April 2017

Legal technology has ventured its way from e-discovery to artificial intelligence and touched upon many subsets in between. Yet far and wide, law firms still struggle with finding, implementing and using the array of tools that comprise practice management technology.

Getting technology use off the ground can be burdensome. As found in the in the 2016 ILTA/Inside Legal Technology Survey, 42 percent of firms struggle with user adoption. Further, practice management technology isn’t available at most U.S. firms—the 2016 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report found that only 46 percent of firms have the technology at hand. Yet, among the haves, use went up from the previous year, from 30 to 43 percent.

As document sets get larger, compliance requirements grow more complicated and clients span the globe, many firms are taking technology to task. Here are some things to know for firms looking to dive in and adopt new practice management technology:

1. Know What You’re Looking For

Whether upgrading or starting a new, purchasing the right practice management technology is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make. Knowing what you want to get out of your technology and a sense of what your firm already has will allow you to develop a list of what you need to measure how potential vendors match them.

Russ Haskin, director, business of law consulting at Wilson Legal Solutions, said a lot of firms make mistakes after implementations and later wished they had only determined what they needed ahead of time. “Every firm needs to look in the mirror and do a self-diagnosis and say, ‘What are we doing now that we don’t like that we’re doing? What customizations do we have that we don’t really need?”

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