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7 Secrets to Choosing The Right Software for Your Law Practice

Obasi Uba Ekagbara & Anor V. Chief Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu & Ors
January 26, 2016
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7 Secrets to Choosing The Right Software for Your Law Practice

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You cannot shy away from the reality that we live in a digital world today.

It is getting increasingly difficult to stay ahead of the game without the reasonable use of technology.

Law firms around the world, even in Nigeria, are becoming technology-driven.

Despite the ‘shroud’ that covers technology in Law, technology plays a huge role in making firms more efficient, productive, customer-reliable and successful.

The creation of software solutions is on the rise every single day. You are often presented with multiple options of solutions to deploy in your firm, some performing very similar tasks.

How do you choose one over the other?

Here are a few tips to help you decide the right solution to deploy in your firm:

Learning Curve: You need to examine how long it will take you to incorporate the solution as part of your existing process. Also, take a close look at the length of time it will take for you and your team to get comfortable with using the solution till it becomes as easy as breathing. You do not want to be dealing with any solution that will end up defeating its original purpose: simplifying a specified work process.

User Interface: The learning curve of efficiently using any software highly depends on its user interface. How many actions are required from the user to make the software perform tasks? The simpler and more intuitive it is, the better. The right solution should require as little training as possible to use properly. When recommending any software for your firm, test it out yourself and see if you are comfortable with its interface and whether you can find everything you need without much effort. If you can’t, chances are you will avoid using the software altogether, thus rendering even the most powerful solution useless.

Features: Be certain that the features any software boasts of, is worth its weight in the impact it will have on any work process. You should consider the degree to which these features will impact the ultimate goal of your work, whether it is to save time, money, reduce stress, etc. Simply put, go through the features of the software to make sure they satisfy your most important needs.

Compatibility/Integration with other Software: Some software work in isolation with little or no compatibility with other applications that you use regularly, for example, Word processors or email applications. If a software is highly independent and does not blend with your current system, you should reconsider purchasing it.

Price: Be careful judging a solution by price alone. There are a variety of options with price points that range from free to hundreds of thousands of Naira. But remember that for ANY firm, software is about what you save in the long run. So, rather than judging on price, ask yourself if it helps you get more work done with less resources, or if it improves your clients’ satisfaction and retention.

Customer Care Support : This is a vital factor, but also perhaps the hardest to judge prior to purchasing. When something goes wrong, you need to know you’ll be able to speak to someone and get it fixed as soon as possible. If there isn’t a sufficient level of customer support, you’ll end up frustrated. So, keep an eye out for the level of support that is offered when you are making your decision. But we just said it’s the hardest to judge prior to purchasing. How do you do this?
You can look out for:
Response Time: How long does it take for them to respond when you make enquiries about their solutions?
Online Support: Always be on the lookout for online support. That way, you’re sure you’ll get help when you need it.

Updates: How often is the software updated to flow with emerging trends and how easy is it to get these updates? The more it can be updated remotely, the better. In other words, it should not require the physical presence of the solution provider to get it updated.

That’s it.

Endeavor to keep all these indicators in mind when selecting a software solution. This will help you make the right decision for your firm. The ultimate goal you should have in mind is how to ensure the overall efficiency and productivity in your Law firm to give you the competitive edge.

Remember it’s not about “find the best solution”; it’s about finding the RIGHT solution for your Law firm.

Ready to get started on a solution that meets all these criteria?

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