Small corporate legal departments are quick to say that few legal technology tools exist that are designed with them in mind. This means they resort to using outdated software, or worse, Excel sheets and filing cabinets. As a result, small legal departments are overloaded with work and stuck in inefficient processes, unlike their larger counterparts who operate more efficiently using legal management software. To help you get started, here are the top factors you should take into account when considering how to make the most out of a new legal management software system.
Look for a system with no software downloads, minimal IT support, and updates on-the-fly, so you are always using the latest version of the software without having to stop and beg the IT department to help install the upgrade. Web-based providers work in standard web browsers, so the same system can work for everyone in the department. An additional advantage is that you don’t have to consider upgrading to new hardware and operating systems to get the software to work.
It’s hard to justify acquiring a system where 80% of the features have been designed for medium and large legal departments when you are only going to use about 20% of them. You should only pay for the features that you are going to use. In addition, upgrading your pricing plan or expansions should just be a matter of adjusting your license agreement, instead of acquiring more hardware and server capacity.
Any legal management software tool should be flexible enough to adapt to the needs as well as any eventual growth in the legal department. Look for features that make routine work more efficient such as signing contracts, keeping track of due dates, and monitoring workflows. The software should adapt to the way the legal department works, not the other way around.
Security for small corporate legal departments means multiple things. First, it means secure access for users, that new users cannot be given access without first receiving approval from the administrator. Second, it means the software tracks any changes that are made in the system and to documents. Third, it offers the option to keep the legal department’s work secure and private by restricting access to certain documents on a need-to-know basis.
Managing a small legal department is more than just being able to manage your contracts and entities – it’s preventing your department from becoming overwhelmed. The software should keep you and everyone else on the same page with features that help to boost productivity such as task management and alerts.
Access anywhere, anytime
All in-house counsel know that requests for work can come at any hour of the day. Web-based platforms allow you to access the system anytime, anywhere as long as you have an Internet connection.
Collaboration in legal management software should come in many forms: shared access to documents, agendas, and tasks. Make sure that the software also allows you to share documents with third parties and other business units. The advantage of collaboration features are that they help you enlist the help of a larger team, but everyone is always kept up to date.
A software system that includes all the features mentioned above actually exists, and it’s Legisway, the all-in-one legal management platform. Legisway is the secure, efficient way for small to mid-sized corporate legal departments to organize all their legal information in one central repository that offers tools for increased simplicity, ease, and efficiency. Legal management is made easy with Legisway, so corporate legal departments can focus on their strategic business priorities.