Some small law practices tend to dismiss software tools as something for the big boys. They make the assumption that a small practice is simpler so doesn’t need sophisticated attorney time and billing software but that’s not true, especially when it comes to managing trusts.
Small Law Firm – Large Work Load
For one thing, big firms can manage to hire the specialized (and expensive) accounting professionals needed for trust management. In a small firm, especially a single-attorney firm, the lawyers do all the work. Trust administration is more complicated than simply adding numbers in columns. If a firm doesn’t use legal accounting software to carefully manage each matter within a trust, eventually someone is going to make a small arithmetic error that is going to have major repercussions.
Stop Trust Fund Mismanagement
One of the leading reasons for attorney disbarment is trust fund mismanagement. You don’t have to be deliberately stealing from your clients to end up facing severe penalties. If you find yourself standing before a judge defending your trust accounting system then you better be able to show a meticulous paper trail that demonstrates your good faith. Some judges will penalize careless accounting as severely as they will penalize deliberate theft.
Minimize Multiple Escrow Fund Mistakes
Legal billing and accounting software minimizes the chance a firm will commit multiple escrow fund errors. One mistake, especially if it seems like a harmless one, is likely to carry a less severe penalty than a series of blunders that make the firm look at best foolish, and at worse criminally negligent.
Avoid Recovering From Penalties
Finally there is the issue of recovering from penalties. If an attorney in a large firm is hit with a six-month suspension for trust account mismanagement, the firm will roll on. A solo attorney suffering the same penalty better start looking for another line of work because the practice is done. Small firms have to be much more scrupulous than large practices to avoid even the appearance of mismanagement that can lead to career-ending punishments.
Trust Management – Not An Option
Trust management is just one example of why attorney practice management software is a non-optional part of any modern legal practice. If you are running a law firm, whether it’s a one-person practice operating from your kitchen table or a multinational corporation that takes on Fortune 500 clients, come to Easy Soft to find the best digital tools for running an effective practice.