During a recent presentation, a question was posed to me that I thought I would revisit for other attorneys wondering the same thing.
In essence, the law firm wanted to know whether they would have to use a paralegal service’s practice management software, or if the paralegal service would use the firm’s software.
My answer: I don’t know. It depends.
Personally, I believe the paralegal service should use the firm’s practice management software if that’s what the firm prefers. Are there circumstances that may warrant a different answer? Perhaps. But I can’t think of any offhand.
Professionally, I believe that seamlessly integrating substantive legal support into a law firm’s practice means providing quality support and work product without shaking up the firm’s existing practices and procedures.
In other words, if the firm has practice management software and that’s what they want to use, then that’s what we will use. If they don’t have practice management software but want to implement such a system, we’ll identify their needs, identify options for them, and help them implement the system of their choice into their practice. If they don’t have practice management software in place and don’t want, or aren’t in a position to implement software, then we offer a secure system for them to use.
In short, it’s a question you want to ask the freelance paralegal or paralegal service you’re thinking about retaining. It’s an important and potentially deciding factor, and not one you should wait to address.