LAWMASTER: One Stop-Solution For Law Firms
Law firms are known to be slow at adapting to changes, and digitalization is one of those. Although the last few years have witnessed newer companies, tagging themselves as digital law firms, mushrooming in the industry, a large number of incumbents still shy away from digitalizing their operations. Such firms continue to follow old school practices with minimal technology leverage, only to mire themselves under mountains of paper.
Partial digitization is hurting law firms who are already burdened by economic slowdown and clients who are constantly shopping around. They under-utilize their workforce too. Lawyers spend precious hours on complicated non-legal processes like allotting billable hours, instead of meeting customers and forging relationships. Even as law firms are in dire need of streamlining their processes and reduce manual tasks, there are few offerings, which meet all their needs in one solution.
Australian software provider LawMaster changed the way law firms adopt technology from multiple software vendors, to its single, comprehensive solution. The company calls its in-built, seamless, and fully integrated solution, the ‘one source of truth’ which eliminates software add-ons and the need for legacy software. “LawMaster provides industry-leading practice management technology that upgrades the productivity and performance of the legal profession. Practice and matter management, workflow, automation and document management, with powerful, comprehensive and up-to-date business intelligence dashboards and reports. Plus a full suite of financials modules. LawMaster has everything together in the one place. The efficiencies gained from a truly integrated system can be spent improving your bottom line,” informs David Toohey, CEO of the company.
Apart from automating mundane, repetitive processes and easing the burden of legal and paralegal staff, LawMaster allows them to allocate resources to productive tasks. The company claims that their solution enhances the efficiency of law firms by 30 percent. The niche software provider, originally from the Sunshine Coast, now operates from offices in Brisbane and Sydney, has been working with law firms for the last 30 years, providing technology for legal professionals practicing in law firms, and corporate and government legal departments. Its solutions are now provided over the cloud, on premises and hybrid models, catering to the mobility needs of modern law firms.
LawMaster serves small boutique firms, mid-sized firms as well as major law firms with offices across geographies, thanks to its scalable solutions that adjust to a company’s size and future growth.
Its ability to integrate with other corporate business management systems have made it the software of choice for many in-house legal departments of corporate and governmental enterprises. “Our legal practice management system organizes matters & tracks a company’s most active internal clients, identifying who is doing the work.
LawMaster embarked on an ambitious path of automating law firms and turning them 100 percent paperless, a formidable challenge owing to the nature of the document-friendly business. The solutions integrate a web inquiry into a client matter reducing data entry and eliminating double handling. LawMaster’s document management centre with an electronic mailroom eliminates the need to print and store hard copy documents by scanning and assigning documents to the relevant areas for fast retrieval, review and editing. Powerful automation and searchability reduces the need for paper and simplifies contract document production.
Brisbane-based commercial law firm, Anderssen Lawyers took the challenge of turning 100 percent paperless to become one of LawMaster’s success stories. Before the deployment, the economic climate meant Anderssen’s was also facing a market downturn even though it was popular enough to attribute 95 percent of its new business from referrals. In spite of working on three different software applications, they were also using hard files. In addition, the support staff were performing many tasks manually, eating away their hours and productivity. Owing to the difficulties, Anderssen’s looked for a single, cost-effective platform that would help increase its profitability.
LawMaster replaced all the existing applications of Anderssen’s and the hard copies, to make it a 100 percent paperless office. As a result, there was a 73 percent reduction in printing and copying costs, 53 percent reduction in IT&T (IT & telecom) costs, 15.5 percent reduction in support and account staff salaries. More importantly, the firm could reduce 20 percent of client fees without affecting its own profitability. After the deployment, the lawyers could bill more hours by putting in fewer hours per day. Faster response, turnaround times and increased time spent with clients, helped them foster better relationships. In addition, the staff of the firm enjoyed the benefits of greater mobility and flexible hours.
Automating mundane tasks and reducing paper and stationery costs is only one aspect of LawMaster’s offerings. It brings in another set of revolutionary efficiencies into law firms with its cutting-edge business intelligence offerings. Its standard set of dashboards is designed to integrate with a law firm’s systems, for insightful analytics. “LawMaster’s Business Intelligence makes analyzing information easier when measuring Enquiry, Matter, Financial and Process performance. Each dashboard has interactive analysis and drill-down capabilities, making the core data simple to review, analyze and interpret in a graphical interface,” says Toohey.
LawMaster’s solutions including Dashboards come with a unique ability, which the company terms, ‘enhanced integration’. LawMaster has partnered with Microsoft across various offerings. LawMaster’s dashboards are powered through Microsoft’s interactive visualisation product, PowerBI. It also integrates with the Microsoft Office suite, and leverages Azure Cloud and AD FS authentication.
The partnership not just brings in credibility but also a nifty marketability across the world.“LawMaster recognises that many firms may wish to integrate their Practice Management software with their Best of Breed business systems, LawMaster’s API’s securely connect with other business software providing the flexibility for firms to stay ahead of the innovation curve,” comments Toohey. LawMaster has been a Microsoft Gold Certified partner since 2005 and was recently chosen to participate in one of Microsoft’s Service programs due to their status in the legal industry leadership within the Azure cloud hosting platform throughout Asia Pacific.
LawMaster provides industry-leading practice management technology that upgrades the productivity and performance of the legal profession
More than half of LawMaster’s clients prefer to use the solution hosted over the cloud, despite other options. Its investments and adherence to security measures make it the thought leader in legal cloud adoption. Toohey believes that cloud is a trend that will continue to grow in the legal profession due to the flexibility it offers. “It is worth noting that 65 percent of people practicing law today are women. Therefore technology that supports complete flexibility to work from anywhere at any time is fundamental to the future of the legal profession,” he says.
LawMaster’s leadership status in the legal software business comes not just from its products, solutions, and ability to predict trends but also the quality of its customer service and client engagement. It has evolved a concept called ‘The Client Upgrade’ journey, which is a structured program of services. It provides account management by continuing to familiarise its customers with new and innovative features and training them. The program has two-pronged advantages of closely servicing their customers as well as receiving valuable feedback allowing them to improve the platform. “In this day and age, it is not common for software companies to have clients who are more than ten years old. However, with almost 30 years of industry leadership, LawMaster continues to pave the way. With LawMaster, a client does not just purchase a software solution, they engage in a long-term partnership where they are continually supported throughout their Client Upgrade Journey,” says Toohey.
Client servicing by LawMaster covers all the requirements of a software company from dedicated account managers, helpdesk support, e-mailed newsletters, user group meetings to providing upgrades. It goes a step ahead of standard services by holding user group meetings with its clients where they discuss new ideas, techniques, best practice use cases, enhancements, and functionality additions. The company also organises a program called CEO Connection which helps it gain and deliver strategic insight right from their clients’ top management.
Going ahead, the company is looking to expand its suite of products to meet the increasing demands of the industry. “LawMaster is a system that is designed and built for lawyers. However, as a company, we are always looking for ways to improve the user experience. We believe online collaboration through the invention of Dashboards and Client Portals is a hot topic right now,” says Toohey. Parallelly, it is working on increasing its global footprint which already exists over the U.S, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and India. The company is focusing on expanding its services into newer markets. International clients are heavily contributing to the growth of the company and the ambitious firm is relying on more modern markets to hasten its pace.