July 2010

Researching Legal Billing Software Reviews

When a law firm decides to evaluate and potentially purchase legal billing software, conducting thorough research is paramount. This is a major decision that will affect workflow, billing, payments received and more. An important part of that research, should include reading through and assess different legal billing software reviews.

Professional Legal Billing Software Reviews

There are a number of different types of legal billing software reviews that can be used to help decide what software should be researched further and evaluated in-house by a law firm. For example, there are professional software and hardware testing companies that conduct unbiased testing and then release their findings to their readership at-large. As professional testers with incredibly strong technical backgrounds, these professional testing companies are able to analyze different types of software and hardware from a variety of angles. This will provide feedback on potential issues related to ease of installation, ease of use for end-users, as well as report on any red flags that are raised during the testing process. They will also highlight the positives that are discovered during the testing process. The professional testing company conducting the review may even offer suggestions for good hardware matches for the software. From that information, those involved in the decision-making process for the law office can then make recommendations regarding what software should be brought into the law office for evaluation.

End-User Legal Billing Software Reviews

In addition to professional testing companies that provide legal billing software reviews, many will provide feedback on their software. Unlike professional testing companies, these individuals utilize the software they are reviewing on a day-to-day basis providing a “real world” view. Many look to these legal billing software reviews with more validity from an end-user perspective, since these are professionals within the legal field and they understand the challenges that occur in a legal office on a regular basis related to efficiency, billing, payment and workflow.

The Importance of Legal Billing Software Reviews

It is obvious that these two different types of legal billing software reviews provide important information from two very different view points. By reviewing the information from these two different sources, a complete view of the software under consideration can be obtained and the testing and decision-making process for a billing software decision can move forward.

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Evaluating Legal Billing Software

Making the decision to use legal billing software to manage billing and payments received is a great way to both automate what is often a complicated process, as well as ensure proper record keeping. It is important, however, to make sure a complete evaluation on different choices of legal billing software take place prior to making a final decision on what system to purchase.

Finding the Right Legal Billing Software

It is important to research the different legal billing software options in a methodical manner. Think about all the tasks currently done, both manually and through any computerized processes, such as using any spreadsheet or database programs. Before starting any tests or evaluations, it is important to have a complete view of all processes currently in place so the evaluation and testing is complete and unbiased.

It is important to inquire if an evaluation version of the legal billing software is available for testing. This will provide “real-world” testing within a legal office’s specific situation. Enter real data into the system to see how the information is handled and even consider running the legal billing software testing in parallel to see how the system works.

It is also important to make sure the individual or team that normally handles the billing process for the law firm be the primary testers of the legal billing software under consideration. These individuals are the professionals that handle the law office’s billing processes on a day-to-day basis. Ultimately, they will be the ones that can complete the most detailed testing as well as provide the most accurate feedback on which legal billing software system makes the most sense.

Deciding on the Best Legal Billing Software

Selecting a legal billing software plan for a law office is a major decision. As a result, the different legal billing software systems under consideration should be tested thoroughly and without bias so the best decision can be made for the law office’s specific situation. By having a methodical process during testing the different software options, coupled with the feedback from those who handle billing for the law office on a regular basis, will provide the most accurate feedback so everyone comes to the best conclusion.

Making the decision to use legal billing software to manage billing and payments received is a great way to both automate what is often a complicated process, as well as ensure proper record keeping. It is important, however, to make sure a complete evaluation on different choices of legal billing software take place prior to making a final decision on what system to purchase.

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Where to Find Legal Billing Software Reviews

When the time comes for a law firm to consider a new workflow process or software system, it is extremely important to complete due diligence and conduct plenty of research during the initial phase of the project. An important part of that research should include reading legal billing software reviews.

Finding Legal Billing Software Reviews

Many may wonder where to begin when searching for legal billing software reviews. There are a number of professional reviewing sites that can provide unbiased reviews and information. A More legal-focused site that offers legal billing software reviews is TechnoLawyer.com. Lawofficesoftware.org also provides unbiased law office software reviews. The American Bar Association also provides incredibly helpful information for those seeking legal billing software reviews and additional data.

These sites are great places to start when conducting initial online research regarding software options and legal billing software reviews. From this jumping point, an initial list of applications and software systems can be developed for further research and inquiry.

Personal Legal Billing Software Reviews and Information

Another good possibility to discover more information on different software options is to solicit legal billing software reviews from fellow attorneys at different law firms. These are equal professionals who utilize different workflow processes, billing and time management software solutions in the same or in a similar manner a law firm considering a change would. As a result, these individuals would be able to provide a detailed and honest assessment of the systems they currently use. While locating and reviewing research online is a great way to start and can provide detailed information about technical requirements and the like, this information received from fellow attorneys could prove to be more useful than anything found online.

Once this information is in hand and thoroughly reviewed, the individuals at the law firm that will make up the team involved in researching and testing different legal billing software solutions should feel much more confident moving forward in the testing and decision making process.

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Real Estate Short Sale Success

In the current economic climate and distressed housing market, real estate shorts sales have become increasingly common. The primary short sale strategy gives the seller an exit strategy to get out from under a mortgage he can’t afford. Nonetheless, the lender and the buyer can also benefit. The lender gets rid of a bad loan and the possible added expense of foreclosure action and the buyer gets a home at a reduced price.

One caveat, whether you are the seller or the buyer in a short sale deal, choose your real estate agent carefully. Be sure the realtor has experience with short sales and understands all aspects of the strategy. While time is of the essence in most short sale situations, a good real estate agent will take the time to conduct a market analysis, explain the short sale process, prepare the paperwork the lender requires, conduct negotiations and follow through with you and the lender.

For the seller, the realtor’s research is crucial to gather accurate information and prepare a preliminary HUD statement to use as a tool to negotiate with the lender. And, for the buyer, thorough market research will help you and your realtor assess home prices and arrive at a fair offer that the lender is likely to accept and that factors in the repairs and improvements the home will need.

An effective short sale realtor can prepare the Seller’s hardship letter, preliminary HUD statement and documentation and purchase contract to assure the lender that he will get paid. With an accurate preliminary HUD statement in hand, the realtor is in a better position to convince the lender to accept a discount on the money the seller owes on his mortgage and ensure that the seller doesn’t end up owing money at the closing.

A knowledgeable realtor who works closely with you and the lender to keep the sale process on track and makes sure the deal goes through is the key to successful short sales.

Realtors who want to succeed at the short sale process rely on Easy Soft for short sale and real estate closing software.

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Understanding Legal Billing Software Reviews

When a law firm decides to evaluate a new workflow process, regardless of the type of software or tool, a methodical and unbiased approach is key to making an informed decision that will work best for the firm. An important part of the decision-making process is researching and assessing legal billing software reviews.

What do Legal Billing Software Reviews Provide?

Legal billing software reviews are a great place to start when considering a new automated billing and workflow management system. They can let the researcher know what tools are currently available and what both professional testing organizations as well as day-to-day users in the legal field think of the different billing software solutions on the market. This information can prove quite helpful when in the initial phase of billing software research.

It is also a worthwhile decision to speak to fellow legal colleagues to get their opinions on any billing, time management or workflow software solutions in use in their law office. As a trusted colleague working in the same industry and often in the same region, their legal billing software reviews may be the best help to a law firm considering a new purchase or a change in software or process.

A major concern is always related to the cost of a new software system. The cost of a new system goes far beyond the actual cost of the software. There will more than likely be a temporary down-tick in productivity during the initial learning-curve phase, as well as down-time during the installation and training period. While those may be considered initial negatives, the decision should become a positive as more employees in the law office become comfortable with the new system and have increased productivity as a result of leaving old and potentially less fruitful systems behind. Looking at the long-term positives is far more important instead of focusing on a few potential short-term negatives related to getting a law firm up and running properly with new billing software.

The Role of Legal Billing Software Reviews

Making any workflow, process or software change in business is not a decision that should be taken lightly. However, by conducting a methodical search and reading legal billing software reviews, coupled with seeking out personal suggestions and feedback from fellow legal colleagues, the chances are greater that the change will be a positive one.

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Law Office Efficiency through Legal Billing Software

Daily workload and office efficiency is always a prime concern when determining if a business is working at its peak potential. If a business is not working efficiently and as a team, this will ultimately cost the business money.

Finding Efficiency through Legal Billing Software

A big part of billing in a law office is related to time spent on a client’s specific legal issue. Often, managing time spent on a client can be a manual and arduous process. As a result, the total amount of time spent on a client may not be properly documented and, ultimately, efficiency is lost. A good option to a manual time management process, however, is utilizing legal billing software for both time and client management.

Regardless of the type of legal billing software in use for maximizing efficiency and potential tracking time spent, it is important the system prove to be user-friendly. Otherwise, employees will spend more time trying to enter information into the system properly, instead of being productive by providing legal assistance to the law firm’s clients.

It is also important that the legal billing software allow for access by multiple users simultaneously. Otherwise, employees will wind up regularly waiting for another employee to exit the system so the next individual can go in and enter their data. A related issue to concurrent legal billing software use is the continuity of integration into the law office’s current network and computer system. If major upgrades are required, or massive changes to workflow are needed, the legal billing software decision will require extra examination to make sure the right system is selected and does not become more cumbersome from a maintenance point of view. While it is important to keep networks and back up systems up to date, if major changes are required, the legal billing software under scrutiny may not be the best option.

Support for Legal Billing Software

Another important concern when using legal billing software is customer and technology support. When any system is new, there is a learning curve. In order to minimize end-user frustration and get employees up to speed on the new system as quickly as possible, user acceptance and system buy-in is key for the entire system’s success. By ensuring proper training and support is made available to the new users, the transition will ultimately be less stressful.

It is without a doubt deciding on a legal billing software system is a major decision for multiple reasons. However, by taking a methodical approach, there will be a greater chance of success.

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