Julia Taylor and Emery Wager

How To Get Buy In For A Legal Case Management Software Transition

In our latest Legal Case Management Jam Session, Confido Legal's Emery Wager spoke with Julia Taylor, the owner and managing paralegal of LevLegal, a company focused on assisting law firms with paralegal services, billing, administration and technology setup. 

Law firms often forget or fail to get buy-in from their teams in a software transition, leading to poor adoption, unrealized benefits, and in some cases, a failed implementation. In this session, Julia outlined some practical tips for bringing your team along to get the most out of your firm's new software.

 

Team Transition Challenges

Have you ever faced pushback (or outright sabotage) while implementing or deciding on new legal case management software? Julia shared that many law firms start by picking the wrong software for their practice. Often it's a case of going with what's popular rather than what's the best fit. This is where the team dissent starts to build.

Another cause of dissent is starting too many tech projects at once. As Julia said, if you're planning to implement new software, remember to finish the project before you add three or four other projects at the same time. Nothing kills the team's drive like lack of focus.

Julia highlighted the importance of understanding signs of pushback early and heading them off using the approach outlined below. New software can be a major accelerant for your firm, and implementing it with full buy-in from the team will increase the chances of realizing that value. 

 

A Strategic Approach to Buy-In

Julia outlined a simple approach to ensure your team is bought in and excited about a software transition:

  • Involve all stakeholders in the requirements gathering phase of selecting new software. Engage early with your team to discuss what's working and what isn't. If you feel the team won't be honest about their pain points, consider using an outside consultant with whom the team may be more open. 

  • Explore legal case management research hubs and software databases to find the best-fit systems. You may even want to engage a consultant in this phase to help you shortlist platforms based on your requirements.  Ask your team, especially those newer members who may have come from other firms, what systems they have used in the past.

  • Involve your team members actively in the demo process. Allow them to participate in the evaluation of your shortlisted systems and let them witness firsthand how the software aligns with their day-to-day needs.

  • During the demo phase, be proactive. Push your team for clear answers and avoid vague responses in debriefs after the demos.

  • In the evaluation phase, make sure to understand the software's implementation, data migration and post-implementation support resources. Lack of resources in these areas is a great way to torpedo buy-in from front-line and IT teams. If the software doesn't do this support in-house, make sure you also evaluate third party consultants to help you. Include your team in that evaluation process as well.     

  • When it comes time to make a decision, speak with each team member and get their active support. Don't coerce them. Group discussions at this point can be dangerous, as many team members might not voice their dissent in a group setting. Although the software you eventually select may not be everyone's top choice, they should all be ready to support the decision. If they aren't, you may need to rethink the selection.   

  • Ensure your team has the right resources in the implementation phase.

  • After implementation, establish a continuous evaluation and feedback loop to ensure your team is actually realizing the value you promised from the transition. Julia recommends a quarterly cadence of meetings to ensure any challenges are promptly addressed and the software remains aligned with the evolving needs of your team.

Summary

Securing buy-in from your team for a legal case management software transition takes effort and may initially slow down the software selection process, but it will pay dividends when it comes time to implement. By involving your team early, addressing specific pain points and maintaining open communication, law firms can navigate the transition process with support from all stakeholders.

If you are considering a software upgrade and need expert guidance, visit Julia's website at lev-legal.com.

To receive a free legal case management software consult and to view a database of legal case management software, visit our case management center.

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