The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
by Judd Kessler, Esq.
The paralegal’s role requires you to be extremely organized, allocate your time wisely, plan ahead, and pay attention to details. Are you scheduling calendar dates by counting on your fingers? Updating multiple calendars for everyone in the office? Drafting documents by re-using previously created ones? If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, you’re risking errors and losing valuable time.
Here are five ways practice management software can help you tame an out-of-control office:
- Keep your office calendar accurate and complete.
Stop fumbling through multiple paper calendars, wondering if an attorney’s briefcase calendar is different than the one you maintain. Practice management software allows you keep one master calendar with all events, deadlines and appointments for everyone in the office. You can print or email individual calendars in the format each attorney wants. For cases demanding scheduling based on court rules, your software can automatically create dates for multiple, related events. If a trial or other date is moved, you can easily reset the entire sequence of events.
- Start new cases quickly and accurately.
Practice management software allows you to customize intake forms to conveniently enter critical information based on case type. You can then create contact and matter records automatically from these intake forms, saving time and reducing the chance for manual errors. You can also quickly, accurately and completely perform conflict of interest checks.
- Avoid entering the same information over and over.
Using practice management software, you can start documents and forms directly from your records. Document templates make merging data easy and error-free. Auto-filling court forms from your database will also save you time and reduce errors. AbacusLaw works with Word, WordPerfect and PDF forms, and links all documents to the matter for easy retrieval, making it easy for you to update or revise them when necessary.
- Provide excellent client service.
With all the address book information entered into your practice management system, clients, opposing attorneys, witnesses and other important contacts are always at your fingertips. When a client calls asking about the status of their case and their attorney is in a meeting, you can quickly search their name, pull up their case file and give them a status report, with just a few clicks of the mouse.
- Reduce paper.
All law firms are extremely paper intensive, with record requests, court forms, questionnaires, complaints etc. It’s easy for mountains of paper to pile up, making it hard, if not impossible, to search for what you need. Using practice management software will enable your firm to reduce paper by scanning all incoming documents, emails etc., linking them (with just a click) to client and case files, and making them available for everyone to easily access.
_________________Judd Kessler, Esq., is the president of Abacus Data Systems, Inc., which exclusively serves the legal community with its flagship product, AbacusLaw. It’s an all-in-one program that helps legal professionals simplify, organize and control their law offices. To see a free, no obligation demo, visit http://www.abacuslaw.com/. Mr. Kessler also provides frequent law office practice advice at his blog, PracticeSmarter, where I recently shared a guest post, “How to Hire a Great Paralegal”.I’m a huge fan of practice or case management software, and have relied on it in my own job since the early 90s. Once you’ve used a great case management software system, you’ll wonder how you ever did your job without it.