Choosing the Right Case Management System
In today’s digital age, nearly every type and size of law firm needs to be using case management software. Trying to run a modern practice without it is just hopelessly inefficient and unwise. Choosing the right case management software system can be difficult, however. Firms that concentrate in a single or a small number of practice areas will want a system that is designed principally for those areas. The needs of larger firms, or those with more diverse practices, will be different. Similarly, the requirements and budgets of a solo practitioner or small firm will be markedly different from those of larger firms.
It is important for all law firms to select the system that best meets their particular needs. Here is a basic list of questions that all prospective case management system purchasers should be asking in order to make a reasoned buying decision. Along with these questions, I’ve also provided the appropriate responses on behalf of SmartAdvocate. We aren’t the answer for everyone. No system is. But we believe that we are the best choice for many firms.
Ask yourself the following questions to see if your firm would benefit from having SmartAdvocate.
What is your size of practice?
SmartAdvocate clients range in size from solo practitioners to firms with hundreds of users. While smaller firms appreciate the breadth and depth of features in SmartAdvocate, some prefer a simpler solution with fewer features. We’ve found that firms with ten users or more, or smaller firms with especially busy practices, get the most out of SmartAdvocate. And the more users at the firm, the more SmartAdvocate seems to be the right fit.
What types of law does your firm practice?
SmartAdvocate was originally designed by a national personal injury/mass tort firm for their own in-house use. The system is now being used by a range of litigation firms, including medical malpractice, social security disability and workers’ compensation practices. Defense firms, as well as plaintiffs’ firms are using SmartAdvocate.
What is the level of sophistication of users?
SmartAdvocate is loaded with features and reports. The more computer savvy the users, the more they get out of it. Even so, SmartAdvocate is intuitive and user friendly, so that less sophisticated users are still able to effectively utilize the system to be more productive and time efficient.
What other products do you want to interface/sync with?
We want SmartAdvocate to be the central hub through which all documents, tasks and records flow and are stored. That’s why we’ve built a host of integrations with other products. These include:
Deitz Court Reporting
Legal Intake Professionals
National Records Retrieval
court reporting/deposition transcripts
lead follow up and conversion
If you have a relationship with a different provider, our in-house team of developers can also build an integration with them for you. In addition, we have strategic partnerships with financing, IT, marketing and other companies, many of which offer discounts to SmartAdvocate clients.
Are firm partners cloud-adverse or do they want to take advantage of cloud-based hosting? Does your firm have the infrastructure to host and maintain a traditional premises-based (license) package and is this their preference?
SmartAdvocate is a server-based system. It is installed on your server and accessible anywhere you have an internet connection. For firms that prefer cloud-based, monthly subscription model, we will be introducing SmartAdvocate Cloud at the end of 2016.
What is the need for current mobility during the day?
The SmartAdvocate app for iPhone and iPad provides easy mobile access.
What are the accessibility requirements for the firm’s lawyers? Do they need to work from home or at other locations outside the office?
SmartAdvocate is fully accessible anywhere there is an internet connection. The same will be true for SmartAdvocate Cloud.
Is the system customizable?
SmartAdvocate is built to give users the ability to tailor the system to their individual needs. Its powerful document template generator is just one example. The ability to create user defined fields for case files is another. Reports can be customized with built-in filtering options. And if you need something that is not already in the system, our team of in-house developers can create it for you.
Can the product do everything that you want it to do?
We believe that SmartAdvocate is the most powerful legal case management software system you can get. We’ve built it to provide more features and capabilities than any of our competitors. When you speak to us, we’ll ask you a lot of questions about your practice and your firm, so we can point out features that will be of particular interest to you. You’ll also have ample opportunity to ask us questions. Our seasoned team of sales and support specialists will be able to help you determine if SmartAdvocate meets all your needs. Of course, we understand that every firm’s practice is different. If you need something that is isn’t in SmartAdvocate, we can create it for you.
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Let SmartAdvocate help your law firm get organized and practice more efficiently.