Practice Management

Opening the door

Case management is about more than the integration of practice management and document management systems. It should allow law firms to redefine their relationships with their clients by offering them those services of greater scope and value, thereby achieving what has become the holy grail of modern legal practice: genuine client focus. Ian Thomson, director of legal engineering at the South Australia/Northern Territory, believes that by enhancing a law firm's ability to store, retrieve and organise information, by improving the internal processes used to handle that information, and finally, by ensuring that the two systems are fully integrated, the firm broadens the range of services it can offer clients.

The evolution of case management systems has meant that firms will be able to add a level of reporting, transparency, value, a reduction of administrative risk, and quality in a very tight package. Technology has become a catalyst to change the very culture, not only of the way lawyers think about their work, but also of the way that their clients think about lawyers doing their work.

Being able to offer a range of services to a client is one thing but to be genuinely client- focussed requires systems which are as flexible as possible. One would be crazy to think that every aspect of every matter could be technologically leveraged, but it should go a long way in giving clients cost certainty and a range of value propositions which say, "We have thought strategically about where you are heading."

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