Choosing the Right Legal Management System

Steven Spielberg

Finding a maintainable way to electronically manage client and financial data is a challenge for every law firm.

The first step in resolving this issue is by switching over to an integrated application system. Using applications that share the same interface rather than relying on a variety of different software makes managing the various aspects of a law firm’s operations a much easier process.

Integrated legal management software systems allow firms to perform several tasks in one location, such as:

– Creating briefs, pleadings, and word processing documents.
– Sending e-mails and maintaining calendars and address books.
– Handling billing matters and client cases

Security and protection of data are important elements of an electronic legal management system (LMS). In the event of a server failure, services such as disaster recovery, which back up a company’s data at an off-site location, is an essential LMS feature. Before signing on with a LMS provider, make sure to research whether the system’s data has ever been compromised by a hacker or virus.

Online Legal management systems

Some legal management systems are hosted exclusively on the Internet through a process called cloud computing. With cloud computing, systems are supported by a secure network of servers that can be accessed by a web browser.

Some firms are sure to have concerns that hosting their records online will make their data more vulnerable to security breaches. However, many LMS providers have strong security measures in place to ease such concerns.

A well managed online legal management system will:

– avoid storing any data “offshore” where it is outside the protection of U.S. law.
– Encrypt all data on pages formatted with transport layer security (TLS) or Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocols.
– Offer log-in features such as session time-out and auto-disablement, which bars a user from entering an account after several failed log-in attempts.

Data Accessibility

Only certain individuals should have access to records such as client information and financials. Most legal management systems are equipped with controls allowing administrators to prohibit user access to certain data. Some systems allow users to collaborate on creating sensitive documents directly on the system rather than exchanging changes back and forth via e-mail.

Regardless of which legal management system you choose, an LMS with an integrated software approach will require less training and maintenance upkeep, therefore cutting down on your firm’s overhead costs. An LMS providing some level of cloud computing will widen data accessibility for staff, and potentially clients as well.

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