Tips for Implementing Legal Practice Management Software
Driven by market demand for efficiency and cost savings, the largely traditional legal industry is increasingly adopting legal technology to improve processes. Implementing law practice management (LPM) software can help law firms minimize administrative tasks and spend more time practicing law and meeting client demand.
There are many moving parts to adopting new software and processes in a law firm. Once you’ve done your research and found viable options, it’s essential to get staff on board with the new law practice management platform. Without sufficient onboarding and training, law firms won’t get the full return on investment or leverage the features to run their practice as efficiently as possible.
Although introducing any new software comes with an adjustment period, with the right practice management provider, the right resources and training, your practice can start using any system in no time. of time. Here are some tips to make the process easier for your whole team.
Present the benefits to your staff
The first step to successfully implementing law practice management software is to involve all staff. Even casual users should be involved in the training so that they know how to use the software according to the situation. When lawyers and staff understand the value of legal technology and its benefits, they are more likely to commit to learning and understanding it.
Clarifying current inefficiencies that the software aims to address shows law firm staff how their jobs become easier after the training process. You can provide concrete examples of pain points that impact specific members or departments to drive buy-in. For example, if your business struggles with document management, you can show how a cloud-based LPM securely stores all documents in one place and can be accessed from anywhere. Documents can be linked to a specific topic or contact, giving you quick access to a document while working under this screen.
Plan the training process
As intuitive as it is, there will be obstacles along the way that can lead to delays or frustration among staff. Your law firm needs to prepare and communicate with clients about potential changes and delays that could affect them. This is where an LPM vendor can support your law firm through the onboarding process.
Law firms also need to have a clear idea of the problems they are looking to solve and the goals they want to achieve with the software. Law practice management software is simply a resource for improving workflow and efficiency, but it cannot do it alone.
Training should never be a one-time event. As staff members acquire skills and navigate the features, they will need to practice them to become familiar with the platform. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time – just 10 or 15 minute training sessions with what-if scenarios can develop the skills needed to use the software regularly.
Most importantly, what-if scenarios and practice sessions allow staff to make mistakes and learn from them without compromising important cases or hampering the business process. They won’t be nervous to experiment and learn with low stakes.
Incorporate training sessions into weekly or quarterly meetings. You can even host a lunch and learn session or offer an incentive to participate. Generating morale (and rewards) around training will make it feel less like work.
Use vendor resources
Law firm management software vendors should provide resources and training to law firm employees.
Give and receive feedback
An open communication channel is needed to empower staff and ensure the platform is right for the business. Leaders can give feedback on progress, but it’s important that staff can also share their concerns or limitations with the software. The platform will not be beneficial if staff are not comfortable using it, so feedback is an opportunity for law firms to evaluate their various software options.
However, feedback sessions must be structured. Examples might include meetings to discuss progress, a dedicated email to submit feedback and questions, or a platform-specific digital suggestion box.
Hire Law Practice Management Consultants
Legal technology consultants with certification in law practice management software are available to assist firms with the onboarding and training process. These consultants can help law firms with migration, implementation, and customization to ensure the software is used to its fullest.
Typically, legal consultants begin by understanding business needs and developing a strategy to implement new technology with minimal friction. If the training process is overwhelming or difficult, having a consultant can help companies save time, money, frustration, and downtime.
Systematize the implementation process
Whether a law firm conducts training itself or hires a consultant, the process should be systematized for future training. The software is constantly being updated with new features and capabilities that will require training to learn, and new hires will need to be trained on the software as part of their onboarding.
With the systems in place, leaders and staff can prioritize processes, time and budget to improve or execute new ideas and improve both people and the value of technology in the business.
As staff and attorneys learn the software, they will realize small gains. All of these wins should be celebrated across the company to instill the value of technology and drive engagement.
For example, law firms can send out firm-wide emails to showcase the positive results staff have seen since implementing the new platform. Whether a process has been created or a staff member has noticed a reduction in time spent on tasks that used to take hours should be cause for celebration.
Engage in continuous learning
Law Practice Management is constantly evolving with product updates, webinars and training materials continuing long after the initial implementation. These updates are important for attorneys and staff to take advantage of the new features and learn how they can positively impact their daily work.
Implementing new legal technologies can be overwhelming for law firm staff, but once the tangible benefits are realized, staff can appreciate the time spent on training.