If you were to compare new case management software like NuLaw with a range of legal software packages developed a decade ago, you would see a true contrast of capabilities. NuLaw and many of its competitors are actually legal platforms rather than just software packages. And as legal platforms, their ability to streamline and improve law practice administration is invaluable.
A software platform is not a single solution for solving a single problem. It is a foundational solution on which other, more specified solutions can be built. In the case of NuLaw, it starts with the foundation of the well-known Salesforce CRM platform. NuLaw developers have built on top of Salesforce to create a package combining multiple tools, or modules if you will, that perform separate functions without sacrificing interoperability.
Let us look at a few of the key differences between legal software and legal platforms. Hopefully they will help you better understand why platforms like NuLaw are the hottest thing in legaltech right now.
Fully Modular Integration
A law firm running on a handful of software applications probably has different packages for different functions. The accounting department may use one piece of software while billing uses something completely different. Both of their packages are different from the one that attorneys use for case management. Bringing data from all three applications together is a nightmare that staff members don’t like to talk about.
On the other hand, a law firm utilizing a legal platform enjoys the benefits of fully modular integration. The same platform accommodates accounting, billing, and case management in one place. Information is freely passed between modules without the need for double and triple entry.
Efficient Use of Data
Individual software packages were great tools in their day, but they are terribly inefficient in the era of cloud computing. Again, imagine reconciling the data between accounting, billing, and case management when separate applications are being used. Exchanging data between multiple departments is inefficient and time-consuming.
A legal platform is a lot more efficient with its use of data. For example, an attorney working on a particular case is tracking her time every step of the way. That time is converted into a dollar amounts by a billing module that automatically generates invoices that are then picked up by the accounting module. Everything is done automatically and efficiently.
Case Management in the Cloud
Next up is the reality of putting case management in the cloud. You can do that with a platform like NuLaw. Cloud-based case management makes a law firm more productive and efficient all the way around. Just one of the ways it does that is by giving access to the platform from virtually anywhere.
A cloud-based legal platform is accessible using a desktop PC, a laptop, or a mobile device. Attorneys have access to their cases whether they are in the office or not. They do not need computers to work on their cases either. They can get tasks done at the courthouse during downtime, simply by logging on with their phones or tablets.
This sort of thing cannot be accomplished with locally hosted legacy software. In order to utilize legacy software, attorneys must be in the office working on their computers. If that is not inefficient and unproductive, what is?
The rest of the world has moved away from individual software packages in favor of fully integrated platform solutions. The legal sector is not quite up to speed yet, but they are catching on. Attorneys and law firms are coming to the realization that a modern legal platform is far better than multiple software packages.