practice management software

Next Legal has a handy list comparing the major features of practice management software available in Australia. 

In 2011 QLD Law Society put out a comprehensive review of legal practice software - which although out of date now - has some good tips on how to get started.

Filepro has a ready useful checklist of questions to ask when you are looking at getting new software. You can download it here.


search engines

Fee Fie Foe Firm is a search engine for Australian law firm websites.

Foolkit is an website with a collection of frequently used legal resources - there is a page for lawyers and for the public.


scheduling

A number of apps will allow you to automate clients booking time to see you and avoid a scheduling bottleneck.  This is a comparison of four popular scheduling tools.


I'm a big fan of Trello for keeping track of projects where many people are working on different tasks.  You can keep track of progress, set due dates for tasks, get notified by email when tasks are completed and reassign tasks if there is a roadblock or change in priority.   But it is not perfect and this is a good summary of the alternatives. 

This is a good quick overview of agile project management methodology and an explanation of the scrum and kanban frameworks.  In the legal context, G+T and Accenture published a best practice guide to going agile. Seyfarth Shaw published a description of how they use agile project management.

Some examples of people using agile in legal services include:

project management


TRENDS

 

 

 

Clio extracted some fascinating data from large scale surveys and anonymised data from law firms using its practice management software.  One finding in the Clio Legal Trends Report 2017 was that on average lawyers spend only 2.3 hours (29% of an 8-hour workday) on billable tasks.

Mary Meeker's annual review of the state of the internet looks much wider than the legal industry but is a survey of what is happening globally.


document automation

 

 

 

 

 

A list of some of the new tools available for better drafting of legal documents including document automation and contract management platforms.

Automio is a cloud based software which allow anyone to create their own highly automated documents - no coding skills required.

I-deal docs is a tool which allows you to automate document creation in Word by combining segments of pre-existing text with answers from software-driven interview questions.

DocAssist is another tool for automating work document but with dynamic fields so you don't need to work through a pre-set interview - just fill in what you know as you go.


writing

 

More than a spellcheck, Hemingway app takes any piece of text and makes suggestions to make it clearer, less full of jargon and easier to read.  There is also a plug-in for Microsoft office and outlook called Wordrake which does the same thing.  Wordrake is available for a free trial.


dictation

 

Dragon dictation will enable you to dictate and have your document appear right on the screen.  It works on all programs, you can even dictate your itemised time entries.  If you tried voice recognition a few years ago and were not impressed, it is worth trying it out again.


A comprehensive list of apps you can use to actually work with long word documents on your ipad.

APPS