A year ago, my firm was a solo practice. Now, I have an employee and three independent contractors working with me. I hope to add another employee in the fall, so we will have six people who need to communicate, collaborate, and cooperate. It is all part of my master plan, but our current systems can feel a bit unwieldy, at times.
For example, if I want to assign a task to Randall, or if my virtual assistant, Erica, wants to send me a request to follow up on a client intake, we do it by e-mail. It works, but it would be nice to attach the task to a contact or case. For practice management, we use Google Apps, plus Freshbooks for timekeeping and billing. Everything works really well, just not together.
So I am considering practice management software. Most of the options out there are so clumsy and archaic that they aren’t worth considering. Besides, we need simple remote access, which means the cloud.
The two best options for cloud-based practice management software seem to be Rocket Matter and Clio, but I have some concerns, so I asked Rocket Matter’s Larry Port to talk me into his product on Lawyerist. Below are the concerns I passed along to Larry. His guest post about why I should sign up for Rocket Matter will follow soon.
Here are the concerns I passed along to Larry Port:
Why I am hesitant
. . .
Price is a big one. For my firm, Rocket Matter would be [over $3,700] per year. That is significantly more than what we are using now, and also more than many other PM solutions, including some that include e-mail, accounting, etc., for a full-service solution.
On the other hand, I know how much IT costs, either in money or time. I am not interested in keeping servers up-to-date and functioning. I estimate the cost of keeping a server going at about $500-1,000 per year if I hire someone, and I am not willing to do it myself.
It looks like trust accounting is taken care of.
Syncing contacts, calendars, and tasks is a concern I mentioned. I have an Android phone, and Randall has an iPhone. [And one of my contractors has a Blackberry.] At a minimum, we need to be able to access our PM software information from our phones. I think you have that covered. But we would both prefer to be able to sync contacts, calendars, and tasks with our phones. Over-the-air would be nice, but otherwise, we need a way to get those things onto our phones and keep them updated.
And since we can’t use RM for e-mail, how to we get our contacts out into Gmail, which is probably what we will continue using?
Oh, and to start with, how do I get all my stuff into RM in the first place?
(photo: Sanjay Parekh)