Legal project management software has evolved dramatically over the last decade as legal project management has slowly been separating itself into its own field. This is because offering a legal service is so different to offering a normal product to a consumer. Specific techniques have been developed in order to promote better client efficiency and service, while also increasing client transparency and involvement.
Commercial legal matters, from corporate transactions to litigations, have a lot of things in common with projects. They are temporary, complicated endeavors with a clear purpose and a set of deliverables. Companies have been taking advantage of these strategies for years and the legal profession has slowly started to adopt them as well.
It is hard to imagine that lawyers do not receive any training whatsoever in project management, even though there is a good amount of project management involved. This is why one legal project manager stated that lawyers have been playing the role of 'accidental project manager' for quite some time. This is where legal project management software can help.
Benefits of Legal Project Management
Improving the legal project management within a firm will lead to the following benefits:
- Decrease confusion, stress, frustration, and the amount of hours worked
- Improve the visibility of the status, variation, and progress of projects
- Better client relationships
- Generate frameworks to meet client expectations
- Speed up planning with knowledge management and precedents
- Improve the efficiency of time management
- Increase the legal team's organization
- Allow for effective delegation and work prioritisation
The utilization of legal project management tools, techniques, and concepts will allow any firm to take advantage of the below benefits:
- Better assessment and predicting of legal fees due to advantages with project cost management
- Improved decision making and contribution in the outcomes and progress of legal matters
- More accurate delivery on legal project objectives and outcomes
- Better transparency around variations and choices that might affect delivery
- Increase confidence in the commercial acumen of legal advisers
When a project management software is used, you definitely DO NOT need a board of Post-it notes! Image source: Unsplash
Legal Project Management Software
If the firm that you work at does not have the option of hiring a legal project manager to take care of that side of the business, there are many software programs that can help you to manage the ongoing workflow of your business. We have listed a few law firm project management software options below, some legal apps and general options, that will help you in this regard:
Asana is a project management program that is based off of the Kanban management system, which allows users to have a visual representation of their work-in-progress. Asana is great at sectioning complicated projects into doable tasks, and gives the user the option to prioritise the tasks that are the most important. Various tasks and objectives can be assigned to individuals for completion, as well as pointing out the dependencies between certain tasks. This is done with the creation of lists or boards.
Trello is another project management program on this list that is based off of the Kanban system. Similar to Asana, it keeps all of its information in the cloud. For every new client a new board can be created within the system, and these boards can be modified and customized by staff members that are tracking the development and progress of the case.
There are many options for columns, including discovery tasks, trial preparation, and deadlines, among many more. One of the main benefits to this style of program is it gives the user a visualization of the whole project.Communication is not just one-on-one or between two people, the information is shared with everyone on the team.
Clinked is a secure client portal with excellent project management capabilities. Clinked’s white-label platform allows you to:
- Collaborate on important documents in our cloud-based, secure file sharing portal.
- Sign legally binding documents through our integration with Adobe Sign, Docusign and more.
- Have dedicated, branded spaces for each of your clients with granular access control.
- Ensure deadlines are met through our tasks feature that can be integrated with over 3,000 apps.
Evernote is a popular program among attorneys, as it is great for capturing and collecting information for legal research, case management, and productivity taks. Notes and recordings from the internet can be saved in a multitude of formats, like legal briefs, emails, discovery documents, or research files.
dTrax is an end-to-end contract management tool by Deloitte. It is an end-to-end solution designed to streamline the drafting of contract process. Speech-to-tex and text templates are not new to attorneys, and dTrax has many templates that can automatically insert contextual data. This immensely speeds up the contract creating process, as they are very specialized in some areas and very repetitive in others. Contract negotiations can be stored, and a library of previous cases can be built up. This can help to create documents in the future, and even after a contract is signed, alerts can be received from dTrax to let the user know when the contract expires etc.
TrialPad is a trial presentation iPad app that can also double as a more affordable legal project management software. It gives lawyers the option to manipulate, annotate, and organize documents for use in presentations either in the office or courtroom. This would make a perfect solution for very small law firms and solo practitioners.
Not sure which legal project management software to choose?
Bringing in new technologies in business is a big decision with considerable risk attached. While it may take a while for your users to settle in, careful planning and continual support will ensure long-term success with your solution.
This is where Clinked can help. Book your demo today to find out how Clinked can help you bring your business closer to its clients with customized and user-friendly portals. Manage projects easily, allow your users to securely access their documents, discussions, events, calendars and more – all from within a centralized environment.