It is amazing to know that so many law firms will not adopt new calendaring software with built-in automation simply because they misunderstand it. Perhaps that is why the legal industry has been so slow to adopt technology. What is not easily understood is difficult to embrace in a profession where making sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed is the norm.
The point of this post is to address three commonly held misunderstandings about automated calendaring. For the record, the NuLaw legal case management software solution includes built-in calendaring functionality. You will find our calendaring module streamlines calendaring and reduces errors. With that said, let us get on to the three dirty little secrets of automated calendaring.
1. Automation Doesn’t Mitigate Responsibility
One of the chief complaints against automated calendaring is that it gives attorneys an excuse to set up a few rules and then forget about it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Automated calendaring does not mitigate attorney responsibility.
Those who say it is unwise to blindly rely exclusively on automated calendaring are absolutely correct. As helpful as automation is, the rules involved in making it work are hard and fast rules. They cannot account for different jurisdictions, the idiosyncrasies of certain judges, and so forth.
The smart attorney sets up his calendaring rules and then routinely gives his calendar the once over to make sure everything is accurate. He doesn’t blindly trust software for something that can be quite flexible under certain circumstances.
2. Automation Really Does Help Staff
Visit any law firm that does not use automated calendaring and attorneys are likely to say that staff does a more than adequate job handling everything. That may be true, but staff are often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of tasks involved in calendaring and docketing. It is enough to drive administrative assistants and other firm staff members crazy.
The truth is that automated calendaring really does help staff do a better job. By implementing certain rules that govern the calendaring and docketing process, events are automatically entered into the attorney’s calendar in a continual, cascading system. Staff members do not have to try to manually figure it out. It is all right there. They only have to check for accuracy and, when necessary, adjust the rules to account for the circumstances of a given case.
3. Automation Can Reduce Insurance Premiums
Insurance companies hate inaccurate calendaring systems because these increase the risks of lawsuits. Why does this matter? Because a good legal case management software solution with built-in automation has the potential of making a law firm’s insurance company very, very happy. Any rules-based calendaring system relying on the latest automation technologies reduces risk. That’s good for insurance companies and attorneys alike.
At this point it’s important to note that growing numbers of insurance providers are now mandating the use of rules-based calendaring among their law firm clients. When that is the case, no amount of protesting by a law firm will do any good.
The reality of how insurance companies view rules-based calendaring puts to rest any argument that new calendaring software is too expensive. Not only is it very affordable, it also pays for itself by saving money on insurance premiums.
There are a lot of arguments against the use of automated calendaring in the legal industry. But once you fully understand how it works and the benefits it brings to the table, those arguments gradually fall away. The fact is that automation makes rules-based calendaring a more effective way to handle scheduling and docketing. If you’re not convinced, just ask your staff.