Sometimes, building stuff works out: Roy Kinsella got to play catch with his dead father.
Other times, not so much: The Tacoma Narrows Bridge was, um, rather shaky.
Lawyers love to tinker. Especially solo and small firm lawyers, whose businesses are so completely in their own hands. If they can’t find a system that works for them, they build one. I once met a lawyer who kept a 40-year-old computer in a closet in his office, and that’s how he managed his practice. He kept it up and running, like an old Dodge.
For a long time, it was hard to find useful software that was built for lawyers. So, lawyers jury-rigged their own. Even now, attorneys are still comfortable working with what they have. Many use productivity software for case management. If they can’t find a better way to store emails, they’ll PDF them and save them to their desktop. I mean, any database can be replaced by a spreadsheet, amiright?
I certainly understand how the mindset developed. If a professional is unable to find what he needs on the market, he creates his own solution.
Over the last decade the ramp-up on legal technology has been absolutely phenomenal, to the point where we are talking about artificial intelligence. At this point, the point is that lawyers no longer have to create what they need, because it already exists. Case management systems can deliver the majority of basic functionality that law firms require. Document automation tools are sprouting in a field where professionals have trafficked in documents for years. Even CRM tools are being developed for the legal market. And, there’s no end in sight; not only is development continuing apace, but venture capital funding continues to pour into the legal sector. Once a factor in choosing to build, rather than rent, buy-in on cloud-based products, charged on a monthly subscription basis, has made high-level software cost-effective for solo and small firms.
So, if you’re trying to cobble together your own technology solutions, stop wasting your time.
Get online, and find some information about what’s out there. And, if you get overwhelmed or can’t decide, a consultant can help you to make the right choice.
. . .