Law Technology News
February 2001
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Second Opinions

Evaluating Practice Management Software

Evaluating Practice Management Software Ron Stevens, of Orange County, Calif., asks: What are the strengths and weaknesses of available legal practice management software? I am also looking for data that reflects the price performance of these products.

Article by Tom O'Connor

TO ANSWER this question, the first hurdle we must cross is to define "practice management software."

This is a classic example of attempting to do software analysis from the top down. I don't know what kind of practice you have (e.g., a bankruptcy practitioner will have different issues than attorneys with trust and estates practices); how large your practice is (e.g., solos have different concerns than big firm lawyers) or what type of hardware you have (e.g., old PCs versus new speed demons; Wintel versus Mac)

Article by Wells Anderson

BEFORE looking at the strengths, weaknesses and costs of practice management products, first consider what they offer your organization. Descended from personal information managers that handle calendars, contacts and to-do lists, case management software adds an important missing function: tracking information about specific cases and matters. Practice management products go several steps further, integrating such features as timekeeping, document assembly, e-mail, file management, messaging, scanning, and accounting. A lot rides on your choice.

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