By LEAP US, AAML NJ Silver Sponsor
Over the past year alone, we have seen numerous cases where outdated software created numerous complications that cost valuable time and resources that can’t afford to be lost. From the Southwest Airlines shutdowns to the California State Bar Association data breach, it has never been more important to reassess your law firm’s tech stack and identify any red flags that could impact your firm. This article will review the four signs New Jersey family law firms should look for that indicate it’s time to move to a legal practice productivity solution.
1. On-premises Hardware
Between court appearances and client meetings, New Jersey matrimonial attorneys complete hundreds of hours of work outside the office. If a firm uses a software solution that requires users to be in the office, this immediately delays updates, causes collaboration gaps, and missed billable hours. Additionally, on-premises hardware adds extra expenses, including 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, limiting their staff’s flexibility.
Outside of that, 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 cannot dedicate resources just for security, meaning client data can be compromised in break-ins, hacks, and natural disasters. This compromises a firm’s ability to continue working if a major event leaves them vulnerable to malpractice risks, which can lead to potential disbarment.
2. Limited Features & Integrations
Another red flag is if the software does not offer a comprehensive, all-in-one solution. When technology only caters to one business function, it creates a siloed tech stack that becomes unmanageable and creates more challenges than if it operated manually. A New Jersey family law firm should be able to communicate seamlessly to eliminate gaps in transparency, next steps, and collaboration with 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 essential for successful software implementation. Integrations with leading legal and business solutions specializing in specific business needs support the software’s foundational features and simplify the implementation without disrupting everyday processes. If critical integrations (for example, LawConnect, LawToolBox, and Microsoft 365, to name a few) are unavailable, it causes law firms to invest in numerous software solutions that create an overwhelming tech stack and leads to data gaps and errors due to double data entry and clerical errors.
3. Limited Paid Support
A third red flag is if the provider requires them to pay for ongoing support post-implementation without providing comprehensive support tools. Particularly in the initial training phase, New Jersey matrimonial attorneys must have access to the training resources that will give them the foundation for success and are accessible in a way that works best for their learning style and schedule. Users should have access to a dedicated success manager, online live chat, on-demand videos, and how-to articles without breaking the bank. This support should also not be limited to user experience and should eliminate the need for manual, time-consuming, and expensive software updates and backups.
Additionally, the support should remain easily accessible and affordable throughout a law firm’s entire interaction with a software provider. From new feature releases, newly onboarded staff, and existing users looking for a refresher, ongoing support is essential to ensure that the software is used effectively to establish streamlined processes that eliminate the challenges that led to the software investment in the first place.
4. Complex Transition Process
Last but certainly not least is reviewing the transition process. A seamless transition is the 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 New Jersey matrimonial attorneys and their support staff to start using a new solution. If the implementation requires months of disrupted work, manual data transitions, and countless hours dedicated to implementation, the software could cost more than its worth in thousands of dollars in missed billable work.
Firms should also avoid software with several limitations on the data types that can be migrated into the 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.
What Makes a Legal Practice Productivity Solution Different?
If your current software provider, or a software provider you’re considering, has any of these 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 New Jersey family law firm needs to be productive and profitable in 2023 and beyond. Here are a few reasons why over 61,000 legal professionals have already made the switch to LEAP:
- Simplify IT Infrastructures - Cloud-based LEAP helps law firms establish simple collaboration with clients and creates a strong work-life balance for staff members 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, LEAP offers free backups, so New Jersey matrimonial attorneys can rest assured that their data is compliantly secured, mitigating malpractice risks.
- Establish One Version of Truth - LEAP allows 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 electronic matters for all common New Jersey family law matters and access to automated common documents like Certification of Insurance Coverage Pursuant to R. 5:4-f (LD-NJ-FAM-0025) and Summons (Divorce) (LL-NJ-FAM-0123). Additionally, partners and bookkeepers can simplify complex office and trust accounting functions directly in the system with LEAP features and access to integrations with office, legal, and accounting software systems.
- Leverage Free Training & Support - LEAP is committed to driving innovation for the legal industry. Part of that includes offering continuous updates to our training and support resources to provide users with all the tools they need to get out of LEAP. Available at no additional cost, 24/7, LEAP users can access the LEAP Help Center, LEAP University, the HelpDesk, and more, all through the LEAP User Portal. These solutions ensure that whether a user has used LEAP for three years or three days, they can always access the most up-to-date training materials without worrying about additional costs or finding time in their busy schedules for dedicated training sessions.
- Transition Data Seamlessly - LEAP makes it easy to move to the legal practice productivity solution with minimal downtime, regardless of a firm’s previous software provider. Based on a firm’s needs, law firms can seamlessly transition their 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.
There is no better time for New Jersey law firms to determine if their current software investments have the solutions needed for their firms to establish sustainable business processes. If firms identify any red flags hidden in their IT infrastructures, the LEAP legal practice productivity solution provides law firms with everything they need to run a family law firm in the cloud with an all-in-one solution that improves productivity, profitability, and employee and client experiences.
See how LEAP can improve operations and reduce overhead for your New Jersey family law firm today.