Making Sense of Doing Legal Documents Online
We see a lot of frustration from our law firm clients who want to do legal documents online. Nobody likes spending administrative time on technical issues, so we’ve cleared up some white noise to help you make that decision.
Doing your firm’s legal documents online means you’re creating a Legal Management System (LMS). The way you design it depends on the size of your firm, budget, and applications that you currently use.
Prevent "I Bought Something That Doesn't Work!"
Our goal is to help you determine why you might be struggling with your current practice management solutions, so you can decide what makes sense to consolidate.
The majority of legal software issues we see don’t come from improperly designed apps, but rather from applications not playing nicely with each other. Your goal is to choose apps that meet your needs AND integrate seamlessly with your current IT environment.
Common Software Integrations to Watch Out For
The most common applications to integrate with your online legal documents management system are online data storage (ShareSync, Google Drive, SharePoint, One Drive, etc.) and online billing (QuickBooks, Xero, Zoho, Wave). You might also integrate your email, calendars, and the firm’s CRM (Customer Relationship Manager).
Write down the name of any business applications you have in these categories. Your first priority in finding software to do legal documents online is to find a management tool that integrates with your other business applications.
This list of applications will be your baseline – at a bare minimum the legal management software should integrate with these applications. This requirement is followed by your budget and convenience needs.
Base IT Systems Questions
- What do you use for email?
- What do you use for cloud data storage?
- Do you have any special compliance needs?
- How do you handle accounting?
- Do you have a CRM?
Defining Your Needs
Some firms try to consolidate as many functions as possible with one application; others may integrate several applications with separate use-cases. There’s no right way to do it, so it’s important to understand why you’re interested in something different.
Is simplicity your goal? Are you reducing clutter? Maybe your firm is growing, and you anticipate growing pains; maybe your firm focuses on a specific niche that requires additional resources. These are the questions you need to ask yourself before moving forward.
Shopping for a Legal Management System is a lot like picking out a Swiss Army Knife. One model may have every tool you need, but the blades dull quickly. Another could have a high-quality trench knife but no scissors attachment.
Now that you’ve organized the tools that you use, consider involving a trusted Legal IT professional like a TechNoir IT advisor that can help you determine whether an application will fit your use-case by trialing it. Having our experts help you focus on the software that will work with your business can streamline the process and get you back on focusing on running your business.