How to Purchase the Best Software for your PI Law Firm

There are many options out there when it comes to choosing software for your law firm. It can often feel overwhelming, and you aren’t sure which metrics are the most important and which software will help you grow your firm.

A workman is only as good as his tools.

A PI firm, similarly, is only as good as its software. It affects everything you do in your firm. From the speed your intake team can onboard a new client, to the efficiency your paralegals and lawyers can achieve whilst building a case, to your ability to oversee your firm, to the analysis of which marketing efforts are working for you. Put bluntly, it’s incredibly important, and when choosing which software is right for you, you need to get it right. That’s where we come in. In this E-book, we explore the different software options for PI firms; we will point out the essential metrics to use when comparing software and give you the critical questions you need to be asking.

Chapter 1

A workman is only as good as his tools.

And talk to The Cloud, you must. When choosing software for your firm, the first choice is to decide whether you are going to host it in your office or use a cloud-based system. There is only one right answer. The Cloud.

The Cloud is better than a self-hosted system in a number of ways, and we will go into some of them in more detail in later chapters, but here’s an overview of the main differences between a Cloud-based and self-hosted system:

CloudLex and cloud-based systems
  • Secure servers hosted by Microsoft. Space, equipment, and IT team costs are met by Microsoft, not you.
  • Significantly lower costs. No expensive hardware. Pay for what you need only.
  • Significantly less time and costs associated with setup.
  • Data backups across many locations= more security from breaches, acts of God, environmental factors, etc.
  • 24/7/365 proactive security monitoring performed by cybersecurity experts.
  • Scale up or down as your organization requires to meet your unique demands. It works on Pay-as-you-Grow model.
  • Anytime, anywhere, immediate access across multi-devices and platforms, leading to greater efficiency in collaboration and tracking.
Self-hosted legacy systems
  • The actual server and networking equipment are pricey.
  • You’ll have to fund server software and software for each PC, including antivirus and security software.
  • IT support-including ongoing support for daily issues, as well as more significant issues like hacks, accidents, lost laptops, etc., will all have to be funded by your firm.
  • Server replacement: The “useful life” of your server is about 3-5 years, and replacement costs need to be taken into consideration.
  • Security personnel to watch over the physical premises 24/7/365.
  • Costly to scale up if new staff or offices are added to the firm.
  • Access to data is restricted and often not available across multiple devices or platforms.

As you can see, in the modern world we live in now, there’s no reason to take a backwards technological step with your firm’s software and use a self-hosted system. The Legal Cloud is the option that is easiest, cheapest, most-efficient, and will help you to grow your firm too!

Chapter 2

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.

As with all industries, there are inferior versions of cloud-based software. Including some that aren’t even genuinely cloud-based. Now you’ve decided that a cloud-based software is the right choice for you, it’s essential that you do your research to choose a cloud-based solution that will really give you all the benefits of the real Cloud.

Just because a solution is “hosted by your vendor” doesn’t make it a true cloud-based software solution. Nor does paying a monthly fee to your vendor make it a true “SaaS” (Software As A Service) solution.

Real Legal Cloud solutions are built on the latest, most-sophisticated web technologies from the ground-up. Meaning, the application is conceived, conceptualized, designed, and developed as a cloud application right from the start.

The “cloud” cannot be retrofitted to legacy hosted solutions developed decades ago. Although many try (these are some of the inferior software we are talking about).

Simply put, a real legal cloud solution is designed in a way that gives you the reliability, security, scalability, availability, and usability that outdated practice management solutions can never provide.

When looking for your personal injury cloud-based case management system, ask vendors these questions:

  • To test their application’s security, ask them if they can ensure HIPAA compliant application and data security?
  • When was the last time they conducted proactive vulnerability tests for their application?
  • To test their solution’s scalability, ask if they can set up 500 users as seamlessly as they can set up five users? If it is a repackaged legacy product, the answer will be “no” or “it will take additional time.
  • To determine the real cost of their system and root out any hidden fees, ask them if you will need to add additional servers, databases, and software licenses or if you will incur additional maintenance and manpower costs as you grow? If it is a repackaged outdated solution, you will incur additional costs (beyond the standard per-user fees) as you grow.
  • Ask if they can ensure 99.99% uptime?

Chapter 3

Location, location, location…

The venue matters! Wouldn’t you agree? As a personal injury attorney, you realize the importance of the venue. Well, in the case of cloud solutions, the “cloud hosting venue” is a significant factor when choosing your new software. There are five major Cloud Infrastructure Providers:

  1. Amazon (Amazon Web Services)
  2. Microsoft (Microsoft Azure)
  3. Google
  4. IBM
  5. Salesforce.com

These providers have invested billions in creating state-of-the-art server farms across the globe. A typical data center for these providers:-
-Runs hundreds of thousands of servers,
-It is as large as ten football fields,
-Uses as much electricity as a small town.

This is not something any office-based software can keep up with! Nor can any smaller legacy-hosted systems.

These providers have compiled a huge array of cloud hosting services and platforms supported by their immense resources.

To discover where a potential solution provider is hosted, ask them:

  • When was the last time they conducted proactive vulnerability tests for their application?
  • Do they have “geo-redundancy”? Meaning if one data center goes down, then other centers located in different locations automatically kick in.
  • How do they back up your data?
  • How do they manage ongoing maintenance, monitoring, and upgrades?

Simply put, if a provider is not using one of these top 5 infrastructures, then stop considering them as an option. They will not be able to provide anywhere near the same functionalities, security, geo-redundancy, and support as a system hosted on the big 5.

Chapter 4

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and a few minutes of cyber-incident to ruin it.” ~ Stephane Nappo

Mature cloud providers like Microsoft/Amazon have designed their platforms with robust security features that have become the industry standard. Their data centers across the globe undergo continuous monitoring, regular security check-ups, and frequent updates.

Mature cloud providers like Microsoft/Amazon have designed their platforms with robust security features that have become the industry standard. Their data centers across the globe undergo continuous monitoring, regular security check-ups, and frequent updates.

Their ongoing monitoring program not only ensures high performance but also ensures the security of your data. Unlike small data centers, leading cloud service vendors like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services employ a team of experts to monitor their data centers 24/7/365 to assure seamless cloud connectivity for all their clients, regardless of size.

Their ongoing monitoring program not only ensures high performance but also ensures the security of your data. Unlike small data centers, leading cloud service vendors like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services employ a team of experts to monitor their data centers 24/7/365 to assure seamless cloud connectivity for all their clients, regardless of size.

Chapter 5

Would you refer a “med-mal” case to your “immigration attorney” colleague? The answer, of course, is an emphatic “No”.

Personal injury is a specialized practice area of law that requires unique skills, expertise, and experience. So is the field of technology development. Developing legal cloud solutions requires a team of expert technology professionals, including cybersecurity experts, software engineers, designers, architects, and systems experts.

If you really want cutting-edge legal cloud software, then go to expert software engineers who truly know both the personal injury space and cloud technology, not to a lawyer who develops software while running his practice.

If you really want cutting-edge legal cloud software, then go to expert software engineers who truly know both the personal injury space and cloud technology, not to a lawyer who develops software while running his practice.

Ask your solution provider these questions to determine their expertise:

  • What is the background of their founders and their key legal experts and technology experts?
  • How big is their software engineering team? How many architects, product managers, lead engineers, database engineers,
  • front-end developers, back-end developers, cybersecurity professionals, etc.?
  • front-end developers, back-end developers, cybersecurity professionals, etc.?
  • How many years of experience do they have developing software technology, specifically cloud technology and legal industry technology?
  • Do they have any Silicon Valley venture capital funding?
  • Do they have any official associations with tech giants like Microsoft?

The bottom line is, you need to be a full-fledged software development firm, with sophisticated resources, software development skills, high-tech expertise, and experience to be a cloud-based solution provider. You need a reliable and robust organization with teams of development engineers, testers, architects, designers, analysts, and support engineers who develop and maintain the product day in and day out. In addition, you need an organization that employs lawyers to bring subject matter expertise to every step of the design process. This is an area where an association with technology giants like Microsoft, the involvement of sophisticated Silicon Valley venture capital firms, and teams with advanced, sophisticated pedigrees really do matter!


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