Asked and Answered: What Makes Good Legal Software Great? (A Lawyer’s Perspective)

Harry Singh of Lawcus asked me how they can get a perfect score on my Rating Scale for Legal Startups. Here’s my answer for Harry and any legal startup wondering what would make them stand out:

  1. Minimize or Eliminate Switching Costs: While having the ability to import or enter my clients’ and contacts’ information into the same software that tracks my client’s case is great, making it effortless and seamless for me to do so would be even better. The absolute worst part of using new software is importing into it all your data, your contacts, documents and information. Although data migration is necessary and a lot of companies assist with the process,minimizing or eliminating that process all together would make that product great. For example, here’s what I’m facing right now: I have every contract I ever drafted, every template, and related document stored in a cloud. While every contract is labeled with the company name, type of contract and effective date, I and my paralegal have to open every single document to pull out the address, the termination notice, the expiration date, the renewal date and notice, and all other important data points into a spreadsheet and provide it to the contract management software company for them to import it for me. It will take me weeks or even months to pull it all together into a spreadsheet and pull every corresponding document into the data room, before it can be imported into my new software. One of the biggest challenges any company has is getting users to switch from one service to another (just look at how well G+ panned out trying to get Facebook users to switch over). It’s a lot of work, and let’s face it, having to start over and get all your “friends” to come over too is way more work than we want to put in. The costs always outweigh the benefits. So, for Lawcus or any legal startup, I recommend minimizing or better yet, eliminating, the cost of switching from the old software to the new by finding a way to remove or minimize the data migration process. Many lawyers never used an LPM or CRM before, so they would literally have to start from scratch. If a software could sort through all my documents, and pull out that data form (the way e-discovery software does), that would make switching over seamless. easy, and more likely. This would also take any company from a 4 to a 5 on my rating scale.
  2. Use Data to Automate Routine Tasks: Today’s software for lawyers is great, but it’s still not quite where we need it to be to make lawyers as productive, efficient and effective as we could be. There’s so much data that’s being collected, but it is not being put to good use. Lawcus does an amazing job with Kanban workflows, but I think they can take it a step further. If Lawcus gathers data on how I behave when I use the workflows or the software overall, and then makes suggestions on how I can be more effective, that would take my score from a 3 to a 4, or even 5. That would be truly innovative and would distinguish them from the rest. For instance, if Lawcus notices that in my workflows, I have a step that I hardly ever use, it can give me a pop up that says “Mary, I noticed you never actually have an initial meeting with a lead, would you like to remove this step?” I would love to be able to click “yes” and remove that extra step from my workflow. If Lawcus or any other software notices that I have a task item that says “send out follow up e-mail” for every new deal, what would take it to the next level is if it could automatically generate that e-mail for me and send it out so I don’t have to. For example, I get between 10-20 emails per day all about scheduling meetings. If new software can take those emails, and look at the suggested times, compare them to my calendar and actually place those invites into my calendar instead of me having to do it, that would save me at least 20 additional responses and emails, and scheduling tasks per day. That’s one extra hour I just gained per day. Lawyers waste a lot of time doing routine tasks instead of focusing their energy on big ticket items, so any software that collects data on how I behave when I use it and uses that data to automate routine tasks would get a 4 or a 5.

Lawcus has already taken law practice and client relationship management to the next level with Kanban workflows and even pointing out bottlenecks in a lawyer’s daily routines. Harry asking how they can be even better is an amazing feat and shows that he’s listening to his customers. Any company that wants to make a difference and win its customers over should do the same and it’s the reason Lawcus earned one of the top scores of all the startups I reviewed so far (Keep an eye out for my rating chart of all the startups I reviewed!).

See my review of Lawcus along with their score here.


One thought on “Asked and Answered: What Makes Good Legal Software Great? (A Lawyer’s Perspective)

  1. Mary, Great suggestions. You will be glad to know that automation and data import are something that is very high on our radar. We are working diligently on launching new features, and it is our absolute commitment to making Lawcus the best practice management software on the market. Thanks again for your kind words!

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