Legal Technology | 6 min

4 Red Flags that Mean it's Time to Replace Your Outdated Law Firm Practice Management Software

January 31, 2023

lawyer having a meeting with client

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it is time to be on the lookout for red flags in all the relationships in your life—including with your current legal software provider. Now is the perfect time to reassess if your law firm's software provides everything you need to be efficient, profitable, and scalable moving forward. While it might not always be easy to identify the red flags, we’ve put together a list of the top four red flags to look for in your software provider and why it’s time to move to a legal practice productivity solution.

Red Flag #1: Requires On-premises Hardware

Red Flag #1: Your Law Firm Software Requires On-premises Hardware

The first red flag in a legal software provider is that they require you to install and maintain on-premises hardware. Suppose attorneys and support staff are required to be in the office where the hardware has been installed to provide client services and work on matters. In that case, it immediately creates an environment of delayed updates, broken collaboration, and missed billed time. On-premises hardware also adds extra expenses with dedicated IT employees or consultants, faulty component and hardware replacement, electricity and utility bills, and ongoing updates. These challenges mean that law firms cannot establish efficient, profitable, and scalable operations and limits their staff's work-life balance or flexibility.

Additionally, on-premises hardware leaves firms vulnerable to multiple security threats. In 2021 alone, 25% of law firms reported that their firms experienced a data breach. The average practice does not have the resources for dedicated security resources, which means that client data can be compromised in break-ins, hacks, and natural disasters. This compromises a firm’s ability to continue working if there is a major event and leaves them vulnerable to malpractice risks—which can lead to potential disbarment.

Red Flag #2: Limited Features and Integrations

Red Flag #2: Your Law Firm Software Has Limited Features and Integrations

A second red flag is software that does not offer a comprehensive, all-in-one solution. Software solutions that only focus on one business function create a siloed tech stack that becomes unmanageable and creates more workflow challenges than if there was no technology at all. All of a firm’s automated workflows should be able to communicate seamlessly with each other, so there are no gaps in transparency, next steps, and collaboration across internal staff members, clients, and third parties. These gaps impact how quickly work can get done, data integrity, and employee and client satisfaction.

Outside of the software’s native features, integrations are crucial for successful software implementation. While the software should have foundational features for every business function, it should also integrate with leading legal and business software specializing in specific workflows to simplify the implementation process without completely changing staff members’ workflows. When critical integrations are unavailable, it creates an overwhelming tech stack and leads to data gaps and errors due to double data entry and clerical errors.

Red Flag #3: Expensive and Limited Ongoing Support

Red Flag #3: Your Law Firm Software Has Expensive and Limited Ongoing Support

The third red flag law firms should look for is if the provider requires them to pay for ongoing support post-implementation without providing comprehensive support tools. Especially for the initial training process, law firms must have access to the training resources that set them up for success and are accessible in a way that works best for their learning style and schedule. Whether it’s virtual support from a dedicated success manager, online live chat, on-demand videos, or how-to articles, users should have access to these resources to ensure ongoing success without breaking the bank. This support should not be limited to user experience and should eliminate the need for manual, time-consuming, and expensing software updates and backups.

Additionally, easily accessible and affordable support should continue throughout a law firm’s entire interaction with a software provider. Whether new features are released, new staff members join, or existing users need a refresher, ongoing support is essential to ensure that users can continue to use the software effectively and establish digital workflows that eliminate the challenges that led to the software investment in the first place.

Red Flag #4: Complex Transition Process

Red Flag #4: Your Law Firm Software Has a Complex Transition Process

A seamless transition process is key to a successful software transition or installation. If the transition process takes up a ton of critical time, requires extensive downtime, and creates more manual work, it will make it even more difficult for law firm staff members to start using a new solution. When implementation requires months of disrupted work, manual data transitions, and countless hours dedicated to implementation, law firms can lose thousands of dollars in missed billable work and software that is not being used as it should be by staff members.

Another red flag related to the transition process is if they limit the types of data that can be migrated into the new system. For example, law firms should be able to transition all of their historical matters, correspondence, and accounting data seamlessly. Losing out on that data can create issues for clients on retainer, make it difficult to run conflict of interest checks, and create more work to find relevant information for open matters during the transition process.

Why Switch to LEAP?

Why Switch to LEAP?

If your current software provider, or software provider you’re considering, has any of the red flags—or worse, all of them—then it’s time to consider switching to a legal practice productivity solution. LEAP is the only legal practice productivity solution designed to provide everything a law firm needs to be productive and profitable in 2023 and beyond. Let’s take a look at why over 61,000 legal professionals have already made the switch to LEAP:

Eliminate Complex IT Infrastructures

LEAP is the #1 cloud software to establish a modern law firm that simplifies collaboration with clients and creates the work-life balance that attorneys and support staff need to be successful. Hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), LEAP has a 99.99% uptime, which allows users to work from anywhere, at anytime online and offline, with autosave features to instantly capture changes, recorded time, and notify users of updates in real-time. Additionally, as a cloud-based solution, users can rest assured that their data is compliantly secured with free backups, mitigating malpractice risks.

Create One Version of Truth

As the only solution that offers everything a law firm needsto be successful, LEAP makes it easy for users to vet and onboard new clients with access to practice management, document management and assembly, legal publishing, and legal accounting features in a single solution. On their desktop or mobile device through the LEAP Mobile App, users can open an electronic matter for all common areas of law, automate document creation with over 11,000 legal forms for more than 2,500 matter types available in LEAP, and simplify complex office and trust accounting functions directly in the system. They also have access to integrations with leading office software and exclusive integrations with legal software to streamline workflows across the practice.

Access World-Class Training & Support

As part of our commitment to innovation, LEAP continuously updates ourtraining and supportresources so that users can access all the tools they need to get the most out of LEAP. Available at no additional cost, 24/7, LEAP users can access the LEAP Help Center, LEAP University, the HelpDesk, and more in a single location through the User Portal. That way, whether a user has used LEAP for three years or three days, they know they can always access the most up-to-date training materials without worrying about incurring additional costs or finding time in their busy schedules for dedicated training sessions.

Transition Data Seamlessly

Whether a firm operates manually or moves from an old software provider, LEAP makes it easy to move to the legal practice productivity solution with minimal downtime. Based on a firm’s needs, law firms can seamlessly transition their matter, matters, correspondence, and accounting data to LEAP to pick up from where they left off after implementation. For firms transitioning from PCLaw or Time Matters, LEAP Strato is the only solution built specifically to transition data from those systems to the cloud quickly and accurately. The simple transition process eliminates drawn-out downtimes and allows users to get up and running with improved and automated processes.

Conclusion

As you assess your software choices to determine if you have the solutions you need for your firm to establish sustainable workflows, there is no better time to avoid the heartbreak of a failed implementation. The LEAP legal practice productivity solution is a match made in heaven for law firms ready to move to the cloud with an all-in-one solution that improves productivity, profitability, and employee and client experiences.

Interested in seeing if LEAP is the right match for your law firm? Schedule a demo to see why more legal professionals choose the LEAP legal practice productivity solution.

Request a Demo

Interested in seeing if LEAP is the right match for your law firm? Schedule a demo to see why more legal professionals choose the LEAP legal practice productivity solution.