What are the Different Types of Business Law Software?
Since there are many different computer needs in a law office, there are many different types of business law software available to attorneys and law office managers. Software that is specifically designed for law offices can fulfill many needs, including law office management, time management and billing, appointment management, contract writing, legal terminology in word processing, and case management. Most attorney and law office software falls under four major types: law office management software, time management and billing software, legal process software, and software specifically for business or civil law.
Law office management software is the most common type of business law software, and these software applications help attorneys and their office managers take care of the many business transactions that can go on in a law office on a day-to-day basis. Managers of law offices must be able to keep track of different cases and their associated documents, as well as organizing schedules for legal aids and attorneys. While document management software helps office managers keep track of legal documents, time management and billing software helps them keep track of attorneys’ time.
Since attorneys make money based on the time they spend in appointments, many types of business law software are used for appointment setting and billing. Law office managers need very powerful appointment setting software that can keep track of many different clients, and if a law office has more than one attorney, the software must also keep track of the time for multiple attorneys. Often, appointment-setting and billing software will be combined into law software that keeps track of and automatically bills for an attorney’s time.
Other types of business law software help attorneys manage cases and other legal processes like filing deadlines and court appearances. It is very important that attorneys perform many legal processes in a timely manner, and case management software is designed to help schedule these legal processes. Case management software is also called docketing software because an attorney’s court schedule is called a docket.
Software that is used specifically in business or commercial law offices can help attorneys manage business contracts and the nuances of business law. These kinds of business law software applications include word processing software that helps lawyers and legal aids write business contracts. Legal software may also include packages of pre-written contracts or a spell-checking dictionary loaded with the legal terminology commonly used in business law.
@David09 - Lawyers have assistants working for them. Let’s face it. Not everything that a lawyer does is courtroom drama. A lot of it is day to day routine stuff, and assistants can help, keeping track of docket information and stuff like that.
In that regard the software can be very useful. Indeed I am sure that the courts themselves have a lot of that docket information already computerized for better organization.
@MrMoody - That’s probably okay as far as business law goes. However, I think the requirements would be far less stringent if the attorneys are simply using software for appointment setting.
As a matter of fact, I am sure that appointment setting software could be used in multiple contexts, not only in the law office but in other environments as well. It just depends on what you need the software for.
I happen to believe that as a matter of principle, lawyers are not going to delegate management of the business law aspects to a single software application, if they use one at all.
If anything, they will stay on top of the law themselves and then use perhaps several software applications and perhaps some online databases to keep pace with current trends.
If I were an attorney I would only buy law practice software developed by other attorneys. They don’t develop software on their own of course – they would need the help of a team of developers.
But I would certainly expect the lawyers to have a principal role in developing the software, especially if you are talking about packages that help manage business law as the article talks about.
The laws are constantly changing and you have to keep up with the latest changes. I used to work for a company that sold tax accounting software. It was developed by tax accountants, for tax accountants, and it was a great product as a result. I wouldn’t accept anything less as an attorney.
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