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Product Review | Law Practice Management Software

Dashboard Confessional: The New Interface for AbacusLaw is a Harbinger of the Future of Legal Software

By Jared Correia

dashboard Interface for AbacusLaw

In addition to a next-level business management suite, AbacusLaw’s new interface and features represent a financial management tour de force.

One thing this grinding pandemic has taught every law firm owner is that the future of law is not some far-off concept to be grasped at — it’s happening right now. And, right now: law firms that are in arrested development are going to collapse, while those that innovate aggressively will have a future.

The big question then is how to unlock the future of your law practice today.

As the legendary Reese Bobby told it: “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

The good news is that concocting a mix for the modern law firm is not an impossible dream, like deriving gold from lead. There are a number of components of  “future law” that you can apply today.

  • Add one part technology: Let’s get some modern, cloud-based software up in here to really drive business efficiency.
  • Sprinkle in some data: Recording, managing and accessing data in a comprehensive, yet understandable, fashion is what differentiates “best guesses” from best practices.
  • Layer in hyper-focus: Law firms are better niched down, and are most often local businesses. Yet lots of lawyers have trouble focusing.

Spin up these three prime ingredients, and you’ve got a pretty stellar recipe for law firm success.

But, it all starts with using the right tech, so let’s begin there.

Next: AbacusLaw is Changing the Game Again

The folks at Abacus Data Systems make important system upgrades like most people change underwear; the development team is just relentless. The latest major updates come in the form of significant changes to AbacusLaw, the company’s flagship law practice management software.

abacuslaw

The new AbacusLaw looks nothing like the old AbacusLaw, and that starts with a new logo. But, that’s only the beginning, as the bulk of the visual elements of AbacusLaw have been updated. New colors (including offset colors for frequently-used applications) underscore small-yet-effective changes to AbacusLaw’s operation. Product designers have focused on making the software easier to use by surfacing frequently-used tools and making them more immediately accessible. That means fewer clicks and easier navigation. That also means you’ll save time as you operate in Abacus and you’ll be able to access more important data, more readily.

Even with all the future-focused UI changes to AbacusLaw, the things users love about Abacus remain: those standard operating procedures, workflows, and calendaring rules, among others.

Objects in the Rearview Mirror are Closer than They Appear: Dashboards Consolidate Data in a Meaningful Way

The greatest challenge of any modern business is to make sense of all the data it retains. This is an especially difficult chore for law firms since they have all the same challenges as general businesses plus special data requirements shifted upon them by local ethics rules.

There is always an added layer of complexity for law firm data, whether that’s client information, work product or accounting records. Technology can help to paint a clearer picture but, just as often, it ends up creating a Jackson Pollock.

Law practice management software often serves as a law practice hub. It’s a relational database, where the majority of client and administrative data is housed. It connects to the rest of the major software a law firm accesses. Now, that’s a good thing but, it’s also a ton of information. And, the more that information piles up, the tougher it is to get to meaningful visualizations of datasets that you can then turn into meaningful business management choices.

Clicking into a list of unending tasks, events, emails and documents can be overwhelming. Reviewing lengthy reports can make you go cross-eyed. What the future lawyers of today need are clear visual representations of data that are immediately impactful: KPIs writ large, in stunning technicolor.

Enter Dashboards

Dashboards are an essential component of modern software and they eliminate the need for data spelunking expeditions. The new AbacusLaw is awash in compelling dashboards that deliver. The new “front page”  is a set of dashboards that are wholly customizable by users, and relevant to that particular user’s role in the law firm.

Pluck a default dashboard from the Abacus App Center — or create one of your own — and place it where you want. Then, resize it, color-code it, change the layout, rename it. Really, it’s up to you. The dashboard feature set allows you immediate access to the most compelling datasets in your law firm. And you keep them top of mind because AbacusLaw allows you to stock them on your new main page.

But, perhaps the most impressive thing about the new AbacusLaw dashboards is the extensive financial data they can relay — in a way even math-averse lawyers can understand immediately.

Because AbacusLaw offers a full accounting suite — which not every case management system does, by the way — users can gain deep insights into financial data that just isn’t available anywhere else.

New: Accounting Overview

The new AbacusLaw comes with an Accounting Overview feature that’s new to this release. Dashboards let you take a peek at WIP, payments and aged accounts receivable. You can view your own data or firmwide data. Managers can compare timekeepers’ performance. Users can calculate utilization rate, realization rate and collection rate. In addition to providing a next-level business management suite, AbacusLaw represents a financial management tour de force.

And, this is only the beginning: Future iterations of AbacusLaw will offer many more robust dashboards options.

Haystack needle, meet giant magnet.

Super Regional: Where You Practice Matters

Next for AbacusLaw, which already features practice-specific software options, will be regionalized data applications — because a family law practice in Daytona Beach is inherently different than a family law practice in South Padre Island … even if they both know how to party.

Get a demo of the new AbacusLaw today and visualize your future like never before.

Attorney at Work’s sponsored Product Reviews and Product Spotlights showcase news and features from legal technology industry leaders. For more information, click here.

Illustration ©iStockPhoto.com

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Jared Correia Jared Correia

Jared D. Correia is CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting, which offers subscription-based law firm business management consulting services, and works with legal vendors to develop programming and content. Jared is also COO of Gideon Software, Inc., which offers intelligent messaging and predictive analytics software built exclusively for law firms. A former practicing attorney, Jared is the host of the Legal Toolkit podcast and speaks frequently at industry events. In addition to his Attorney at Work column, Managing, he writes an advice column for Lawyerist and on tech startups for Above the Law. Follow him @JaredCorreia.

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