Curious About Legal Case Management Software for your Firm,
or Looking to Make a Switch?
There are lots of reasons why our clients pick SmartAdvocate over any other choice.
Let’s Get Competitive
Before you commit to your shortlist, here are some questions to ask yourself about the “other guys”.
Does their legal Case Management System (CMS) depend upon 3rd party products that incur extra monthly costs to you for Case Intake, Dashboards and Reports, and Document Management?
SmartAdvocate has a fully integrated New Case Wizard included, while many others integrate with 3rd party products, charging additional fees and monthly costs. Ours runs an automatic conflict-of-interest check and cross-references data from prior intakes from that client, which saves time inputting data. SmartAdvocate also includes 60+ Dashboards and Reports, a customizable Dashboard and Report Builder, plus it gives you the ability to subscribe to reports and have them emailed to you on the schedule that you set.
Does their legal CMS allow you to automate WorkPlans and Automated Procedures based on the workflow in your firm?
Automation increases efficiency and minimizes the opportunity for error. SmartAdvocate’s exclusive WorkPlans and Automated Procedures module saves time and ensures that your cases are consistently handled in the exact manner that you wish, based on the case type, case status, staff assigned, referral source, and more.
Does their legal CMS have a Client Portal?
SmartAdvocate’s Client Portal provides clients instant access to view specific information about their case. This includes documents, case calendar, notes, and more – freeing up staff time for other responsibilities. Clients can also upload documents to their case, which provides an easy way to communicate with their attorney. Your firm maintains complete control over what the client can see and receive on the Portal.
What about apps? Does the legal CMS have apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android?
This is important: There is a big difference between being able to access your CMS through the Internet versus having an actual app on your smartphone or tablet, specifically designed for ease of use while on the go. Our iOS and Android apps provide access to your case information on your phone or tablet from virtually anywhere. Send a text or email, view documents, view the calendar, add appointments, and much more.
Can their legal CMS send customized bulk emails and text messages to multiple clients and have copies filed in the respective client’s case files, automatically?
With our Mass Communication capabilities, firms can choose the contact type as the recipient of mass email and text, including but not limited to clients, such as attorneys, judges, etc. Plus, there is an option to attach documents from a case to mass-generated emails. Each email and/or text message is customized with the recipient’s name, and a copy is automatically saved in their SmartAdvocate case file.
Does the legal CMS have an integrated document scanning and filing system - at no additional cost?
Our CMS has a barcoding system that is built right in, and you can easily manage it within your firm - at no extra charge. No need to send your mail to a PO Box to be scanned offsite for an additional monthly cost.
Commitments…commitments: Your comfort level is important when it comes to the contract. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you sign on the dotted line.
Does the annual billing contract date start the day you sign a contract?
With us, your “clock” doesn’t start ticking until you are live with SmartAdvocate. Others begin your clock on day one, even if it takes six months, or more to go live.
Are you forced into a multi-year commitment?
We work with you to decide your level of commitment and never trap a firm into a multi-year, long-term contract.
With licenses, is there an option to purchase and run the legal CMS on your own dedicated hardware?
Award-winning SmartAdvocate is available in both Cloud and Server based versions. If you purchase our server version, you own the software and run it from your own office. Backups and maintenance are handled by you and your IT personnel.
If you purchase SmartAdvocate Cloud, it is a hosted version that provides the ease and affordability of the cloud, while still providing the depth and sophistication that make SmartAdvocate the best. You avoid the trouble and expense of purchasing and maintaining a server.
If you are a SmartAdvocate server client, and decide that you would like to change to the cloud, we can do that, and vice versa - the choice is always yours.
Implementation: Complicated? Yes…But so worth it! Data integrity is important, so no shortcuts are allowed.
Have you been told that your new legal CMS conversion would be up and running in just a few weeks?
If yes, this is a red flag! It means the data is being thrown into the new system and not being looked at by anyone, which is just a data migration dump. There is a saying in the industry “garbage in, garbage out”, which means incorrect or poor-quality input will produce faulty output. Good data migration takes work! The SmartAdvocate Implementation Team knows the value of excellent data migration, and are dedicated to getting it right. We provide a true data conversion, which is the process of transferring the data from one system to another and mapping fields to capture all data, which maintains your data integrity.
Are you being forced to hire additional technical staff, like software administrators, legal CMS vendors, and/or 3rd parties to manage the conversion and train your staff?
SmartAdvocate does all of the conversion, training, and administrative functions for you, and with you. We don’t force you to hire someone from another company to learn how to use our system. We hold your hand every step of the way.
Did you ask what type of conversion it is, and how many changes/iterations are you allowed to make before going live?
Free is not always better. Find out if your data conversion is only just a spreadsheet import (like some vendors do), or full data conversion, field by field including user-defined fields, from backup. There is a big difference and will matter big time once you start using the system.
How many conversions from your legacy system have the vendor or 3rd party done before?
Every conversion is different. Law firms use their systems differently and create their own custom fields that require data conversion. It is very important that the new vendor you choose has done these conversions before. At SmartAdvocate, we pride ourselves in offering the best data conversion in the industry.
If you decide to leave your legal CMS, will you be able to get full access to all of your data, or will your data will be held hostage?
Read the fine print… many legal CMS systems hold your data hostage if you try to leave – or they charge you an astronomical amount to get your own data out of the system.
Training and Updates: That’s a given, isn’t it? Maybe not.
You don’t want to be the proud owner of a new legal CMS without feeling confident in knowing how to use it.
Is your legal CMS providing you with adequate training or do you have to hire outside resources to get your staff up and running?
SmartAdvocate clients go through a Learning Management System (LMS) before the first live training session. This ensures they have familiarity with SmartAdvocate before the formal training even starts. After attending an Introductory training class, our clients will have a working knowledge of SmartAdvocate and how to effectively use many of its features - with a thirst for more! And we give it to them with our Intermediate and Advanced level classes. SmartAdvocate also provides ongoing training once you are live with Tip of the Week emails, webinars, and Q&A sessions, all included in your service contract or subscription. You can also request topics for us to include in these weekly updates.
Is the legal CMS updated with a significant number of enhancements every year or is it dead in the water?
Dead in the Water means that something has no forward motion or chance for advancement - it simply is what it is, but SmartAdvocate’s Head of Training likes to tell clients that the learning never stops! SmartAdvocate is constantly being improved, with thousands of new features added every single year. Plus, with webinars, workshops, and Q&As for clients to learn about these enhancements, users of SmartAdvocate never feel uneducated about their legal CMS.
Get started today
Let SmartAdvocate help your law firm get organized and practice more efficiently.