to settlement and beyond.
A unified personal injury case management software like CloudLex can help give you the flexibility you need to cover each stage of your case. This means that everything is tracked and stored properly in your legal case management software, and there’s no need for you to have multiple files for one case.
Which Software Should You Choose as a Personal Injury Attorney?
There are several different features that a personal injury attorney should look for when deciding on legal software solutions. For starters, personal injury law is the only legal practice that operates on a contingency fee model. As a result, generic case management solutions may not be relevant to personal injury law, and you might end up paying for applications and functionalities you’ll never use (e.g., time tracking) and will be lacking in crucial features your PI firm needs.
An ideal case management solution will have built-in user roles for attorneys, paralegals, and other staff members with varying levels of permission that the subscribing managing partner can assign. Below, we outline some important features you should look out for when deciding which case management software to use.
Some Of The Features You Should Look For
Do you need to know your active matter count, the firm-wide count, or the number of active matters in each phase of litigation? The right legal case management software should allow you to view this information quickly, in a simple, easy-to-read format.
CloudLex does all this and more. Our plaintiff litigation management software allows you to view all cases in a specific stage (e.g., “Investigation” or “Discovery”), as well as individual sub-phases. This will enable you to decrease case processing time significantly and enhance your firm’s case management capabilities.
One of the most important aspects of selecting a legal software solution is the ability to track deadlines. Case management software should enable you to manage critical dates, deadlines, and appointments in one calendar across your entire law firm. A cloud-based software solution should also give you the ability to view, edit, and allocate appointments to any user in the legal calendaring system.
With CloudLex, anyone can easily view critical dates for all cases; you can filter by case, attorney, paralegal, event (notice of claim, the statute of limitations, etc.), or time period (i.e., the next 15 or 30 days) so you can keep on top of everything across the entire firm.
Document Management and Storage
Any standard personal injury case will have hundreds of documents. Your case management system needs to include effective document storage – for all types of documents and needs to be set up to allow for effortless collaboration amongst your team as they collect and work on these documents in tandem, whether they’re working from home, the office, or the courthouse.
Our cloud-based solution enables attorneys to store an unlimited amount of case files in the Cloud (e.g., PDFs, Word documents, images, audio, and video files). Furthermore, you can name, categorize and label case files so that they can be found quickly and easily.
Management Reports & Dashboard
As a managing partner, you can’t be expected to know every little detail about what’s going on in your firm, but with the right case management software, you should be able to easily get a birds-eye view of all firm activity and single out any potential problems.
With CloudLex, you can benefit from numerous practice-level key performance indicators through customizable reports that give you the ability to analyze the data any way you desire. Our intuitive analysis chart also allows you to view your firm’s trend in new case openings, case closings, and referrals over the last 3, 6, or 12 months. Plus, you can see the total number of open cases, along with the number of open cases in each phase of litigation.
An important feature of any organization system is fully integrated communication methods; this includes email management, SMS, and MMS.
With CloudLex, you send your emails and texts to clients without having to leave the software, that way, all communication is saved in the case folder and includes any emails or texts anyone else on your team sends.
With text messages so easy to send from within the case file, it’s easier than ever to keep your clients in the loop; this, in turn, leads to higher client satisfaction and increased referrals.
Task Allocation and Tracking
Effective task organization is key for any personal injury attorney. Task monitoring allows you to view how your firm’s resources are currently being utilized using your legal practice management software. With case management software, the managing partner should be able to see tasks across the firm broken down by assignee, priority level, progress, and any obstacles that may get in the way of the completion of these tasks.
Legal case management software for a PI firm should include a settlement calculator for recording negotiations. This can be used to determine a reasonable settlement payment for one or more plaintiffs in personal injury cases. A settlement calculator automatically shows attorney recovery and plaintiff recovery for each offer and counteroffer. You can use the calculator to log each offer and track payment requests and expenses for each injury type.
Personal Injury Workflows
With workflows, you can automate repetitive tasks from within your legal case management software. For processes that remain consistent over time (e.g., opening a new MVA case), you can apply a workflow to reduce the amount of administrative effort. You’ll never have to assign these tasks individually again. Document automation will not only help speed up case processes; it will also make them less error-prone and easier to track.
Your legal case management software should be designed to work with applications that your firm already has in place. Cloud-based software should offer integrations with productivity apps (e.g., Google Apps, Microsoft Outlook, Dropbox, MS Exchange, OneDrive, and iCal) and automatically sync information in multiple places at one time.
Client Intake Management
As a personal injury lawyer, it’s important to ensure that you track all your leads. Effective case management software should provide your firm with the tools to track and convert potential leads from capture through to completion. You should be able to onboard a new client with an automated workflow, with leads able to upload all their information directly to your management software, from your office, or remotely. Comprehensive case management software should transfer intake details seamlessly from intake through to matter management once a lead is confirmed.
The right legal case management software should help you grow your firm by enabling you to receive referrals securely from partner firms and collaborate on these cases in real-time.
Working with your colleagues on a case can be a significant challenge, especially if you’re struggling with email attachments and conflicting versions of the same document. The correct case management system should allow you to co-author any Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files directly in the browser. This means that you and your team members can simultaneously edit the same document, saving you and your collaborators a lot of time and frustration.
Create, Edit, and Upload Documents
Your case management system should allow you to upload existing documents (e.g., Excel, Word, PowerPoint, PDF, etc.) directly to the software, either one by one or in bulk. From there, you should be able to edit, upload, make comments on, and share documents with your team members quickly and easily.
Access Files on the Go
One of the significant benefits of having cloud-based case management software is that you can access it anywhere. With cloud-based case management software, you should be able to open, edit, and save your office files while you’re on the go.
HIPAA-Compliant Storage and Archive
Proper archiving is a critical feature for personal injury law firms since they are required to store cases, including any correspondence, files, and calendar events, for up to 7 years. We recommend that you look for HIPAA/HITECH certified cloud vendors (e.g., Microsoft Azure) when searching for your legal case management software. With Azure backing, you get industry-leading security and proactive monitoring 24/7/365.
Once you have archived a case, you may need to be able to reference it in the future. An ideal legal case management software should enable you to find and retrieve an archived case with a click of a button, all without leaving your office.
You deliver a personalized experience for your clients, and your case management software should do the same for you. If your legal case management system is meant to streamline your operations and save you time, it should be set up from day one with your personal injury firm in mind. Reap the benefits of cloud-based case management software but be mindful of the many benefits of having a solution tailored specifically to your practice area.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is case management software?
Case management software is a tool that enables you to manage, store, and track legal cases and records (e.g., contacts, client intakes, documents, events, tasks, etc.) in one place. It helps you save time, money, and effort.
Does CloudLex integrate with Google Calendar and Outlook?
Yes. CloudLex automatically syncs your events, tasks, and appointments with your favorite calendar apps (e.g., Outlook and Google Calendar). Simply create or edit an event in one system, and it will appear in the other.
How much does case management software cost?
Case management software can differ exponentially in cost. CloudLex offers pay-as-you-go monthly subscriptions which are cash flow friendly and do not require an upfront payment. CloudLex’s case management packages start from $65/user/month, making it suitable for solo to small personal injury law firms. For specific pricing plans, visit our website.