That being said, every legal organisation must find new ways to be efficient in order to control overhead costs or it will not be profitable for the partners wh...
That being said, every legal organisation must find new ways to be efficient in order to control overhead costs or it will not be profitable for the partners who own shares in the practice. We wrote this piece to make a case for updating a practice management system (PMS), especially for readers who work as legal practice managers and experienced lawyers who feel frustrated with their office's current documentation system.
It helps to look at any legal practice as consisting of layers of workers. First, there are the older lawyers who created the culture of the firm and the veteran administrative support staff who know how they like to handle cases. Next, there are the younger lawyers who must learn the culture of the firm. Finally, there are the newest administrative staffers. Their wants and needs are secondary to the people who control the firm. All of these individuals have differing perspectives on the need for a new practice management system (PMS), but they might agree on the fact that the existing document management system (DMS) leaves much to be desired. We propose a change to a new system that includes state-of-the-art document management capabilities as well as more efficient ways of managing tasks such as case creation, case note-taking, matter management, and case billing/accounting. With our product, a law firm, regardless of size, can get a whole new system and replace its legacy systems that may be left over from the 1980s, 1990s, or 2000s. Even if your legacy system has some upgrades, all parts may not be as efficient as a PMS with full integration of all components.
Let's take a look at how these different groups are going to resist moving to a new PMS even though they all want a better system.
These veterans are often attached to legacy systems because they know how to use them. These dinosaur systems were around when they were young. They may be inclined to engage in training for a new system, but only if there is a way to do it without too much pain. They may be happy to add only a new DMS while performing other legal tasks the old way. They don't have time to stop and think about how time-consuming their older systems are, even with a few enhancements that they adapted to over the years.
These people helped to build the practice from the ground up. They can explain to you the history of every office procedure. They have suggested changes from time to time, but they are very efficient with their legacy system. They know that the practice should go paperless but may fear the transition to something more than upgraded data storage.
They don't hold the clout in the practice, but they sure can adapt to new technologies faster. Some are digital natives. When administrative support staff are thinned out to reduce costs, these youngsters must perform more repetitive legal tasks. If they need to work faster to bill for their tasks, they won't be hard to convince about the need for a comprehensive PMS.
These individuals get schooled every day on why business operations are the way they are. They will find it hard to change the status quo. They tend to be the most frustrated with legacy systems. These newbies are ripe for change.
Practice Managers should make a case for how all lawyers and legal support personnel can be more efficient with a new PMS that has scalable document management features. The larger the firm gets, the more features of a new PMS can be added to the mix. Let us explain how the change process will work in your particular law firm and improve efficiency across all generations.