UF Law to survey legal profession’s use of case and matter management systems
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — legal profession will soon benefit from results of a comprehensive study, now underway, that will identify efficiencies leading to streamlined case, matter and practice management.
The Case Management System (CMS) study, conducted by the University of Florida Levin College of Law’s Legal Technology Institute and ADC Legal Systems Inc., will survey approximately 25,000 U.S. legal professionals to understand current use and future trends of case, matter and practice management systems. Once completed, CMS study results will assist law firms and corporate legal departments in making better management software decisions. In addition, the study will clarify the terminology used by the industry and will provide software designers with insight on how to improve the usability and efficiency of their CMS products.
“Although case and matter management systems have been available to the legal industry for 30 years, there is still confusion about the differences between case, matter and practice management,” said Andrew Z. Adkins III, founder and director of UF’s College of Law Legal Technology Institute (LTI). “Everyone has their own definitions. This survey will help set the standard for terms used by the industry.”
In addition to developing an industry glossary, Adkins said the survey results, which will be released in early 2010, will benefit the legal profession and software companies alike. The findings will enable law firms and legal departments to compare software capabilities and costs, and will give software companies valuable information on user trends.
“While some firms and departments don’t use case or matter management system software, others are running multiple applications, and that may not be the most efficient solution,” Adkins said. “We want to know how and why they are using these programs, and for those who don’t, why not? The survey results will help software designers address these issues and critically evaluate their management programs to make positive enhancements.”
The CMS study will target legal professionals nationwide in a random sampling using direct mail. The results will provide LTI and sponsor companies with an objective overview of the entire legal profession.
“In our 25 plus years of developing case management, one thing has become very evident,” said Monty Helin, president of ADC Legal Systems (Perfect Practice). ” Each law firm has their own way of practicing law and each is expecting a case management system to work the way they want. The case management system must be able to be configured to meet the ever changing needs of the firm. This study will address these issues.”
In addition to ADC Legal Systems, other companies lending support to this project include LexisNexis, Client Profiles, Thomson Reuters, Legal Files Software, Omega Legal Systems, LawBase by Synaptec Software, and PerfectLaw Software.