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The Ultimate Practice Management System
Here I'm going to put some of my thoughts on what I think the ultimate small law department system would include. In summary, that system would integrate all of the tools discussed in the materials on technology options and integrate them into one coherent, easy-to-learn and use system.
More than just integration is needed. We need better ways to organize information, organize workflow, organize teams, and interact with people, systems, and devices. Many practice management systems now include collaboration features. Article.
Why haven't practice management products made much of an impact in the corporate legal world? In part it may be because so many of the existing products are just plain boring. Many of the existing practice management tools have all the sex appeal of an Excel spreadsheet. At first glance, it's hard to see the differences between many of the products. The screens feature tables and data fields that tend to have very similar looks.
Although it is not targeted at the corporate legal market, Amicus Attorney stands out as the product that probably has the best visual presentation. Here's an example of what files look like in Amicus Attorney. Other screens are similar, giving the product a very familiar feel, even for novice users.
If you go to some of the vendor websites in the list of practice management vendors, you'll see that many of them don't even show what their product looks like on the screen. In most cases, the look of the program is not a selling point or a feature that differentiates them from the competition. I think this needs to change.
We also need better ways of organizing and retrieving information, wherever that information resides. Document management systems that take a comprehensive approach to information management are getting better at this. Peer-to-peer systems are another approach. One interesting approach is provided by a new product called Scopeware.
More to come. . . .
Last updated: 05/11/01
Copyright 2001-2005 David A. Munn