Episode 22: Should you build your own law practice management system? Host Dan Lear explores the frontier of law firms building custom tech

 

It seems like every time you turn around some company is offering a new practice management solution. We tried to count them recently and got tired after about a dozen.

 

 

The proliferation of practice management is a bit curious. It’s true, Lawyers use all sorts of tools—word processors, legal research engines, electronic discovery tools, e-mail, and cars to get to and from the courthouse. But most of these facilitate a lawyer’s completion of a discrete or specific task. 

Law practice management is different. It’s central to law practice. The process that a firm or lawyer uses to complete legal work can affect everything from the number and nature of typographical errors, to the comprehensiveness of legal research, to the breadth and precision of discovery.  From this perspective, it’s quite surprising that so many law firms buy “off-the-shelf” practice management software and that there are so many different law practice management offerings. One would think that law firms would be more insistent about ensuring that their tech reflected their process.

While most firms choose to adapt their processes to an “off-the-shelf” software product rather than the other way around, there are some firms that are bucking this trend.

Financially Legal host Dan Lear profiled four of them in a recent article for the ABA's GPSolo magazine and in this Financially Legal episode he explores why those four as well as two others chose to pursue a DIY path. He discusses how those firms went about building what they built, whether they’d recommend that other firms do the same, and what the future of practice management looks like for firms who might want to build or, at least, customize their own system.

Featured firms: Asset Transaction Legal Services, Gulick Law, Law Office of Mark Metzger, Block and Leviton, Tate Law, and All In Business Law

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