How should law firms assess their Legal Practice Management Systems (LPMS)?


In the last few years, I’ve seen and participated in how many law firms have evaluated and selected new core systems in order to become digital and more efficient.

As these important choices are made to impact the whole firm, the process of selecting systems and vendors is often both difficult from a functional perspective as well as from the political aspect of making a big decision that will affect the firm for a long time.

There are always risks and benefits associated with any change, so how do you filter through your initial requirements to create the best possible foundation for your desired change?

In the process of choosing a new legal practice management system, there are functional and technical requirements that most internal stakeholders can agree on. But when it comes to eliminating risk, there are often additional aspects affecting the decision-making process that are more political and harder to define. To help in this situation, here are some lessons learned.

Key criteria when choosing a new legal practice management system

Entry ticket – baseline criteria for systems in your evaluation

  • Relevant base functionality
  • Cloud strategy
  • Industry know-how
  • Appropriate SLAs / Service structure and availability
  • References

These first baseline criteria are almost standard today, and therefore only serve as a first filter to exclude legacy systems when creating a list of possible candidates for the future. So the question becomes: how should you prioritize beyond this to find a trusted partner for your firm going forward?

“Ticket to Ride”: What qualifies a system or vendor to become a trusted component in your digital strategy?

  • User centricity – Focus on user adoption of digital processes and user efficiency
  • True cloud – Distributed architecture resilient to downtime and with quick response times, secure and built to facilitate innovation and ever-changing needs.
  • Open APIs – Legaltech is evolving fast and lawfirms need to be able to adapt to change and add innovation to their digital strategy
  • Pace of innovation – whats the process and speed of continous enhancements in the platform
  • Business intelligence tools – the ability to analyze and optimize firm processes is a must
  • People/ culture – vendor responsiveness to input
  • Strategy and roadmap – how does this align with industry trends and pace of innovation

Do you agree with these criteria, and/or do you find there are other important aspects to choosing a system or vendor not listed here?

If so, let me know!

/Jonas Abrahamsson, LEX247

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