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Tag Archives: legal software
Attorneys need to get paid for their work, preferably without lengthy collection proceedings. For simple flat fee cases, a practice might require full payment up front before any work is done. In more complicated matters where the final fee isn’t easily predictable, attorneys ask for a retainer from the client. This amount verifies that the client has the resources to afford the attorney and ensures the attorney will get paid.
It’s not enough to just collect the initial deposit. Legal practices must have retainer management policies in place to handle ongoing retainer needs as cases go on. Today’s billing software for attorneys include retainer management features to simplify this process.
The most obvious aspect of retainer management is making sure that any fees billed come from the retainer rather than being billed to the client. Law office billing software will not only track all the fees and expenses associated with a case but will tie those charges to a case retainer, reducing it as needed.
Too many legal practices don’t pay enough attention to what happens when the retainer runs out. They know the office needs to contact the client for an additional payment, but the mistake they make is to wait until the money is gone and only then ask for more. Until the client pays up, the practice is using their own money to fund the case.
Retainer agreements should include a minimum deposit. This financial cushion gives the practice time to contact the client and receive payment before the funds are depleted. However monitoring the retainer balances of multiple clients by hand when each matter might have different retainer requirements is tedious and prone to error.
Rather than manual oversight, most modern practices use law billing software that reminds them when to ask for more money. They enter the minimum value for each client’s retainer and the legal software reminds the user when the balance is getting low so the client can be contacted for an additional deposit.
Don’t trust something as important as your practice’s cash flow to the good faith of your clients. Implement smart retainer management using legal billing and accounting software to maintain the financial health of your practice.
You’ve seen them. We’ve seen them. These are the headlines that make the lawyers nervous: jury awards millions in legal malpractice suit; lawyer disbarred for unethical conduct.
Lawyers are not immune from being listed as “defendants.” Lawyers USA reported a verdict in 2010 against a law firm for $103 million on findings of legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duties, conspiracy and interfering with business relationships. The underlying fact pattern involved a conflict of interest.
A big part of why we do what we do at Easy Soft is to help lawyers get into good habits using our legal billing software to automate key areas known to result in grievances and professional liability lawsuits.
This week, in a special three-part blog series, we’re going to highlight the three, critical areas for lawyers where using Easy Soft legal software will be defense as the best offense: (1) trust account bookkeeping; (2) conflict management; and (3) docket control.
Each of these high-risk areas can be easily brought to a well-managed business practices when you utilize Easy Soft’s trust accounting software and billing programs. With more than 25 years of experience and more than 15,000 clients, let Easy Soft law office billing software to help you reduce risk and manage time so that you can maximize profitability.
Our “Easy Trust” and “Easy TimeBill” legal software programs are available as a free trial and with a 30-day unconditional money back guarantee. With features from three-way trust account bookkeeping to comprehensive database searches for conflicts of interest to multi view and print calendar controls, our legal billing software sets the gold standard in its field.
Not only is our website stocked with tips and videos to help you explore all of the features of Easy Soft legal software, we have live support operators ready to take your call when you have questions.
Let’s spend a few moments together for the next, three blogs and develop a plan of approach to good practice management that will have you seeing just how easy our law office billing software can be.
Let’s grab just one more topic this week related our theme of professional liability and ethics compliance. As our third example, let’s talk about consider docket control systems, and how we make them easy using “Easy TimeBill” law office billing software and “Easy Trust” trust accounting software.
The idea behind a docket control system is to build two or more sources of reminders for the functions you are responsible to complete. Listing two or more docket control systems is a routine question on applications and renewals of professional liability insurance – the more activity there is around managing your schedule the lower the odds that you’ll forget to do something or be somewhere.
When you use Easy TimeBill and Easy Trust legal software, you incorporate computer automation into your docket control system through your law office billing software and trust accounting software. These programs have calendaring and to-do lists, which act as a docket control system.
In Easy Soft legal software, there is a module called “Case Management,” through which you can maintain a calendar, create task lists, write notes, and link documents. To add a task, simply select the client, identify a due date, flag the priority level of the task, write your description, and assign it. As you progress a matter, you can go back into the attorney billing software task list and update the record with how much of the task has been completed. Our legal software will even allow you to see a list of completed tasks.
With our pair of legal software products, you will also be able to see the same information in different views. For example, once you have added a to-do task, another way our law office billing software will remind you of the task is to show it to you when you click on that particular client. If you forgot about the task and were going into the file to record another activity or expense, the scheduled task will be the first thing that you see.
To recap, this has been the week to highlight trust account bookkeeping, conflict management, and docket control, and how you can successfully serve yourself in all three areas by using Easy Soft’s legal software. In our litigious society, the best defense is the best offense, and that means incorporating law office billing software to automate your business practices in high-risk areas of the law office.
And, as a special bonus-added offering, we’re including a good night’s sleep, at no additional charge.
This week’s special topic what lawyers need to do to keep themselves in compliance and ready to defend against an ethics inquiry or a lawsuit.
As a second example, let’s consider the conflict checking system. And for the sake of argument, let’s continue with the premise that the answer is as easy as Easy Soft’s legal software, specifically, “Easy Trust” trust accounting software and “Easy TimeBill” law office billing software.
You get hired by a client. There is an opposing party. If you can remember the names of your current clients, what about your former clients? Opposing clients? Other members of the Board of Directors? Witnesses you’ve grilled on cross-examination? Co-employees listed on e-mails but not charged? Opposing counsel? Judges?
Grievance committees and malpractice carriers alike expect that, as a routine part of business, lawyers will have a conflict control system that is used no less than when a new client calls for a consultation and when you offer to represent a client. Ideally, it is used at multiple points during representation, as well, such as before issuing subpoenas to testify at trial.
Easy TimeBill law office billing software contains a unique database feature that allows you to build a database and search the database for conflicts with the simple click of a button. The Easy TimeBill data base feature of our legal software encourages you to enter the names of all persons associated with a case – not just the parties. When you input the names of witnesses, counsel, and the judge into our legal software, you go the extra step to build aggregate data in one database, ready to search.
The Easy TimeBill legal billing software also allows you to enter the names of former clients and people associated with their cases. If you have not previously used an automated client conflict system, this will help you to establish one. Even if all you do is enter the names of the parties from cases you have closed out within the past few years and then continue to use this system going forward, you will have a foundation for a conflict check system using Easy TimeBill legal software.
Why not treat today like an opportunity to upgrade and automate your conflict checking system? Easy Soft offers a free trial of our attorney billing software, along with a 30-day money back guarantee, and personal support operators.
Separate, corner office not required.
In the swirl of an attorney’s day is the ever-constant reminder of client #1: the law firm. Lawyers share a personality trait of a desire to help other people with their problems. But, ethics, malpractice, and fee collection are those personal, non-billable matters that attorneys put off. As a consequence, attorneys put their livelihood at risk.
The answer is as easy as saying Easy Soft “legal software.”
Today, let’s talk about just one area of professional responsibility and that is the trust account for client advance retainer deposits. Fortunately for you, there’s “Easy Trust” attorney trust accounting software and “Easy TimeBill” legal billing software.
Lawyers operate at least two bank accounts. One is the operating account for receipt of client payments and remittance of bills. The other is the escrow account for moneys that clients provide, in advance, to be held in trust by you for future billing.
Our attorney trust accounting software can help you avoid mistakes. When you perform attorney trust accounting by hand or in spreadsheets, it is all too simple to make a math mistake and overdraw one or more client payments from your IOLTA account. The problem is that overpayment by one client is taken from the funds of another client, so it won’t jump out as a bank account overdraw or a bounced check. But, it’s not an innocent math mistake. It could become an ethics violation and cost you in more ways than one.
We’ve specifically designed our law office billing software to help you meet your ethic requirements for trust accounts. When you receive an advance retainer deposit from a client, you enter it into our legal software. Every time you work on a client matter using our legal software, you will see the balance of the client retainer deposit on your screen. Any time you want to see a list clients and balances in the IOLTA, all you have to do is open our legal software and click on reports. And, at the end of the month, you balance the IOLTA account against the bank statement, and click to see an updated report of client escrow balances.
The beauty of using our attorney billing software for these and other trust accounting functions is the precision of automation, the ease of seeing reports compiled from available information, and the constant reminders of these available software functions.
When a lawyer is in compliance with trust accounting, responding to a grievance or inquiry is as easy as pulling the file, making photocopies, and providing a detailed narrative. The easiest way to accomplish this feat? Easy. Use Easy Soft for your legal software needs.
When you make an error in your billing entry or on a client invoice, how quickly can you correct it? If your answer is more than five minutes, it’s time for you to switch to Easy Soft’s “Easy TimeBill” legal billing software. As we like to say: to err is human, to correct requires Easy!
With Easy Soft’s attorney billing software, you can correct errors in seconds. If you see a typographical error in a word you input in a recent entry, simply click on the time card, go into the field containing the error, and type the correction. As a more serious and potentially pervasive problem, if you see that the wrong billing rate has been set up for a client in your law firm billing software, simply go into the client set-up screen and edit the hourly rate to be applied, so that our software can instantly revise all associated calculations.
When you create an invoice with Easy TimeBill law office billing software, you select the client and the range of dates, and print the invoice. Once you create and print the invoice through the legal software, our program will change the billable time and expense entries to “billed” and will grey-scale those entries. Through this process, Easy TimeBill wards off further edits to time and expenses already billed to a client.
Our legal software also contains fail-safe measures. If you make a determination that an edit needs to be made to an invoice that has already been printed, you can reverse the invoice back to pending status, make the necessary edits, and create a new invoice. In the alternative, you can make a new time or expense entry with a description of the adjustment being made, which will be printed during the next billing cycle. Either way, it’s as user-friendly as law office software can be.
Whether you’re using Easy Soft’s legal billing software or any of Easy Soft’s other programs, you’ll get that same ease of use and editing. And, if you run into a mistake that you just can’t seem to correct, all of our Easy Soft products come with 1-year of free technical assistance provided by live operators. We are dedicated to the technical programming of legal software, so you’d have to be. Our company name is Easy Soft for a reason.