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1st World Problem: My Legal Software Has More Features Than I Can Handle

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By William Peacock, Esq. on April 09, 2013 7:01 AM

Man, I'm hungry. Look at this menu though. There's like, 67 different kinds of burgers. And what in the heck is the difference between a McDouble and Double Cheeseburger. And CBO? I do like bacon. Hmmm. And look at this - thirty different kinds of soda. Where's Diet Mountain Dew?

You might call it a First World Problem. We're presented with too many choices for too many things - from food to smartphone apps to cable TV channels. It can all be a bit overwhelming at times. One example that instantly comes to mind is cloud storage. How many providers have we reviewed here lately? Six? Seven? And they all pretty much do the same thing.

We like variety, yet, when everything is a choice, from songs to software, we run across the age-old needle in a haystack problem. There's something good there, we just have to find it. Eventually.

Law practice management software has a similar issue. In order to appeal to dozens of practice areas and different-sized firms, the software designers have to include a lot of different options. While this software has come a long way, and makes things infinitely easier than the days of typewriter, when the software is updated piecemeal, or designed poorly, lawyers and support staff are forced to dig for the features they need.

A well-designed user interface will make the numerous options available in software easier. Nested menus, despite their detractors, make the presentation of hundreds of features easier to handle. For example, you might choose File > New > Document > From Template > Business Letter. Unfortunately, that might mean that you'll miss out on some things that you do need. Or it'll take six menus and 37 clicks to make your text italicized.

There's a happy middle ground there somewhere. How about trimming some of the excess? How about changing the menu options and features depending on the user and her needs? Instead of a client intake form with everything from spouse name to employer, what about different forms for different types of clients (or legal practices)?

It looks like AbacusLaw does just that. Family law attorneys need a very different set of options than criminal appellate attorneys, insurance defense lawyers, or corporate transactional counsel. Different keystrokes for different folks, right? Abacus is configurable to fit each firm's needs.

Beyond configurable fields in your client information forms, Abacus also customizes your interface and menu options based on the case type (meaning less convoluted and nested menus), and provides you with appropriate rules, calendars, and reports for that type of case.

Speaking of reports, Abacus also includes over 100 customizable reports, such as a breakdown of income by practice area for deciding on future firm strategy.

Personally, I can't wait to give it a try. Though that will mean more choices and more decisions, if this software is as great as they say, it won't exactly be a tough one.

AbacusLaw is the only law practice management software designed to be configured for every type of matter and every kind of law firm. http://www.abacuslaw.com/

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and compensation was provided by AbacusLaw. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of AbacusLaw.


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