Attorneys and their staff have plenty of decisions to make on a regular basis.
From case management to accounting needs, a law firm has to know that they have the best law practice management solutions to help them navigate the challenges associated with running a successful law firm while also making sure that the decisions they make are going to benefit their clients, their staff and their financial bottom line.
- Cloud based software has been in existence for many years, but legal professionals have been hesitant to adopt it for a variety of reasons.
- Finding cloud based software that will work with many of your current practice management systems is going to be important for keeping your costs low and your staff morale high.
- Knowing some of the biggest benefits of cloud based legal software will help you decide if your firm is ready to migrate to the cloud.
One of the big decisions facing many law firms today is whether or not their practice can benefit from moving their matter management to a cloud based practice management system.
Cloud based practice management software has been in existence for a while now, but attorneys and their staff have been some of the most reluctant professionals to adopt it as a viable alternative to utilizing on-site practice management software.
If you are currently evaluating practice management software for your law firm, your practice may have experienced this.
From partners to staff members, oftentimes the individuals working in a legal practice are unexcited about (and even downright hesitant) about moving any of their document management, contact management or accounting needs to the cloud.
Some worry that the cost is going to be prohibitive, and that there will be hidden costs down the road. Others worry about security concerns and downtime for training and getting everyone on the staff up to speed.
Still others feel that it will give them less control over legal files and documents that had previously been held on office desktops, laptops, or even in dusty old filing cabinets!
But whatever the reasons, cloud based software is something that all law firms should consider as an easy and effective way to manage the constant flow of information that is part of all modern law firms today.
Let’s define what it means for a firm’s legal practice management software to truly be based in the cloud and then outline some of the specific benefits cloud technology can bring to your legal practice.
What is Cloud Based Legal Practice Management Software?
Anyone who has been around technology for the last few decades has certainly heard of “the cloud.”
But what it means and how to use it remains a mystery to many of us.
Cloud based software has actually been around for decades, but only became more mainstream within the last few years, particularly after the worldwide pandemic accelerated the use of the internet for working remotely.
Cloud-based software – or cloud applications – are types of application software that are hosted (and held) in the cloud, rather than on individual computers or electronic devices.
These types of software applications or programs are then stored, managed and made available to users through the cloud. In order to access these programs or applications a user needs to have internet access but can then use the specific software program on any device at any location they wish.
As more industries and individuals move to using cloud based software, the technological advances in the system continues to constantly improve and the cloud has become a crucial part of many businesses’ success.
In fact, some of the latest statistics surrounding the cloud in businesses today are as follows:
- 94% of enterprises use cloud services.
- 67% of enterprise infrastructure is now cloud-based.
- 92% of businesses have a multi-cloud strategy in place or in the works.
- The global cloud computing industry has a market size of $480.04 billion, as of 2022.
- The U.S. public cloud market is projected to reach $206.1 billion by the end of 2022.
Clearly, plenty of industries have already moved certain parts of their operations to a cloud based solution. Let’s learn how the cloud is already benefiting the practice of law as well.
The 3 Main Benefits of Adopting Cloud Based Legal Practice Management Systems into Your Law Firm
Knowing that many of your peers are probably already using various types of cloud based software within their law firm is one thing.
Understanding how it’s going to benefit your practice is another.
1. Cloud Based Legal Practice Software Will Help Recruit the Best People
Many people say (and believe!) that an organization is only as good as the people it hires.
For those of us in the legal profession, this definitely rings true. In fact, most legal practices would probably tell you that the people they employ are the most valuable asset they have.
And the size of the firm does not seem to make a difference in the importance of the people. From small firms who are trying to operate with minimal staff to larger firms that have the need for more hands on deck, attracting the best legal professionals is a crucial part of a law firm’s success.
Not only that, but retaining those individuals is just as important as well. Training staff can cost valuable resources and keeping the best employees for long periods of time has always been a priority for law firms everywhere.
One of the biggest shifts that has happened in recent years is the ability for staff members to work remotely from any location. Whether it’s a young lawyer that you just hired or a seasoned worker who is a mom of three, many law firm employees have spent a good deal of the past few years conducting their studies and their work online and using all sorts of different devices to be able to do so.
These attorneys and staff members expect to be able to access their work and information systems as needed and from any Wi-Fi enabled device.
The concept of having to use a designated computer with special software installed on it has become as alien to the younger generation as it has for many who have been in the workforce for years.
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By being able to give your attorneys and your support staff the ability to be able to work flexible hours or in various places is going to be a big plus to your modern day law firm.
Whether it’s an attorney working on case management or a front staff person catching up on administrative tasks, the endless opportunities that cloud based software will create for your law team will be hard to fathom until you make the switch.
Younger legal professionals want to work for progressive firms that have up-to-date technology. Older staff members want the flexibility to work from home if a child is sick or the weather is poor.
By offering cloud based practice management software legal systems to your staff, you are increasing the overall morale of your office and hopefully staying competitive when it comes time to recruit new talent.
2. Cloud Based Legal Practice Software Will Bring Down Your Costs
Another important benefit of implementing law practice management software into your law practice is the cost savings it will create.
Anyone who has purchased an all-in-one traditional law practice management software system knows how quickly the costs of such a service can add up. Not only that, but oftentimes there are hidden costs – such as extra licensing fees, additional charges for tech support, and monthly add ons – that can be frustrating to absorb, especially when they weren’t explained ahead of time.
Most cloud-based legal software solutions typically offer relatively low monthly costs and the fees are almost always known in advance.
In addition to that, since your law firm won’t have to make the initial investment in the traditional legal practice management software or pay for the installation, most law firms will find that the upfront cost of cloud based management software is very reasonable.
Another cost savings is that your firm also won’t have to purchase office-based servers (since all document management and task management will be held on the cloud), cooling equipment, or electricity to keep them running.
Once your cloud based system is fully implemented, the efficiency your staff will gain and time they will save is going to immediately be felt by everyone in your practice.
3. Cloud Based Legal Practice Software is Highly Compatible with Practice Software You’re Already Using
This is one of the best perks for most small to mid-sized law firms that are considering migrating their practice management software systems and all their data to now living on the cloud.
For most law professionals, spending a decent part of the day working in Microsoft 365 is pretty common.
From regularly checking the calendar to managing client communication through email, it is hard to imagine a day in the life of a legal professional where Microsoft 365 is not being used.
Because of this, any legal practice management systems that you adopt should be able to easily integrate with both Microsoft Office and Microsoft Outlook so that everything you do is synched across all systems.
And here’s more good news…remember those older legal practice management software systems that were constantly trying to get you to adopt software that you didn’t need?
Once you’ve implemented a cloud based software system in your law practice, those all-in-one practice management systems will no longer be needed, since using platforms like Microsoft 365 for all your client communication and calendar setting will be easier than ever.
Not only that, but law firms that choose legal accounting software like LeanLaw will continue to see the benefit of how cloud based software systems can work in tandem with a firm’s existing platforms.
LeanLaw is legal accounting software that is built right on top of QuickBooks Online. This means that – as with Microsoft 365 – the firm can continue to experience a seamlessly integrated, complete financial solution that will continue to reduce overhead and find workflow efficiencies.
Moving to a cloud based solution for your law firm will allow you to continue to utilize many of the systems that are already in place within your practice…which is going to be a great cost benefit to your firm as well as a huge relief to your hard-working staff.
Are You Interested in Learning More About LeanLaw?
LeanLaw is a cloud based legal accounting software system that was designed by legal professionals for legal professionals.
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The experts at LeanLaw know that your time is valuable and that your staff doesn’t want to spend hours reinventing something when what they are already doing is oftentimes working pretty well.
When you reach out to request a demo, we will help familiarize you with more details about how LeanLaw can work with you to create a customized cloud based accounting software system that will mesh perfectly with software your staff is already familiar with.
LeanLaw will empower every team member to track, invoice and report billable time, collaborate efficiently from anywhere, and streamline billing to maximize profitability…all while keeping everyone in sync and doing their best work possible.
Ask for that free demo and let us get you started down the LeanLaw path today.