The Synergy of Document Management and Practice Management
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10 Benefits of Document Management and Practice Management Software
Everything you need to work on a matter, right at your fingertips. Sounds too good to be true, right?
Over 20 years ago, one of my first presentations to a group of legal professionals was called “Sanity Software: Making the Case for Matter Management”. Fast forward to today, and the lawyers I meet that have the best handle on their matters, feel the most organized, and frankly, sleep better at night are using Matter Management Software. Clio Manage is the market leader when it comes to cloud-based matter management. But there is a way to level-up your organization even further.
How? Add document management software to the workflow — it really is the perfect companion tool. Specifically, NetDocuments is the market leader when it comes to cloud-based document and email management software. When you put the two together, that is where the magic happens.
The Best Technology Supports Your Best Work
Leveraging technology to think differently about how work gets done comes with many rewards. If you embrace a culture of asking “is this the best way to accomplish this task?” or “is there a better way to get this work done?” whenever possible, your law firm will consistently increase efficiency. And, since the challenges of 2020 have led all of us to approach workflows in new ways, the value of cloud-based software solutions and services has certainly increased.
Benefits of Integrating Practice Management and Document Management
When you use industry-leading technology, everyone in your firm is set up for success and speed. Here are five key advantages your firm can enjoy when you integrate legal practice management software and document management.
- Find what you need quickly. I often ask my clients how much time they spend looking for things each day. It is not uncommon for people to tell me that at least 30 minutes a day is spent looking for documents. With NetDocuments search, you get the full power of Boolean searching, which can immensely cut down on the time spent locating documents.
Think about how you have used your legal research tools over the years. What if you could use wildcards, AND/OR/NOT operators, criteria such as ‘within five words’ and quotes to find exactly what you are looking for in your document repository? And, if that is not enough, you can filter your searches by date, document type, client/matter, and author.
Having the ability to leverage your document storage in this way eliminates the need to reinvent the wheel, prevents the wasted time searching, and encourages your team to contribute everything they create into NetDocuments.
- Create documents faster. Document templates make it possible to skip the re-work of document formatting or remembering where you saved a recent version, speeding up the document assembly process. When combined, practice management and document management software make it easy to leverage these templates to your advantage. For example, in Clio, you can set up template automation topull matter information in, ensuring legal documents are created even more quickly, before saving final files in NetDocuments.
- Easy access to everything you need. Digital files in your practice management software take the place of paper files in so many ways–contact information, identifying the roles people play on a matter, calendar information, matter specific information, time and billing records, and so much more are included and easy to access.
When you integrate your document management and practice management system, documents and emails related to the matter, for all users in your firm, are available with one click. You can see different versions, look at any security or permissions measures that have been applied, and view the documents sorted in various ways.
- Manage and control access to documents and files. The benefit of knowing your data is secure and only those involved in a matter can access the information
- Never lose access to important information. Being able to protect against data loss
- Log time with a single click. When you integrate your practice management solution with document management, logging time can be as easy as clicking a button. With the Clio and NetDocuments integration for example, the documents stored in NetDocuments are listed directly within your matter in Clio Manage—and a time entry for the work spent drafting, finalizing or reviewing a document is one click away.
Since time capture is a common challenge in many firms, as seen again and again in Clio’s Legal Trends Report, this feature is one way to ensure that your timekeepers can efficiently log their hours to the matter.
- Confirming the source of truth. I talk about this a lot with our clients. If your documents are everywhere and you have multiple places you have to go to understand what is happening on a matter, you are wasting time and introducing a level of risk that is simply unnecessary.
If your document repository is the single source of truth for any documents your firm has created, as well as every document your firm has received, you can, go to that single source and find what you need with confidence.
- Collaborate with your team. The benefit of being able to collaborate with your team
- Integrate with your tech stack. The benefit of integrating with the software you already know and use
- Secure your data and maintain compliance. The benefit of knowing your data and files are secure and compliant
- More organized operations. The benefit of organized operations being able to find and locate documents and files when needed
<div class="blog-post-callout-container" style="width:100%;max-width: 100%;display: block;margin: 20px auto;">
<p style="font-size:15px;">Learn more about the benefits of <a href="/resource/integrating-your-practice-and-document-management-solutions" style="text-decoration:none;font-size:15px;">integrating your practice management and document management solutions.</a></p>
Best Document Management Features To Leverage
- Powerful enterprise search. With powerful features like OCR, Dynamic Tagging and Metadata you can quickly retrieve documents
- Document Automation and Assembly. NetDocuments now offers document automation and assembly solutions to help law firms improve productivity and efficiency
- Anytime and Anywhere Access. Cloud based document management offers increased Accessibility with anytime and anywhere access for you and your team
- Control document access with ethical walls and access rights. Manage security and governance for your workspaces, protect sensitive data within the organization, inform external parties of your compliance, share content without sacrificing governance
- Advanced version control features that protect against data loss and help you avoid confusion when reviewing and editing documents with external stakeholders.
And with our advanced versioning feature, you can avoid confusion with external stakeholders when reviewing and editing documents. With NetDocuments advanced version control, you can create major versions of documents for external review (e.g. v1, v2, v3, etc.), and leverage minor versions of the document (e.g. v1.1, v1.2, v1.3, etc.) when small adjustments are being made across multiple users for seamless internal collaboration.
- Better document storage to support a single source of truth and information. One of the largest killers of efficiency in legal practices is the amount of time it takes to find and gather documents. This is especially true for firms resisting the digital age.
By using a document management system for law firms, you can create a single source of truth for every matter flowing through your firm. Having anywhere access to everything they’re working on, fee earners will be able to find what they need quickly and spend less time searching through files.
- Real Time Messaging. Better collaboration and communication with your team. Gain the advantages of a chat messaging tool that’s designed to meet the unique requirements of legal organizations.
Protect Sensitive Information and Discussions
Streamline Conversation Filing
Accelerate Digital Collaboration
Organize Group Conversations by Matter
- NetDocuments integrates with Microsoft and other third-party software you already know and love. Fully integrate your existing time and billing software with the most robust legal document and email management platform on the market for a complete practice management solution.
- Better document security to protect your data and maintain regulatory compliance. Control and Enhance Information Protection, Classify Sensitive Information, Protect Sensitive Data from Human Error.
- Supports matter and project centric workspaces to improve your efficiency and productivity. NetDocuments supports a matter-centric workspace, all documents are associated with a matter and stored in the same place. This reduces the time needed to find a specific document you need and eliminates confusion that might come up about where the document is located, who has it, or how to get to it. It also helps against piling up all of the documents in the same place, and by doing so, making it harder to access them or maintain them organized.
<div class="blog-post-callout-container" style="width:100%;max-width: 100%;display: block;margin: 20px auto;">
<p>Discover how one law firm combined practice management with NetDocuments’ document management system. <a href="/case-study/a-foundation-that-combines-practice-management-and-netdocuments" style="text-decoration:none;font-size:15px;">Read the case study here.</a></p>
It Takes Commitment
This all sounds too good to be true, right? It takes commitment to leverage technology and to work until you can streamline processes that propel your firm to success. It is not always easy to follow a well-designed process, but it is worth it every single time. If you are ready to take the next step in efficiently managing your matters and your documents, take some time to check out how the NetDocuments integrates with popular practice management solutions that can help your firm do just that.