Software for a law firm - choose one that works locally or in the cloud?

Much is said about software and IT systems dedicated to various industries. Despite their high popularity, many enterprises and companies still refuse to implement them. The reason is sometimes "fear of the new" (since you can function "in the old way"), lack of time or a misconception that the implementation of an IT system is difficult, expensive and unprofitable. Of course, nothing could be more wrong!

What CRM system to use in a law firm?

Law firms also more and more often use industry-dedicated programs, the task of which is to help in the effective management of the law firm and maintaining relationships with clients (CRM for office) . In addition, the security of law firm and client data is of great importance in the legal industry. The market offers many solutions, so you need to learn about different solutions, make many decisions and choose the most appropriate for your business. One of the more important decisions to be made before deploying the software is whether to choose on-premises or cloud-based software?

Does a law firm need specialized software?

Of course, a law firm can be run without modern information technology. Unfortunately, customer folders with paper documentation, meeting dates saved in the calendar or customer records in excel files and other outdated methods may, however, lead to data loss, neglect of contact with the customer, and the loss of a large amount of time on unnecessary activities. Specialized and properly selected software for the legal industry will help in managing the office, streamline work on clients' cases, save time and constantly increase profits.

The market offers various IT solutions and software in packages for both one-person law firms and large corporations employing several dozen law specialists working in several branches. A small and large office can benefit significantly from using an IT system for lawyers. However, to find out about it, you just have to try - implement a system suitable for your business, test and check its effectiveness.

Software operating locally or in the cloud can significantly increase the efficiency of a law firm's work thanks to:

  • automation of many repetitive activities (saving time and energy that can be spent on other activities)
  • ongoing access to the daily schedule and tasks, calendar of employees or associates (better quality of customer service and easier work planning)
  • permanent access (24 hours a day with Internet access) to cases and key information about clients (the possibility of remote work, so important during the COVID-19 epidemic)
  • mechanisms such as reminders about tasks or important deadlines (much less negligence, such as exceeding the deadline for sending an appeal)

Locally running software

Local software is a more traditional solution that has been in use for many years. To use such a solution, servers must be installed (expensive to maintain), which unfortunately are susceptible to cyber attacks and physical damage (low security level). The disadvantage of this solution is the fact that when the server breaks down, the office loses access to all data in the software until it is repaired. Another downside is the lack of access to the data on the server during a business trip or at home while working remotely. Local software will therefore work when all employees work in the office, in one place and are connected to one network (of course, until there is a cyber attack, failure or the need to access data outside the workplace). Of course, it is possible to grant remote access to the server physically located in the office. Nevertheless, establishing and maintaining your own local infrastructure, ensuring security, updating the environment is much more expensive and less secure than cloud solutions.

Cloud-based software

Storing data and information in the cloud is a more modern and safer solution. Cloud is a third party service consisting in making computing resources available via the Internet. This means that the owner of the law firm and all employees have access to the software and data there at any place and at any time - the only necessary condition is access to the Internet. This type of software will therefore allow both remote work and work during a business trip (e.g. a train trip to a court hearing to a town several hundred kilometers away). Cloud-based software is less prone to cyber attacks and hardware failure - the data it contains is always safe and available. Additionally, in the case of online access, it is possible to increase security by installing additional security firewalls, using VPN connections or granting access to data only to a specific IP address of the office employees' computers.

It might seem that using a third party would be expensive and problematic - but the opposite is true. This solution is often cheaper than local software and a subscription payment is possible. Additionally, an external entity provides the law firm with technical support and a knowledge base.

Is it better to choose local or cloud-based software for a law firm?

Both solutions, both operating locally and in the cloud, have their opponents and supporters' advantages and disadvantages. However, it cannot be denied that software in the cloud is a more modern, secure solution with a number of additional functionalities. Currently, access to the Internet is common. The mere fact of being able to access the system and the data contained therein in any place, at any hour of the day or night, gives a lot of new possibilities. The work performed by the law firm's team will be much more effective.

  • img
    Izabela Praska
    Editor of, specialist in legal marketing. Specialist in LegallyCRM, FooDeliver, OrderEngine and Bookable products.