Dull moments are few and far between in a criminal law practice, which can leave firm lawyers trying to balance the practice of law with an overwhelming amount of billing and matter management duties. The result is an office overrun with paperwork, ineffective software, and antiquated processes.
When criminal defense attorneys spend too many hours on non-billable tasks, it takes away from the firm’s potential for greater profitability. But with the right tools in place, criminal defense practices can efficiently manage matters and quickly handle invoicing in far fewer hours, saving valuable time for more profitable tasks.
Matter Management Tools
Legal practice management software is not a new invention, but many small firms and solo attorneys have been slow to implement these tools. Using cloud-based technology, these platforms provide criminal lawyers with innovative features that streamline the organization and access of law firm data. Case files can go from messy piles on the corner of a desk to an orderly paperless system as firms better manage business operations and a variety of workflows, including:
- Case Management – The best criminal case management software helps law firms stay organized with quick and easy access to needed client matters. A comprehensive dashboard conveniently exhibits relevant case information helping to minimize the amount of time spent on nonbillable tasks. A case management system optimizes the workflow of a criminal practice so firm attorneys can focus on the billable tasks of providing legal services.
- Calendaring – With legal practice management software in place, firm leaders can easily delegate tasks and manage firm calendars. To-do lists and important deadlines are maintained in a central location for use and review by individual firm members as well as the overall firm. Some options even include workflow tools to help keep members working efficiently. With task management, firms can create workflow templates at the start of a matter. The system automatically utilizes that data to establish calendar entries, tasks, and deadlines for the firm’s most common cases.
- Client Communication – Criminal law attorneys have a duty to keep clients informed about work completed on their matters. A failure to do so can lead to client dissatisfaction, bar sanctions, and accusations of malpractice. But with so much happening on any given day, it can be difficult to keep up with client communications on a regular basis. Many practice management software options include features that help attorneys with secure client communications. Tools such as client portals provide a convenient method for updating clients and keeping track of communications. They save attorneys time by alleviating hours spent drafting long emails or playing phone tag. Contact management is another critical aspect of client communication. This practical feature allows firm members to store, manage, and track all interactions between the firm and the client in a centralized location.
- Case Tracking – Some practice management software includes case status tracking which helps firms manage progress on individual matters, as well as the firm’s total caseload. This tool saves time with real-time monitoring for quick identification of inefficiencies before they become serious problems.
- Document Management – Document management gives criminal law firms a cloud-based system for the organization and secure access to files and documents. This feature may also include collaboration features and signature tools to reduce time spent shuffling files between firm members, case experts, and clients.
- Security – A single security breach can waste a significant amount of valuable time for criminal law firms, so a case management system with top-notch security features can prove invaluable for the safety of firm files. By choosing a platform with high-level security built into it, firm members are not forced to waste time worrying about or dealing with disruptive breaches.
Legal billing and invoicing can also take up a significant amount of time within a criminal law firm. Many firms operate with inadequate billing systems in place, which can make these processes far more complicated than they have to be. A legal billing tool like TimeSolv’s comprehensive software, helps criminal defense firms save time on the following tasks:
- Time Tracking – Criminal lawyers must have the tools to quickly and accurately track all time spent on client tasks, and many antiquated systems just don’t include the necessary features to meet this need. Time is wasted when attorneys are tied to a desktop computer to complete time-tracking tasks. They need mobile capabilities that allow for immediate tracking regardless of where in the world they choose to work.
- Invoicing – Within many criminal law firms, the billing process is far too time-consuming. The right platform saves valuable time by offering features such as customizable invoices, time tracking features, and automated payment reminders.
- Collections – The collection of client payments can also take up a lot of valuable law firm time. With the right legal billing software, criminal firms can streamline the process to collect and manage client payments more quickly. Clients are more likely to make payments in full and on time when offered convenient methods, like online payments. This allows clients the convenience of paying their legal bills with a credit card or ACH payment. When clients pay in full and on time, criminal law firms can save time that would be otherwise spent on the collection of outstanding invoices.
Criminal Law Firms Need Time Saving Tools
The hustle and bustle of a criminal law firm make time management a crucial necessity. With matter management and invoicing tools, these firms can streamline many of their most common tasks, resulting in more available time for profitable tasks. To learn more about the time savings of using TimeSolv, click this website link for a no-obligation free trial.