Legal software expert Dabid Bitton of PracticePanther.com explains how using the right tools can save lawyers time, money and headaches.
David Bitton is the CEO of PracticePanther, a case management software that raised $3.5 million and is helping thousands of attorneys in over 25 countries manage their firms.
We asked David how lawyers could manage their practices more efficiently. Here’s what he had to say:
Tell us the story behind PracticePanther. What services do you offer?
My partner Ori Tamuz and I co-founded PracticePanther in 2012. Our goal was to create the easiest and most intuitive law practice management software for attorneys. The idea was hatched from our two wives, both attorneys, who frequently complained about their current programs. Billing took all day and tracking time was unorganized. They couldn’t work from their phones or tablets. So we created PracticePanther to help thousands of attorneys streamline their practice and go paperless.
PracticePanther comes with a built-in CRM including contact and matter management, tasks and calendaring, time tracking, accounting, billing, document management, client portal, custom fields, trust accounting, client intake forms, and much more. PracticePanther also integrates with other popular applications such as Gmail, Outlook, QuickBooks Online, Dropbox, Box, LawPay and a handful of others.
Can you share one of your favorite client success stories?
One of our favorite client success stories was from an attorney named William H.
Back in April of last year, William decided to leave a long career in a large firm to set up his own practice. He was concerned. He was be leaving a firm that provided him with many programs that helped him manage his clients and cases.
After discovering PracticePanther, I was proud to hear that he found it to be much more powerful and easier to use than his previous software. He also didn’t need a 10-person IT team to learn how to use it and was ecstatic when we told him support is included free of charge. Now William is enjoying the freedom of working for himself and easily managing his firm using PracticePanther.
What are the most common challenges for self-employed lawyers when it comes to practice management?
One of the biggest challenges self-employed attorneys face is bandwidth. They don’t have the time to sit through hours of webinars and training videos to learn a new software. They need a practice management software that is quick and easy to learn so they can start using it the day they sign up.
What do you find are the most common oversights or mistakes self-employed attorneys make in managing their practices?
Many self-employed attorneys spend too much time doing administrative work and not enough time actually practicing law. Some lawyers spend one to two full days billing their clients at the end of each month. That’s eight to 16 hours of billable time completely lost. Now, it only takes them a click of a button. If they charge $250/hour, they would now have an extra $2,000 to $4,000 per month!
What are some of the smartest or most innovative ways you’ve observed attorneys embracing technology to help manage their practices and their cases?
The most innovative change I’ve seen attorneys make recently is deciding to transform their firm into a paperless office. They not only save time searching through documents but it gives them the ability to work from anywhere as well.
What issues do attorneys need to be aware of when using online tools for case management?
Every attorney needs to be aware of how to keep their data safe online. Know which software you can trust with your client information and be aware of other online best practices, such as two-factor authentication.
What are your favorite tools for helping lawyers find clients and grow their practices?
Some of my favorite tools are WordPress for building a website and hosting a blog, Mailchimp for email marketing, Zopim for live chat, and Google My Business to increase local search traffic.
What technology trends are you following now as they relate to helping lawyers and their practices?
Automation is one of the biggest trends these days. In fact, we noticed that attorneys and paralegals have been wasting a lot of time manually entering their clients’ information into their computer. To solve this, we developed a new client intake feature where law firms can hand their clients an iPad to fill out their personal information. From there, a form will automatically create a new contact in PracticePanther, saving the law firm hours each month on manual data entry.