Monday, July 06, 2015

How Legal Technology Protects Against Human Error


As a lawyer, it can sometimes seem like there are a million little things that need to be done, bases that need to be covered, and conflicts that need to be checked in order to complete a single task. With a legal practice management system, like MerusCase, you can rest assured: a majority of law firm processes are built right into the system, giving you one less thing to worry about. Here's how MerusCase focuses on eliminating human error in order to protect your firm and save you valuable time.

Check for conflicts with blink-speed.

If you're stuck determining conflicts of interest before taking on a new case, legal practice management software makes it easy to search through your digital archive of cases, emails, and contacts, fast. With Merus, you're able to run a search for both individuals and companies through your firm-wide Rolodex simultaneously. Think a contact may have been associated with a case but they're not currently listed? No problem: Merus keeps a log of all party activity for your cases. This means that any time you add, delete, or change anything about parties on a case, you'll be able to view all these changes through that case's party history. In addition, the Global Document Search serves as a great resource to look up conflicts as it combs through every single document in the system and even finds matches within documents and cases.

Eliminate redundancies, redundancies, redundancies...

With a legal practice management system, contact information only needs to be entered once for the entire firm. This means that, any time you add a party to a case in Merus, you'll be prompted search through your Rolodex before adding a new contact. Not only will this eliminate double entry, but you won't have to dig through a dirty Rolodex filled with duplicate contacts, either. Additionally, Merus' Forms & Templates creation features allows you to auto-fill case and client information into custom templates and forms for your law type. This means that you'll never have to manually type a social security number or copy and paste a client's address into a court form again.

Guided case entry per law type ensures that you won't miss a thing.

Typically, setting up a client file can feel like a lengthy and cumbersome process. And what happens if that client chooses to go with a different lawyer? Now you've taken down all of their information, only to find that you've wasted your time. With a system such as MerusCase, you can quickly run through the intake process by creating a new case and selecting "Intake" as the Case Status. From here, the only information you absolutely need to collect in order to create the case is a First and Last Name (or Company name). This way, unless a client fully commits, you don't have to fill out any unnecessary or irrelevant information during the intake process.

Outside of the realm of client intake, Merus' case creation process is intuitive and functions as a guided tour. The system will prompt you to fill out each piece of information and will efficiently guide you through the process as you go along, which enables you to zoom through your administrative tasks so that you can spend more time actually speaking with your clients.

Keep track of all your email communication with in-system messaging and case tagging. 

Many legal practice management systems offer some sort of email integration; however, MerusCase offers fully-functional inbound and outbound email synchronization. This means that all of your emails, both sent and received, can be accessed, composed, deleted, forwarded, and so much more, right from your MerusCase dashboard. The best part? All emails can be tagged to their respective cases, logging all client communication firmwide, all the while enabling you to keep your inbox clean. Keeping track of your emails with a system like Merus allows you to easily log email-related billable time, keep client communication transparent, and automatically catalog all of your correspondence, should you need to access it at a later time.

Complete month-end accounting in a snap.

It's easy to become so focused on your cases that you forget that your law firm is also a business, but with legal practice management systems like MerusCase, it's easier than ever to manage your firm's accounting needs. In Merus, the accounting section is set up so that you can move through the process intuitively, with tabs leading you through the system from left to right. Merus clearly separates out various bookkeeping sections, such as open charges, reviewed charges, open invoices, as well as unreconciled payments, and allows you to sort your charges by user, case, office, date range, and so much more. Best of all, you can quickly and easily "Select All" to invoice for all open charges with lightning speed!

Closing a matter has never been easier.

Finally, with MerusCase, closing a matter takes just seconds. Simply log into MerusCase, switch the Case Status to 'Closed," and that's it! You can continue working on any reminaing balances in your books and you don't have to worry about retaining original documents, since you have them all stored online through Merus. If you do have any paper documents remaining, this is the perfect time to upload, archive, and shred them! (Looking to take your law firm paperless? Check out our handy How to Go Paperless White Paper.)

We'd love to know: how has your legal practice management system saved you time and headache?

Posted by Marissa Vessels on Monday July 06, 2015 0 Comments

Labels: Strategy

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