Frequently Asked Questions
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What is SmartAdvocate?
SmartAdvocate is an incredibly powerful, entirely web-based and fully integrated case management system used by a wide range of litigation firms. SmartAdvocate has continually had new software updates and new releases to make sure that all of our law firms can endure the challenges of today's fast-paced, highly competitive and tech demanding world and we do this so we can consistently provide a solution for our firms that will help increase our overall profitability and efficiency.
Can SmartAdvocate tie in with email like Microsoft Outlook?
Another great feature that we have is that emails can be sent both from SmartAdvocate and from Outlook. When we originally had started, everything was run through SmartAdvocate and we realized that obviously Outlook was a preference for many of our customers and so we added the Microsoft Outlook plug-in into our system. That allows attorneys to email using outlook and then all of the emails automatically attach to the appropriate case files within SmartAdvocate. If a paralegal gets an email with attachments they can actually save them directly to the documents page through the outlook plugin. That is great because having the emails attached to the cases within SmartAdvocate gives a firm a single source for all communications.
Does it also work with calendars like Microsoft Outlook?
Yes so similar to the email integration SmartAdvocates Outlook plugin also allows for statute of limitations and critical deadlines and appointments to be integrated into any of the staff's Outlook calendars. The staffs calendars can display events for a single case, individual or event. We also have some pre-formatted calendar reports as well as items like adjourned and cancelled appointments. We have a client birthday report which happened to be some of our firms biggest requests. We built SmartAdvocate to have that personalization. Attorneys like to be able to reach out with that personal touch for their clients. One of my favorite integrations is the 'Who Is Where Tomorrow'. That tool keeps track of everybody within the office. It sends an automated email to your inbox every morning that takes a calendar read of each employee and says this is where everybody's going to be. That is really one of the best integration features in SmartAdvocate.
Can you tell me about the automated workflows and procedures in the software?
One of SmartAdvocate's best features is the ability to automate a law firm's processes. Our exclusive work plans and automated procedures really ensure that each stage of every case can be handled in an appropriate and consistent way. The best way to describe SmartAdvocates work plans is that it's a checklist that can automate routine processes. That can then be streamlined through any operation of a firm. Work plans allow you to have everything in one place so that you can see all the items needed to complete a project. Teams will no longer need to spend time figuring out what needs to be done, who needs to do it and what is the next task. The automated procedures allow law firms to create repeating tasks, send automatic text messages and emails to clients, create multiple reminders or automatically generate documents. Each one of those being automatically triggered when events change within a case. A perfect example of this is when a law firm sends out a retainer to a client for a signature, automatic emails and text messages will be sent out until that e-signature is received. Once we get it back and it is received and a case status is changed within smart advocate then all the tasks get sent out so that everybody knows on the team what the next steps are. There is no thinking about it. Everyone involved gets their next trigger as to what they need to do. This type of automation really helps reduce labor, frees up top talent for things like essential research and investigation and it also eliminates the opportunity for risks and errors. And most importantly it saves time. I use SmartAdvocate for my CRM at work it's great! I send a lot of emails to the sales guys following up on payments for example so I just set up an auto email for that to save time and it looks like it comes directly from me.
How can this help with case tracking?
Work plans and automated procedures along with SmartAdvocates built-in reports and dashboards really allow a firm to track each step of the case's progression. It helps with outlining what has been accomplished, what needs to be done and what is outstanding. It also does keeps track of additional details that might be needed on a case for example, it can tell you when the last time a client has been contacted, it can keep a list of a clients current diagnosis or severity of the injuries and what also helps with cast tracking is the SmartAdvocate app. The app allows our clients to have access to all of their cases on the go. So if an attorney is in court or out of the office and let's just say they get a phone call asking for the status of a case or they want to access a document from the case, they can just open up the app from where ever they are and all the information is right at their fingertips. What is also really important in addition to the client side of case tracking is also the 'clients for our clients' case tracking. In the client portal, you can give access to your clients to provide things like instant access to case information, important documents, case calendars and notes to free up the firm's employees having to answer phone calls and talking to clients that have questions about their case. The clients can go right into the portal and they can actually see it all for themselves. This insures that all people involved in the case have all the key information through the entire process.
Does SmartAdvocate have document management functions?
Our document management capabilities are one of the most robust features within our system. SmartAdvocate lets our customers easily create document templates from their current Word, Excel or PDF forms. Once those templates are created SmartAdvocate can begin to automatically insert information from cases right into those documents from over 2500 standard and custom merge codes. Within our systems clients can also organize documents using custom folders, search for documents using category's and subcategory's, to and from dates, descriptions, comments and all those types of things. Documents can be sent out for review or approval and even automatically sent to collect e-signatures. These templates can also be copied from case to case so if you have a whole bunch of documents that you created for one case and you realize they'll be great for next you can actually just move them from one to the other to save yourself time. All of the documents can also be exported from the case to build a case package. One of the best document management functions in the SmartAdvocate case management system is barcoding which can be printed up and added into all the documents before scanning so that each of the documents can be placed within the appropriate case file.
Can SmartAdvocate integrate with other software programs?
SmartAdvocate's dedication to integrations with third-party programs has really set the stage for our clients productivity and ease of use. We work with numerous software and service providers to deliver seamless integration with different types of software like accounting, intake, chat functionality, texting, e-signature, phone systems, court docket and reporting, medical record retrieval, lean negotiations and many more. We currently offer more than 100 different integrations already with more being added based on our clients feedback and demand. We are currently adding about one or two every quarter. SmartAdvocate can also custom create integrations so if we have a client that comes to us looking to move to us and they have programs that they already have in place, we will meet with those parties and we will look to see how we can integrate them into their system too.
How much will the SmartAdvocate legal management software cost me?
So we have two different options with SmartAdvocate. One is for a firm that already has or chooses to invest in its own servers for that there is a simple upfront one-time software license purchase and the customer then owns the software. The second option is offered as a monthly per user subscription fee which is a more cost effective choice for a smaller to mid-sized firm.
Is the information entered into SmartAdvocate private and confidential?
Yes, all the information within smart advocate is private and confidential and can only be accessed by the employees within the firm. Our cloud-based option has bank caliber security on all of our clients data and it is monitored by our IT professionals. We also have https security so that any data is encrypted before sending. We also have just added two-factor authentication so that if a firm decides they want more security they can add that onto their system also.
Do you offer a demo?
Our case management system has so many ways to get a firm running more efficiently and effectively and because SmartAdvocate is completely customizable a demonstration is really the best way to see all the features and functionalities that we have to offer. It is one thing to hear we talk about automated procedures or work plans things like the case wizard or the integrations but to see it live in a demonstration is truly what wows our potential clients. It is in the demos that clients really begin to understand how SmartAdvocate can actually unlock their full potential and that is why we offer a no obligation, no risk demonstration for anybody that is interested in learning more about our case management solution.