Client Reviews are often compelling ‘stories’ that once read can motivate new contacts to become new clients. This type of advertising and marketing can’t be bought, it is only earned thru all of your firms’ good work. Certified online reviews facilitate the process of getting the word out as they are the modern form of Word of Mouth marketing. The New Online Reputation Management NORM involves leveraging the power of client reviews through publication in multiple online venues. This generates more ideal clients because they originate from the best source possible, your most satisfied clients.

Click Here to View 10 Ways to Define and Measure Success Online

 

A good example of  how to ‘Do More With Your Time Matters’ is our proven Discovery Tracking  set-up, which we have highlighted on the following Discovery Tracking in Time Matters pdf file.

Time Matters, like most law practice management systems, is what you make it.  The great thing about Time Matters, however, is a special feature package utility which lets us transfer customizations like this into your system in minutes.  Contact Premier if you would like to see our short Discovery Tracking video (856) 429-3010

Discovery Tracking Using TimeMatterspng

One of the most desirable feautures from any practice management system, including Time Matters, is an automated reporting module.  Unfortunalely that doesn’t exist.
However, we think it is a great idea – so we created it.

Announcing
– TM Reporter –logo premier

Automated Reporting Module for Time Matters

Your Reports,
When You Want Them,
Emailed Automatically to Whomever You Designate
You can not manage effectively if you don’t have reports.

Reports enable you to measure your progress against your objectives
Actual Billable Hours vs Targeted Bllable Hours
Actual Matters Opened by Type vs Targeted Matters Opened by Type
Cash Flow – Events by Date and Time of day with Fee Totals

Reports enable you to manage by exception
Aged Accounts Receivable – Unpaid Bills Over 30, 60, 90 days
Past Due Todo’s – Tasks Past their Taget Completion date

TM Reporter Reporting Features:

Frequency
Select when – Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Daily,  All, or  ## (Day of Month)

Record Type – Chose your existing reports or select from our library of reports for managing Events, Todos, Contacts and Matters

Record Filter  – Identifies the filter of records selected for the report, Such as Open Todo’s – Due in Next 7 Days

Email Recipient – One or many recipients for Each Report – Includes path to saved report pdf file (plus option toinclude pdf report as attachment)

Contact us to learn more.

LPM wordleI recommend lawyers, who are looking at estate practice management systems, look for the following functionality and offer several resources to maximize your time and effectiveness.

A good law practice management (LPM) program for any practice, including estate planning, will enable you to capture and organize all the data you deem relevant. It will use that data in support of merging to document templates, and for generating records automatically under certain conditions and further it will incorporate the data in a set of useful reports that help you manage your calendar, contacts and matters. Your reports should include a quick matter management summary view as well as a more detailed view of all outstanding todo/tasks for each active matter.

Starting with data capture -beyond the basic fields you would benefit by having fields for contact records (prospect/client, advisors, organizations) for mail list management, referral source analysis, prospect tracking and seminar/workshops etc.  Also relevant data fields for Matters (estate planning, probate, estate administration, business, guardianships, real estate, charitable trust or organization, life care planning, VA benefits, tax, Medicaid, Special Needs Planning etc.).

Next your LPM should organize all of the related records both by Contact and by Matter. These records include Calendar Events and Todo/Tasks, plus Notes, Email, Phone, Documents and Billing.  Some systems can even include other records such as Assets, especially if you intend to do funding.

Next LPM should handle Document Management (automatic folder and file naming), full text indexing for full text searching of all of your files ( doc, pdf, xls, etc .) and Document Assembly – short routine letters and longer advanced merge type documents (check out WealthCounsel and Elder Counsel).  You should be able to go paperless with features for scanning to pdf and saving into your LPM programs document management system

Next LPM will support automatic workflow to auto generate one or more records automatically under certain conditions.  Generally when you add a record or change a field in a record you should be able to define what records pop-up automatically – think appointment confirmation letter or email, referral thank you letter or email, or a chain of all of the estate admin deadlines over the next year or so for certain an estate admin matters.

Next you should have reports to measure and manage by objective and to manage by exception. Reports that track actual activity against your objectives include  ‘calls to consults’ and ‘consults to new retainers’,  also a ‘cash flow’ report for future and past activity on events with the number $meetings total of fees; also track monthly new matters by type and compare this year to last year to identify trends. Management by exception might include something like a list of ‘Past due Todo’s’.

In addition to the core features listed above the LPM system should link, synch and integrate ‘seamlessly’ with other programs and devices such as your  word processing, email, pdf programs, scanners, smart phones and other devices.

Just because a particular system has added a feature doesn’t necessarily mean that they have implemented that feature well.  For example, a system may allow adding your own data fields, but if data fields for one matter type appear along with all the other fields from other matter types then it may be cumbersome and won’t be used.   Or if a system has document management, but requires too many steps to name, save and maybe upload the document or scanned file, than again it won’t be useful.

Take a long term view and know that your needs will change.  Be careful not to get locked in to a system that might be hard to get your documents and other records exported out of should need to change in the future.   The best and cheapest solution is to do it right the first time. Be sure to do your homework and get an external  advisor to guide you thru the process. Some systems may be easy to start but may be less than ideal as a long term solution.   Finally, be aware that many older yet proven LPM systems (traditionally existing in a Windows based onsite network) are now available in a hosted/cloud environment accessed easily from any MAC or Windows based device. Someof these systems have tools that allow features to be transferred so that you don’t have to re-invent the wheel.

Other Recommended Resources for an Estate Planning practice:

Organizations to investigate NAELA, Elderlaw Answers, Special Needs Alliance , in support of your firms estate planning services .

A great audio on managing your estate planning practice from the leader of one of the most successful firms
http://premiersoftware.com/resources/keys-to-profitable-law-firm-management/

A dated but timeless article for annuitizing your estate planning services by Victor Medina
http://apps.americanbar.org/lpm/lpt/articles/pdf/ftr07102.pdf

As a an external guide of a lawyer/law firm that is great example of a successful refugee from  Biglaw

(left a 2,800 lawyer firm) I offer Ben Neiberger’s firm http://www.generationlaw.com/

Finally -line up your experienced trail guide for your journey. (aka Premier Software)

All the best,

Tom Caffrey
President
Premier Software
http://www.premiersoftware.com

If there are any trusts and estates practitioners out there who use <system name> with your practice, would be interested in learning how you use it.

I see the applicability to litigation, but am interested to see whether it can significantly help with workflow for drafting plans, trust administration, probate, etc.

Coming from BigLaw, we used no case management software or CRM software at all (I kid you not – DMS only), so I’m struggling a little bit with the “what would I actually use it for” question.

So, do you use it, and what do you use it for and how does that help?

Legal Tech 2015  I spent today in NYC speaking with Technolawyer publisher Neil Squillante; visiting with LexisNeixs – Amy McArthur, Kendra Gebhart, Jonah Paransky, Susan Harmon (re Firm Manager), and Deane,  fellow consultants – Bill Dertinger, Jeff Levine, David Michael, Seth Rowland; Spent time with Dan Berlin TABS3 (asked Brian Dickey 50 questions and received 50 great answers about practice Master);
Also today in NYC at Legal Tech I explored vendors – Hot Docs (checking out the new Hot Docs Market); Legal Workspace; Citrix (Share File); Microsoft Office 365 exhibit with their new ‘Matter Center’ app;
 name comName.com a company that is the new registrar for new top level domains for .lawyer .attorney


Finally I spoke to of Daren Davis of Drive Savers – they rescue data from damaged disk drives (including fire damaged PC in attached photo)
fire damaged pcIMG_2401

 

I deliberately skipped the other 80+% of the exhibitors offering eDiscovery

Time Matters Tip
Need a larger font size or type of font – Watch this video. (1 minute)

Need more help …call 856 429-3010  or

Contact Premier

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Time Matters for Marketing and Mailing List Management
WATCH
Premier Software’s Videomail list management and marketing using Time Matters
Use of Features: Working with Lists, Fields, Search (Filter), Select (Tag), Saved Tag List, Sort, Send to Excel, Print Labels, Saved Tag List, Process Send Email to Selected List

For Support Call or Email…Today!
Tel.      (856) 429-3010 or Email:  support@premiersoftware.com

 

It doesn’t matter if your software is on-site or on-line if you don’t have the tools you need when you need them.  I suspect that the term ‘The Cloud’ is taken by many to mean that all of your technology problems will be precluded or magically solved and eliminated. Any system might have the tools but just as likely may not.

Don’t be fooled. It is not a given that a  ‘Cloud’ type system automatically equates to comprehensive, well designed software.

Case in Point: Users will make mistakes in any system.

Therefore, it is important to have tools and support to quickly find and resolve problems. Otherwise confidence in the accuracy your systems data is lost.

Do you know if your software has an accessible audit log of all record changes?
And an audit tab in each record of changes?
And a system deleted items/recycle bin?
And system archived records area?
And a global search feature?

Consider the following example that just occurred with our client and their practice management software1.

Our client reports ‘The matter record disappeared’ They were knowledgeable enough to check the systems recycle bin for deleted items. But the matter was not to be found.
Oh No.

What to do…
There were other tools available. The global search feature and the archived records feature. I logged in on-line to their system, ran a search for the matter # across all records – not there. Oh No.

I then ran a search for the client name – found it 10 times in ten matters, (firm opened a matter once for each year that work was done… but  apparently not for this year.)
I looked at the ‘audit’ tab for matter record the 04xxxx matter record an found that user xyz changed the matter number from 14xxx to 04xxx.  Mystery Solved!

These tools are typical of the quality of design items an experienced user or consultant will intuitively look for.  Sooner or later an issue will arise.  Check now so you’ll know you have the tools you’ll need … make sure you have a quality system.

Score one for Time Matters.

Premier Software is not your prime source as a law firm marketing guru, however, we are experts in tracking legal marketing activity and have a few comments, especially for those lawyers who are looking for new ways to attract clients.

Today potential clients use the internet to search for and make instant judgments about the lawyer that they will select.  Access to useful information (aka content), and judgments based on trust (aka reputation) are critical in guiding the web based prospect to your firm. So what does the web say of you?

Is Your Stream of New Clients Drying Up?
I am reminded of an old movie where a white hat rancher suddenly has no water for his cattle because Read the rest of this entry