Choosing Your Practice Management Software

In this episode, I introduce the guidance on choosing suitable practice management software for law firm owners. Technology affords us privileges, and we want to use it effectively. But many lawyers get so overwhelmed when choosing a practice management software due to their personal preference and a large quantity of available software in the market. They often encounter loss of income, time and frustration. 


Tune in to learn more about the process of choosing effective practice management software for law firm owners. 


In this episode we discuss:

  • Choosing the right software when it takes so much time to review and decide.
  • Knowing your priorities and what is needed in your particular law firm.
  • Considering 3 main areas and what features are needed for each.
  • The importance of calendar integration for both scheduling and billing.
  • Accepting that one piece of software may not be able to meet all your needs.
  • Having your practice management and accounting software integrate to avoid double data entry.
  • The importance of having a plan for introducing and adopting new software.
  • Knowing your firm’s tolerance for change and the anticipated level of resistance.
  • Making sure you know who is responsible for exporting data out of the old software and importing into the new, and in a manner that will minimize downtime.

Allison Williams: [00:00:01] Hi everybody, it’s Allison Williams here, your Law Firm Mentor. Law Firm Mentor is a business coaching service for solo and small law firm attorneys. We help you grow your revenues, crush chaos in business and make more money.


Allison Williams: [00:00:25] Hi, everybody, it’s Allison Williams here, your Law Firm Mentor. And today on the Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast, we’re going to talk about choosing a practice management software. And I know that a lot of you are tech junkies, right? We know that there is a slowly building, but very consistent addiction in the legal profession to App Sumo. And I hear a lot of people talking about the different ways that they are using technology in their law firm so that they can be a lawyer on the beach or so that they can practice from anywhere or so they can take time off. Right. So we know technology affords us a lot of privileges and we want to be using it effectively. But so many lawyers get so overwhelmed when it’s time to choose a practice management software because everybody has a different preference and there’s dozens of them now. Right. We have all heard about some of the big names. Right. The the Clios, the Practice Panthers, the MyCase, the Leaps, the the Zola Suite, the Smokeballs. Right. They’re kind of the big names in the industry. But there’s a lot more out there that are now kind of picking up steam, as you will, assuming that we don’t get to the point of having a monopoly as Cleo is kind of soaking up the different practice areas. Practice management softwares. Right.


Allison Williams: [00:01:41] But we know that even as we are seeing varying different iterations of legal practice management software, there are so many features that each practice management software delivers to us. But I think a lot of us get into the mindset of we have to choose, quote, the one. We have to find the practice management software that’s going to solve all of our problems. And we have to commit to that one as the one. And every time that we go through picking ourselves up from one platform and putting ourselves on another, we oftentimes encounter loss of income, loss of time, a lot of frustration, a lot of institutional pushback from our employees. And so it becomes a much greater research on the front end for a lot of us in order to avoid replicating that pain in the process down the road. So I wanted to give you guys a little bit of guidance in terms of how to choose and how to go about the process of choosing a practice management software so that you didn’t just pick one out of a lineup or ask a bunch of people who have a different kind of Law Firm Mentor to do in a different part of the country with different priorities and think that someone else’s recommendation actually has any validity to you at all, because frankly, it doesn’t.


Allison Williams: [00:03:03] And it’s not that other people don’t have valuable insights to share. The challenge that most of us encounter is that we don’t all have the same type of law firm and we don’t all have the same priorities. So you have to know what your priorities are. You have to know what you’re looking for, what problems you are solving with the technology and how much you’re going to need in the future in terms of solving future problems, depending on how quickly you grow, depending on what your law firm becomes when you get it to that place where you truly crush chaos and you have a highly systematized law firm, there’s a lot that goes into this decision making process. And I just think that blasting out to a group of thousands of lawyers and saying, hey, what do you like for this this piece of our world, our practice management software? It’s probably the least successful, least lucrative way for us to make this decision. So I want to give you three things to think about today. When we talk about choosing a practice management software, we’re going to be talking about the features needed. Then we’re going to go into some of the thoughts about the mindset around the software. OK. Now this is not this is not a deep mindset episode. Today, we’re really talking about strategy, tactical stuff. But the mindset of how you do anything is how you do everything.


Allison Williams: [00:04:26] And this is going to also fit within that category. So I want to make sure that as we’re talking about this, that as we are seeing opportunities for you to advance in your business by use of practice management software that you are contemplating successfully how to think about this issue and that will filter over into other areas of success mindset in a law firm. And then finally, we’re going to be talking about a little bit of the transition plan for moving from one practice management software to another. OK, so the first consideration are the features that you need, right? There are lots of different areas of consideration, but there are three for the most part that I want you to consider. I want you to be thinking about what you need for the legal delivery of services. Right.


Allison Williams: [00:05:12] What you need for the law, what legal what legal practitioners in your business will require in order to have effective software. Second is the accounting side, right? What you need in terms of having ready, available, easily consumable access to financial data about your business. And then third is the sales aspect. That is that is including information that goes into your funnel through intake and is then ultimately usable data in your consultation process. OK, so in the legal department, we need to think about some things such as and by the way, this is I should put the little caveat out there. This is not an exhaustive list. I am sure there’s probably five thousand other things that you can put into these three categories.


Allison Williams: [00:06:01] But if you start by creating a template for yourself that says I need to identify the features and I have features in legal, accounting and sales, then you can start to add to your list as you need to when you think about what you currently have and or what you are going to add to your business when you actually acquire that software. OK, so for legal, we want to think about things such as document organization, file organization, management of contacts. That is both our clients and our non-clients, people like our adversaries, like judges, like experts, et cetera. We want to think about document automation, really important that we can accelerate the time to prepare a document so that we can increase our efficiency and make more money off of the preparation of that document because the same amount of money is going to be charged, whether it takes an hour or it takes 15 minutes. Then we want to be thinking about the billing components, right, and by billing components here, I’m talking about the automaticity of your billing. Right. Do you have the kind of software that as soon as you open up a client matter, you’re going to have a timer start and that timer clicks off when you click done or you click build task so that you’re able to, in a relatively easy fashion, have your billing software almost be like your second set of eyes and ears to capture more time.


Allison Williams: [00:07:26] Right. One of the things that was very disturbing to me the last time I read the Clio Trends report is that just over 30 percent of lawyers that have data for Clio, which tends to be smaller law firms, even though they’ve gotten into some larger law firm spaces recently. You know, when you start looking at the solo and small law firm’s space, Clio actually captured that about 30 percent of time spent in the course of the day is billable. And that’s pretty disturbing when you think about it. If you’re spending eight hours in a day and you’re only spending 30 percent of that time or just a couple of hours billing, then there’s a whole lot of time in the course of a day you’re not capturing, even though you’re working on legal matters. So automaticity of billing can really help with that. So that’s definitely something you want to look into. OK, client portal and communications. How do we deliver documents to our clients? What type of client experience the customer service experience can we give to our clients where they can see indexable easily sorted, clearly understandable documents available and they have a place to go where they can communicate on the documents, where they can go back and forth with us if they need to, where they can schedule appointments, if they need to. Right.


Allison Williams: [00:08:43] So calendar integration becomes really important also not just for client scheduling appointments, but for you to be able to see relative to your practice management software what you are doing in your day to day. And a lot of now the practice management software allows for you to build directly from your calendar. Right. So if you identify that you were in court from nine to 12 or that’s when you anticipate being in court, you can click bill to client simply from the calendar. And that will allow you to immediately have that imported into your software so you don’t have to retype it. You might have to add or reduce a little bit of time, but you at least have a place to start from, right? Also in legal, we need task management. We need to be able to assign activity between lawyers and paralegals, between lawyers and associates. We need to be able to communicate about the activity where it is in process. And a lot of that happens through task management. Then, of course, we need to get paid. So we want to make sure our online payments and our expense tracking are available so that people are able to put this information into the software. And it’s easy to see. It’s easy to digest. We we don’t have to look for it. It’s not forty five clicks to get to it. All of those things, the easier we make the job of our team to document information that gets us paid, more likely they’re going to do it and the greater ease with which we will be able to issue bills timely and get paid more quickly.


Allison Williams: [00:10:15] OK, And now we’re going to talk about the accounting side of your practice management software, so it’s really important that you have some type of software external to your practice management software where you’re maintaining your books. And I can’t tell you the number of solo and small law firm attorneys that I meet with all the time. Some become our client. Some do not, but they they express and share. And there’s a lot of shame around not having up to date books. Some people haven’t filed taxes in a couple of years. Some people have filed taxes, but they might have to do reformations. Some people just don’t know where the information is. And there’s a lot of confusion around where to store information, how to store it accurately, how to reflect it accurately. So I want to remove any form of shame from that conversation because, you know, we didn’t grow up… Most of us didn’t grow up and get trained in the world of finance. And a lot of us couldn’t afford to go get the sophistication of tools and professionals that would be able to handle that with precision for us when we first started our business.


Allison Williams: [00:11:25] So I just want you to know that going in. But for those of us that have gotten to this place and everyone should at some point where you have QuickBooks, Quicken, Xero, some form of financial accounting software, having the integration of that software with your legal software, your practice management software, super helpful. And it’s going to be really important that the practice management software tools that you choose ultimately integrate with your financial management software in a way that allows the two to communicate and allow for entry of data in one location. Right. So I can tell you, I had a financial person in my office at one point and we are required to keep triple accounting in New Jersey. So I won’t go into all the gory details, but I will say that she at one point took it upon herself to start entering all of the minutiae of every client transaction, the client name, the client date of transaction credits and debits in QuickBooks, as she had in our practice management software. And I literally said, how is it possible that we do we don’t have one space for this information to be collected. And ultimately it had to be built. Right? There was an integration that could be created. But rather than doing something like a Zapier, which by the way, is an integration tool for those of you that don’t know, that allows software to speak to each other. Rather than doing a Zapier, the practice management software had a different type of code. It didn’t have an API code where you can write code to allow those two softwares to communicate.


Allison Williams: [00:13:10] So we actually had to have the the developer of the practice management software create that for us so that those two tools could communicate. But I said to her, there’s no way you ought to be spending all of your time. You know, we have upwards of three hundred financial transactions a month from our clients because of the number of clients we have. There’s no way we should be having, in addition, you entering all that data in one location and then entering it all over again in a different location, like that’s lunacy. But she didn’t know that there was such a thing as having to integrate, which I found odd. But, you know, apparently that’s not so odd to people. So I just, I want you to think about that from the perspective of making sure that your software can communicate. And then the second thing that’s really important with accounting is that you want to make sure you have good reports. So reports can help you identify things such as hours billed in a month or in a week or however long a period of you’re looking at it right. Ours billed, dollars collected, dollars generated and dollars generated is really important for when you’re, when you’re going to ultimately have more than one professional. Because if you’re going to compensate people based on generating cases, you need to know what those cases were and through what channel they came in and who they are assigned to.


Allison Williams: [00:14:38] So your practice management software can really help you to be able to generate a report and say, OK, here are the cases assigned to X or generated through X, that person receives a certain percentage. Here is the compensation for that. Also, your reporting can help you calculate your average case value, which, by the way, is a critical piece of information for marketing so that you understand starting out in the process. Here is the amount of information that we need. And we start with how much a case is worth so that we can look at the number of cases we have and we can reverse engineer our funnel to say, OK, if we want to make X dollars by the end of the year, if our average case value is ten thousand dollars, then we take the desired goal divide by ten thousand dollars. And we know then how much how many cases we have to actually service. Right. So it becomes a matter of simple math and then it helps you to break that down into quarters and then months and then weeks so you can be looking at your intake and marketing system much more effectively when your practice management software tells you an accurate number that you’re shooting for in this regard.


Allison Williams: [00:15:48] OK, so speaking of practice management software, for purposes of sales, your average case value, I want you to be thinking now about sales as a category and you want to know if your practice management software has a CRM and if you’re going to be able to have lead tracking through the software. So lead tracking includes that every person that calls your office, you have their name and email in particular stored so that you can continue to communicate with them, whether it’s through email marketing campaigns, whether it is through advising them of when their appointment is with whom it’s scheduled, gathering information from them in the courting process, leading up to them becoming a client. You also want to be thinking about whether or not that CRM connects with your client side, so when you are looking at the sales side, these people in your CRM are not yet your clients. But is it as simple as pressing a button to say, convert to client, or is more going to be required in order to take the information from the intake side and transfer it over to the sales side? So you want to know about that? You also want to know about automating your scheduling, right. So are you going to have a calendar link on your website? And that allows a person to go through a questionnaire, sign up for consultation on the website and then whatever information they give you, then directly imports into your practice management software? Or is the person going to have to go through an additional screening whereby they schedule themselves, but somebody is going to reach out to them to make sure that your firm wants to actually meet with that person? Right.


Allison Williams: [00:17:30] So however you, however your systems are going to be created, practice management software allows you to take a lot of different universes of information and then communicate effectively all in one location. But the problem with that, this is both a blessing and a curse all at once. Right. The problem with this is that we oftentimes will look at practice management software as the one and only. Right. It’s the place we go for all things related to our business. And sometimes that’s the right approach. But there are a lot of tools that you’re never going to find, every single thing that you need and desire in your business functioning in the way you desire it in your practice management software. Right. There are some softwares where you love what they do. And from a legal perspective, you love how they bill. You love how the how the client portal looks. You love how they communicate. You love task management, and yet you hate the accounting side. Right. They’re not able to send out mass bills in the way that you’d like.


Allison Williams: [00:18:32] They’re not able to break out your hourly versus your flat fee versus your contingency. So they don’t work for all the departments in your firm. Right. And you’re always going to have those types of questions about what is best. So strategy number two, in talking about practice management software is that I want you to accept that you may never have all of the needs met for your law firm in one piece of software. OK. Most law firms that I know most that are clients, most that I have consulted with over the years, most that I know from my own personal relationships do not have one piece of software.


Allison Williams: [00:19:10] Most small firms have a multitude of different software, and sometimes the assumption is that you just don’t know all the things that your software can do. But the reality is, even when you know what they can do, sometimes you just don’t like it. Right? You love everything about the software except the task management or you love everything about the software except the financial accounting side. It’s OK to find a good enough solution, and with software, almost invariably the solutions will be good enough. There are some people that will say, Oh yeah, I love everything about this piece of software. It does everything that I need. I have no questions. I have no needs outside of this. But typically, when a person says that, that is an indication that they have less sophistication and knowledge about all the things that are possible with all the software that they could be looking into.


Allison Williams: [00:20:01] In other words, they’ve decided to resign themselves to be happy with what they have. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being happy with what you have. Like, I’m a big proponent of that. But sometimes you are losing efficiency opportunities by not being open to choosing software outside of the practice management software universe. So I want to just give you the idea to be thinking about whether or not the one stop shop is really best for you or if there are ways for you to be more productive by looking outside of the one stop shop. So some examples might be that task management is oftentimes separate from your practice management software. And I know how easy it would be to say I’m working on John Doe’s case. So I would love to be able to just click, assign a certain activity on John Doe’s case to my paralegal or to my associate, and then have them respond to acknowledge the task and then send it back to me on a date certain so I can see all of my tasks in the same place as my work. But some some software, you might love the software, but not like how the task management system works. So you might want to go with something like Asana or Trello or Monday dot com in order to get your tasks running smoothly relative to and side by side with your practice management software.


Allison Williams: [00:21:19] Workflows is another. Right? There’s a lot of us that we like to work in our legal work in a way that is step by step by step. Right. There are some things that, you know, we’re going to have to happen to move a case from commencement to conclusion. And the challenge that we have with not having that defined and having all of those steps worked out in a workflow, challenge us to have to remember or even train up the next person, a team member, on how to run the cases. So a lot of times workflows or something that we build out, but oftentimes lawyers will consult an outside IT vendor in order to bring in -house the preparation and creation of a workflow for their business. Right. Sometimes they’ll even just hire a professional to build out one or two workflows so that you can see how the process worked and build others yourself. Sometimes you want the whole job outsourced. And then finally, with accounting, right, there’s a lot of things that we can do with accounting software, but your goal is ultimately to avoid double entry of data. So sometimes if you don’t have practice management software that affords you that, it’s a real challenge to decide, do I want to go ahead and switch? Do I want to leave this practice management software because it doesn’t have this? Or is there a way that I can shortcut my data in one location and cross refer to the information in another location? Now, this is not really preferred.


Allison Williams: [00:22:51] Most accountants, bookkeepers, financial people are going to tell you they want all of the meticulous, thorough detail of data in the software that deals with accounting, because that’s where they start to analyze. That’s where they look for trends. That’s where they develop cash flow reports and projections into the future. So it’s really challenging to cross refer it and you don’t want to have only piecemeal information in your practice management software when you’re deciding whether or not your client is up to date on payments or whether or not they are worthy of the extension of a payment plan or something like that. So it’s not impossible that you would have accounting software kept completely separate from your practice management software, but having those two be in bed together, for lack of a better phrase, it’s really something you should prioritize.


Allison Williams: [00:22:43] OK. Third and final consideration of choosing your practice management software. Now, we have already covered what some of the categories are of information that you need to consider. You need to consider what’s needed for your legal team, your accounting team and your sales team in your law firm. And you also need to consider that there may not be a one stop shop solution for everything that you need to do. And then most law firms, there’s not. No matter the size. Because the law and the ways in which we now function relative to doing the work has evolved so quickly that software solutions, sometimes the ones that have the best answer are not already within what we’re using, but we otherwise like what we’re using. But let’s assume for the moment that you don’t like what you’re using, right?


Allison Williams: [00:24:28] So now I want to talk about strategy number three, which is that you have to plan for your transition. And the way we plan for the transition. This is transitioning us from software that we had. If we’re going to change, now we’re changing over to something new. Software that we are changing over to. We have to have a plan for changing it. Right. And there are some very basic things that we have to consider. So the first thing, the absolute first thing you have to consider before you even contemplate making a change in your practice management software is I want you to address the institutional resistance to change that exists in your law firm, OK? Not every law firm has this. Right? There are some people who are twenty-five fresh out of law school. They’ve got the money to start a law firm. They immediately invest in practice management software. It’s me, myself and I, and I’m super tech savvy, so I have no resistance.


Allison Williams: [00:25:19] All right. And then there are law firms that have been in existence for ten years and maybe they have a team of age diversity in their law firm. So you can have some fresh out of college students that are helping you with your filing and your administrative tasks. You could have some later in life, soon to retire employees who are your receptionist or your paralegals. You could have lawyers in the firm who are somewhere in the mid-term of their career. Maybe they’re in their 40s or 50s. They have many more years to practice, but they could be tech resistant, right? People fall in different categories, but we are now in a stage where most people have had a growing familiarity with technology. So most people have at least some use of it. How familiar, how comfortable and how easily and fluidly they will move from one piece of technology to another. It’s variable based on people. So you have to think about not only how quickly can someone learn, but how quickly will their attitude adjust to the fact that they must learn if we change our software. And for some law firms, that means blasting out an email or sending out a message at the team meeting or the firm meeting. Hey, everybody, we’re going to be changing our practice management software, period. Move on to the next topic.


Allison Williams: [00:26:43] And for other places, that involves a much greater conversation. And terror will go across the face of everyone involved. And you’re going to have people that are going to say, what do you mean we’re changing? Why are we changing it? How are we going to learn this? However, are we going to learn all those functions? I’ve just gotten used to where all of our client data is. How’s our client data going to be stored in the new place? Right. There’s there’s a sense of unease that comes with change, but particularly change that is going to involve working with technology. So I want you to be thinking about how you’re going to communicate with your team about the fact of a change, and even before you get there, if there are some people that are highly resistant to change, one of the things that you can do to resist that to to break down that barrier before it forms is to involve them in the decision making process of which software to choose. Right. You might have decided this software doesn’t work for us anymore. We are definitely going to change it. But involving a resistant person in the final selection process, we’ve got two pieces of software equally sounding like what we need. But let’s bring in the person who is least likely to want to change anything, who is accepted over some period of time that there will be a change and involve that person in deciding. Do you think it’s easier to use A or B? Right. Now, of course you should only do this if you are truly up in the air and don’t really care. If you’re like, you know, I can I can learn to use anything. I’m just as happy learning A as I am learning B. Sometimes that extra nudge of involving team members who are a little more tech resistant in that process can really help in order to move the matter forward.


Allison Williams: [00:28:21] All right. Second up in planning for transition is that I want you to think about the fact that software should have a plan that addresses minimizing your downtime. Right. So you want to make sure that however long the new company needs to take the data from the old place and put it into the new place, and I am somewhat making an assumption there. So let me back that up a bit. Not every software solution is going to agree to or even offer to extract your old data and install it in your new software. Some companies will say you give us the CSV file or the document or the word document or whatever, and we will then put it in the new software. But you have to extract it from the old first, and that would be my least preferred vendor to work with. Nowadays, most software companies are so eager to get your business that they’re going to make it easy for you.


Allison Williams: [00:29:16] They’re going to say, you know, turn your old software over to us and we will import. We will export from the old and import into the new. But you still could find someone who does not do that for you. So you want to ask, do they do that? But the goal, obviously, is to minimize the downtime. You want to have a go live date and you want to have planning between the, kind of the launch of changing things over to the launch of your new utilization. And the larger your firm is, the the more structured a process that you need for that. I will tell you the last time we changed practice management software, at that time, I had 16 employees and the company that is now our provider of practice management software actually had a whole process for on date A, we’re going to train up a fourth of your team. Right. So we trained in fours. And then date B, we trained the next four. Date C we trained the next four, etc. and we included multiple dates in there so that if one of the lawyers, despite having scheduled in advance, that’s something that they were not available to do anything law related that day because they had training. If something were to happen and we absolutely couldn’t have it covered by another lawyer, they would be available to go at a different time. OK, so and we actually did have that happen.


Allison Williams: [00:30:43] Somebody had an emergent application filed by an adverse party, so we had to go deal with it. And it was too complex a case to hand off to someone else at that, at that moment. But that process of getting everyone trained up on it actually predated going live. So we learned how to use it first. And then we had demos and then we had videos and we had trainings and we had recordings. All of that happened first. Then there was extracting the old data and actually copying it and pasting it into the new software before we started using the new software so that we could play around with the new software for a couple of weeks before we actually went live with it. Right. So we would start to double entry some of our transactions so we could all see what it would feel like using the new software. And then finally the go live date. By that time, everybody had become so proficient in it that the go live date was really a nonevent. Right. It wasn’t a big deal. We didn’t have any downtime in this particular transition. And we were able to effectively start using the new software as if we had been using it for an extended period of time, which in fact we had. Right. But that was something that was laid out by the new company to get us off of the old software.


Allison Williams: [00:32:01] And what you’re going to find is that more and more software companies are adding that service without additional costs because they want to get your business and they want to make it easy for you so that you enjoy them. And you’re not looking to solve every problem by picking up and leaving the software, you’re looking to stay with them long term. OK, the last and final thing I want to say about planning for transition is that I want you to be prepared to pay for training in advance of the go live date if it’s warranted. OK, now, when I say if it’s warranted, this is largely going to be dependent on what practice management software you went with. Sometimes your practice management software provider is going to provide training as a part of the process, sometimes not. So the practice management software that we were using in this last example, the one that we transitioned away from when we transitioned to them. Right. We’re going to call the software I’m talking about that we, that the most recent change was from two to practice management software three when we went from practice management software number one to number two, we actually paid an outside IT consulting firm. And that firm came in and customized the software so that all of our forms and all of our abbreviations and all of our client data was stored in a very particular way. And then when it was time to train us on it before we went live, this was the first time, by the way, that I went to having two monitors.


Allison Williams: [00:33:34] I had already been using two monitors, but we decided to add a second monitor to every workstation so that we could have one monitor, have the image of the video of our trainer together with a side by side of the software. So think about Zoom, where you’ve got the speaker on one side. You’ve got the the main screen in the middle on one computer monitor and then on the other computer monitor, we were able to log into a dummy account and actually replicate the steps that we had just been trained on. And this made it a lot easier for us to actually be able to fluidly move through using technology in the process. Now, don’t get me wrong, we had some people with us at that time who were really tech resistant and even having the two monitors, they couldn’t figure out how to drag and drop and move things from the two monitors. They couldn’t figure out how to work within the dummy system. So they required a lot more handholding. But because we had trainers offsite who were remoting in and running a demo for us as they were showing us something, we could actually move between workstations so that we could see what was happening, no matter whose workstation we were standing at, so we could help our person who would otherwise have fallen behind.


Allison Williams: [00:34:54] Right. So that really goes into the process of implementation of your new practice management software. And I want you to be thinking about that going in so that, you know, when you are looking at different practice management software to ask that question. Right. What do you do with tech resistant folks? How do you train? Is training included in the economics in the process of the purchase? Does that come with an upfront fee or does that come with the licenses that we are buying for however long we’re going to have the software?


Allison Williams: [00:35:25] All right, I hope I have given you some food for thought as to how to choose your practice management software. I know that there was a lot of minutiae there. This might be an episode that you have to go back and listen to a couple of times. But I want you to seriously consider, as you’re going through the process of choosing your practice management software, what is needed in the area of your legal accounting and your sales also that you may not need to have and may not be able to have a one stop shop solution. And then finally, the transition can be a killer. But if you handle it well, you can absolutely accomplish it with no downtime and no loss of revenue, even though there are going to be some hiccups and some growing pains along the way.


Allison Williams: [00:36:05] All right, everyone, I’m Allison Williams. I want to thank you for tuning in to another edition of The Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast. And if you have any questions about how to move your law firm forward using technology, you feel free to reach out to us. You can always hit me up on Facebook or social media. I’m also available in our Facebook group, the Law Firm Mentor Movement closed Facebook group. Join us there for tips and tricks and strategies. We go live every Thursday helping you to create more money and to crush chaos in your law firm. I’m Allison Williams, your Law Firm Mentor. Everyone have a great day.

Allison Williams: [00:36:38] Thank you for tuning in to the Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast. To learn more about today’s guests and take advantage of the resources mentioned, check out our show notes. And if you own a solo or small law firm and are looking for guidance, advice or simply support on your journey to create a law firm that runs without you, join us in the Law Firm Mentor Movement free Facebook group. There, you can access our free trainings on improving collections in law firms, meeting billable hours, and join the movement of thousands of law firm owners across the country who want to crush chaos in their law firm and make more money. I’m Allison Williams, your Law Firm Mentor. Have a great day.

Allison Bio:

Allison C. Williams, Esq., is Founder and Owner of the Williams Law Group, LLC, with offices in Short Hills and Freehold, New Jersey. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney and is the first attorney in New Jersey to become Board-Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in the field of Family Law. 

Ms. Williams is an accomplished businesswoman. In 2017, the Williams Law Group won the LawFirm500 award, ranking 14th of the fastest growing law firms in the nation, as Ms. Williams grew the firm 581% in three years. Ms. Williams won the Silver Stevie Award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017.  In 2018, Ms. Williams was voted as NJBIZ’s Top 50 Women in Business and was designated one of the Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners. In 2019, Ms. Williams won the Seminole 100 Award for founding one of the fastest growing companies among graduates of Florida State University.

In 2018, Ms. Williams created Law Firm Mentor, a business coaching service for lawyers.  She helps solo and small law firm attorneys grow their business revenues, crush chaos in business and make more money.  Through multi-day intensive business retreats, group and one-to-one coaching, and strategic planning sessions, Ms. Williams advises lawyers on all aspects of creating, sustaining and scaling a law firm business – and specifically, she teaches them the core foundational principles of marketing, sales, personnel management, communications and money management in law firms. 


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00:19:10 (51 Seconds)

Most small firms have a multitude of different software, and sometimes the assumption is that you just don’t know all the things that your software can do. But the reality is, even when you know what they can do, sometimes you just don’t like it. Right? You love everything about the software except the task management or you love everything about the software except the financial accounting side. It’s OK to find a good enough solution, and with software, almost invariably the solutions will be good enough. There are some people that will say, Oh yeah, I love everything about this piece of software. It does everything that I need. I have no questions. I have no needs outside of this. But typically, when a person says that, that is an indication that they have less sophistication and knowledge about all the things that are possible with all the software that they could be looking into.